Uttarayan (Makar Sankranti) in Gujarat

The colourful kite festival, delicious jalebis & ‘undhiyu’, vibrant bandhani, bustling markets, the grandeur of Akshardham… – this year, we celebrated Makar Sankranti in Ahmedabad-Gandhinagar.

Uttarayan (Makar Sankranti) in Gujarat is a delightful experience! The markets are abuzz with activity, flooded with kites of various hues and sizes. Families gather on terraces – some ready for intense competition, others enjoying a leisurely experience. The winds are perfect, the music is loud, the skies are dotted with high-flying kites, the mood is festive: a vibrant celebration, indeed. This was the highlight of our trip.

A visit to the serene Sabarmati Ashram was the perfect start to a day. Along the banks of the river Sabarmati, this ‘home’ of Mahatma Gandhi, reflects the peaceful spirit of the Father of the Nation. It was from here that the seeds of many a movement (like the Dandi March and Non Co-operation Movement) during the struggle for India’s independence were sown.

The Akshardham Temple is a beautiful monument with intricate architecture. The complex is very well-maintained, it’s a pity that photography is not permitted :(. The ‘Vedic’ water show in the evening with laser technology, animation and plenty of jazzy effects was very entertaining and had a packed crowd enjoying it.

The huge Kankaria Lake is fun for the entire family. Toy train, zoo, children’s park, walk along the lake – a bunch of things to do here. The lighting after sundown is splendid.

At the Science City, we watched a movie at the 3D IMAX theatre and had fun with models and exhibits in the Hall of Space and Hall of Science. We will need another trip to explore the rest of this place :).

Ahmedabad is a foodie’s delight :). Delicious Gujarati thali meals abound. Of course, dhoklas, jalebis, khandvi add to the immense variety :).

We managed a quick ‘shopping’ trip to Mummy Bazaar, Dhalgarwad :), a marketplace full of the colourful bandhani material, sarees, cotton fabric..

The warmth and hospitality of the local people was overwhelming. A restaurant owner apologized to us for any incovenience that may have been caused to us (well, we had actually reached the restaurant after their closing hours, and he, most graciously, welcomed us in!! if anything, we should have apologized :)). An auto driver offered us his shawl, since it was freezing cold. God bless these gentlemen!!

We headed back to Bangalore, filled with enchantment for ‘Vibrant Gujarat’. We’d love to visit the state again, maybe to explore the Rann of Kutch and greet its winged residents.