Ahmedabad Revisited – I: Beautiful Temples
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Where, in India, would the gentleman driving an auto spontaneously offer suggestions on restaurants to visit and the best items on the menu, and point out all the tourist attractions on the way to your destination (when all you asked for was a ride to your hotel)? AHMEDABAD!
After our unforgettable trip to the capital of Gujarat last year, we jumped on the opportunity to pay another visit to this friendly city last month.
Hotel Paradise turned out to be an excellent choice for our budget. A clean and spacious room, efficient room service, easy access to public transport, a supermarket right across the street (an important feature for parents of little kids! :)) – perfect for us!
After a late evening check-in, we strolled around the neighborhood, made a pit stop at an Amul outlet (how could we miss that in Gujarat!) and dined at a nearby restaurant, Ambrosia.
We began the day with a visit to the Swaminarayan Temple in Kalupur. There are several Swaminarayan temples in the city; the one at Kalupur is the first temple of this sect to have been built. The exquisite details and vibrant colors are very impressive. A guided heritage walk of the city begins here.
A short auto ride from the Swaminarayan temple led us to the beautiful Hathisingh Jain temple. We made an earnest attempt to capture the marvelous architecture of this marble structure with our camera. The kind auto driver recommended that we should have lunch in the complex just behind the temple – he said it was wonderful Jain food at a very low price. However, owing to our late and hearty breakfast that morning, we had to ruefully skip this option (gives us a reason to visit the city another time :)).
In the evening, we walked to a beautiful green space, the Law Garden, which is at a short distance from Hotel Paradise. Junior had a whale of a time just running around in the vast garden. And we had to mobilize all our energy to keep up with his pace. A water fountain attracted a large group of pigeons (and humans) who were seeking respite from the sultry weather.
After working up a great appetite, we hopped over to the popular haunt, Swati Snacks, to sample the specialities that have received raving reviews. It was a fitting grand finale to a great day in Ahmedabad.
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