Business Traveler (USA) - - 4 HOURS -

Start your tour of Gu­jarat’s largest city with a visit to the Sabar­mati Ashram, more fre­quently re­ferred to as“Gandhi’s ashram.”The Ma­hatma founded the ashram (a spir­i­tual her­mitage) in 1915 and moved it to this site, on the banks of the River Sabar­mati a short dis­tance from the city cen­ter, two years later. He lived here for about 12 years, and it was from here that he led a march to the coastal city of Dandi, over 250 miles away, in protest of the British Salt Law – an event that was in­stru­men­tal in help­ing India to gain in­de­pen­dence.

To­day, Sabar­mati Ashram is a mu­seum with ex­hibits about Gandhi’s life, in­clud­ing a photo gallery and an ar­chive of his let­ters and jour­nals, and you can tour the his old liv­ing quar­ters. A book­store sells tomes on Gandhi (in English) that aren’t avail­able out­side the sub­con­ti­nent. Chil­dren play cricket on the ashram’s grounds, and you may even be asked to join in. Open daily 8:30 AM – 6:30 PM; free en­try; Ashram Road, Old Vadaj; 4 miles from the ashram to the Jama Masjid (Fri­day Mosque), one of the city’s most spec­tac­u­lar build­ings. Built in 1424 un­der the aus­pices of Ahmed­abad’s founder, Ahmed Shah, the yel­low sand­stone struc­ture blends tra­di­tional In­dian aes­thet­ics with Is­lamic struc­tural de­sign.

At its cen­ter is a 246-foot-long court­yard, while the huge prayer hall is flanked with 260 in­tri­cately carved col­umns that sup­port 15 domed sec­tions. The in­te­ri­ors in­cor­po­rate dec­o­ra­tive el­e­ments and iconog­ra­phy usu­ally as­so­ci­ated with the Jain and Hindu faiths, in­clud­ing lo­tus flow­ers and the Om sym­bol – it is be­lieved that the mosque was con­structed us­ing rem­nants of de­stroyed Hindu and Jain tem­ples, and the non-Mus­lim sym­bols were likely pulled from th­ese pre­vi­ous holy sites. Both men and women should dress mod­estly – ladies should cover their heads. Open daily dawn-dusk; free ad­mis­sion; Ma­hatma Gandhi Road. coun­try. Its cam­pus dou­bles as an ope­nair art mu­seum, and there are dis­plays show­cas­ing the best of the stu­dents’ projects dot­ted around the cam­pus.

Make sure you visit the gift shop, where you’ll find a high-qual­ity se­lec­tion of ev­ery­thing from hand­made jew­elry to un­usual fur­ni­ture, all de­signed by the NID’s stu­dents, fac­ulty and alumni. Open Mon-Fri 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM; ad­mis­sion is free; Bhag­tacharya Road, Paldi;

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