First impression of Ahmedabad

First impression of Ahmedabad

I am back from a road trip to Ahmedabad. My first time in Gujarat.
I did not read anything nor had any opinions about the city prior to my visit and that was the good thing about my trip.
Here is my first impression of the city Ahmedabad.

kite festival @lemonicks.com

Competing in the open…

1) The city is a mix of the old and the new. Though I did not see many skyscrapers, there is a marked movement towards development that suggests the people here support change. But they have also tried to preserve the heritage buildings well. Old town is very congested with narrow alleys.

2) There are many simple things as firsts in Ahmedabad which I haven’t noticed in any other Indian city. For example, there is a separate barricaded lane with stops for BRTS buses. No other vehicle can enter that lane and a bus can not go outside it. So simple and easy. It doesn’t take rocket science to implement these.

3) City is not green. Very dusty, hot and lacks greenery. In that regard, I was comparing it with the city of Gardens, Bangalore. 🙂

kite festival @lemonicks.com

This was the scene near modern riverfront.

4) Traffic is chaotic… especially the old town. Traffic is so reckless and unruly that I have to accept, Delhi takes a second place in my list now. Except for few parts in new Ahmedabad, the city is chaotic.

5) Transport – Generally autos go by meter. If not, beware. They might ask you to pay what you feel would be the fare. But they’d always expect more than the average fare!
There are buses and taxis as well but we did not get opportunity to try them.

6) People are friendly, warm and hospitable. Some of them offer selfless services. As for the photos, like any other Indians they demand to be clicked by you. 🙂 Policemen are very helpful except traffic policemen who try to extract money for any stupid reason.

seva cafe @lemonicks.com

Seva Cafe

7) Seva café. This is again a first for the city. It’s new concept of voluntarily running a restaurant. It’s a topic for a separate post so more on this later. A teaser – They don’t give you a bill. 🙂

8 ) Festival crazy. I am told Gujarat has more than 2000 festivals every year and they celebrate each one of them with much gusto. Music, firecrackers, delicacies and craziness are part of it. Think of Diwali evening in Karol Bagh or Pongal time in Chennai or Eid time in Md Ali Road, Mumbai.

All in all, I was happy to experience the city, and given the chance I would like to explore it further. 🙂

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11 thoughts on “First impression of Ahmedabad

  1. Points 2, 4, 6 & 8.

    2. Think, your referring to the BRTS, which is the middle of the road. Thought, parts of delhi have the same.

    4. Really !! ahmedabad tops delhi in terms of recklessness? However, your only going to get the drive-by and stare, most gujju’s can’t take violence, even if it’s road-rage.

    6. Yes, people are warm & friendly, however I think, concept of personal space is less than other Indian cities.

    8. Gujju’s aren’t festival crazy, as much plain old alsi, Janmashthmi is a week. Terrible if you are employer, brilliant if you are an employee.

  2. Thanks for writing about my favorite city.

    I think you spent more time in Old Ahmedabad city. There is a proposal to make it a world heritage site, which if approved will make it a vehicle free zone.

    BRTS that you saw has actually helped revolutionize transport in Ahmedabad, reducing travel times by 20-40% besides encouraging public transport.

    I hope you also visited the serene Gandhi Ashram. Numerous riots notwithstanding, Gandhian thought and philosophy has been deeply ingrained in Amdavadis, with many people still wearing Khadi there. Seva is an extension of the same philosophy.

    Sorry to usurp ur post, but Ahmedabad gets me nostalgic. 🙂

  3. Misaal,
    Yes, I was referring to BRTS buses, thought that was a cool idea to have a separate lane for buses. I haven’t seen it in any other city. Probably I am making a flying visit so missing out on them. I think this is one of the areas Other cities can learn from Ahmedabad.

    Yes, in my opinion recklessness is very high here.

    Absolutely agree on personal space. 😀

    Well, what I saw, I wrote. Also we were told so by locals.

  4. Janit,
    We were staying in one of the Heritage houses in old town. What I was told that these house have been declared as heritage houses. Vehicle free zone is very welcome thought but do you think it can really be done?

    I have full praise for BRTS. 🙂

    Yes, I visited Gandhi Ashram, a separate post will come for that.

    Don’t be sorry, you can enlighten me & my readers with your vies & experiences about the place. 🙂

  5. Ahmedabad is a dusty city since centuries…According to legends – when the Sultan Ahmed Shah established this city .. even he described it as dusty!

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