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Places to visit near Ahmedabad for one day

Discussion in 'Gujarat' started by Pankaj, Nov 26, 2016.

  1. Pankaj

    Pankaj New Member

    During my stay in Ahmedabad I will be busy with work, but in between, I would have a couple of days free as well, where I would like to go out to some place. Seeing Ahmedabad will be done during the working days and the days I have free I want to go outside of Ahmedabad.

    I would like members to suggest some places to visit near Ahmedabad for one day. I would most probably be getting a taxi so getting to the destination will not be an issue.

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, @Pankaj, welcome to the forum!



    Ahmedabad is the largest city of Gujarat and it occupies a prime location, nestled at the northern central part of the state. It is one of the most developed cities of Gujarat, hence it is usually the base for many businesses and industrial hubs. For those residing in Ahmedabad, the hustle and bustle of the city can be too much at times. It is therefore important to take some time away from the busy city and explore nearby areas that can provide one with some respite and rejuvenation. Fortunately, you don't have to venture too far out to reach some one-day getaways from Ahmedabad. A mere two-hour journey is enough to reach some one-day getaways from Ahmedabad. If you have three to four hours, then you're in for some real treat, as you venture into the best explored getaways from the city.

    Places to Visit Near Ahmedabad for One-Day (Under 4 Hours Away)

    Chasing traces of the past...

    1. Vadodara - Vadodara is about 111 kilometres away or two hours away from Ahmedabad. It has a long history behind it, having been ruled by various rulers with the Hindu Marathas, the Gaekwad dynasty, being one of the longest rulers. The iconic landmark of the city and the Gaekwad dynasty is the Laxmi Vilas Palace. This is one of the largest private residences in the world, built with the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. Though it still remains as the residence of the descendants of the Gaekwad dynasty, the ground floor of the palace is opened for tourists. Enjoy strolling amidst the opulent furniture collection, the exquisite Durbar Hall and the collection of weaponries on the Armoury Hall. Just about 200 metres away from the palace is the Maharaja Fate Singh Museum, an art museum set upon the ancient school of the royal children. The museum holds paintings created by the famed painter, Raja Ravi Verma along with other international artists. It also holds important artefacts of the royals, like their costumes, furnitures and other art pieces they have collected over the years. Outside the museum is a small railway train, which was the actual train the the royal children used to ride back then to reach the palace from the school or vice versa. Other palaces around the city like the Makarpura Palace and the Motibaug Palace are not open to the public but can be viewed from the outside. You can also visit the Sayaji Baug, a garden established in the late 18th century by a Gaekwad ruler as well. It is spread over a wide expanse of land, with a zoo, aquarium, bird park and the crowd favourite, toy train. The Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery is also located close to the garden. The museum is very large, with exhibits on various arts and paintings from around the world. But the show stoppers are the animal collections, specifically the skeleton of the blue whale in the museum. Though Vadodara is a very modern city, it has done well to preserve its heritage sites, which can easily be covered within a day from Ahmedabad.
    • Distance from Ahmedabad - 111 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Laxmi Vilas Palace, Maharaja Fate Singh Museum, Makarpura Palace, Motibaug Palace, Sayaji Baug and Baroda Museum and Picture Gallery
    2. Lothal - When you think of the Indus Valley Civilisation, it's inevitable to think about Pakistan. But it's important to remember that Gujarat and Pakistan share a border area so it's not impossible that back then, the area of Gujarat might have been a site for the Indus Valley Civilisation too, also known as the Harappa Civilisation. Lothal is one such site, an ancient port village site, which linked the Indian subcontinent with the rest of the world. It was once a thriving village and a stroll around the ruins of Lothal can make you understand the culture, knowledge and way of living back then. The Dockyard of Lothal is known as the oldest port of the world. To have created such a functional port back then required extreme study, because of the intricacies of the tidal movements which can affect the port area. The Acropolis is the city centre, where you would find lanes, ruins of shops and ruins of residential areas. Both the Upper Town and Lower Town areas provide one with a glimpse of the way locals lived back then, with the remains of pot furnaces and kitchens. Ancient wells and even sewerage systems can still be seen in the ancient city too. Aside from the excavation site, it's also a must to visit the ASI Museum here, which exhibits excavated artefacts from the region, like beaded items, tools, potteries, human skeletons and many more. It also has a descriptive map, showcasing what the ancient Lothal Indus Valley Civilisation might have looked like back then. If you have that inkling for anything about the past, specifically for those who have lived over 4,500 years ago, Lothal can satisfy that craving in you.
    • Distance from Ahmedabad - 76 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Dockyard, Acropolis, Upper Town, Lower Town and ASI Museum

    For the religious ones...

    3. Champaner Pavagadh Archeological Park - Champaner is an ancient city, which was once ruled by the Chavda dynasty. It is just about 150 kilometres away from Ahmedabad and is usually combined with a trip to the nearby Pavagadh hill, merely six kilometres away from Champaner. The Champaner Pavagadh Archeological Park is regarded as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. To put it simply, the archeological park has a collection of ancient Islamic and Hindu temples, all spread around the foothills of the Pavagadh hill, until the city of Champaner. The temples were built around the 8th to 16th centuries, giving one a complete overview of the transitional styles during these periods. Since both areas were once thriving cities, there are also other structures like ancient step wells, fortified walls, tombs and gateways. In the Champaner side of the archaeological site, the Jama Masjid stands as the crown of the place. Steeped in a unique blend of Hindu and Islamic architectural styles, the mosque attracts attention even from a distance. Equally beautiful is the Nagina Masjid, built with pure white stone, and also features the same floral carvings on its niches. Other mosques here that one can visit are the Juni Masjid and Kevada Masjid. On to the Pavagadh side of the archaeological site, the Kalika Mata Temple remains as the most popular religious site. It is approachable by either a ropeway ride or by hiking, as it is located at the top of the hillock. Being one of the Shaktipeethas, the temple sees a huge rush of pilgrims during festivities related to Goddess Kali Mata. And last, you must also visit the ruins of the Jain Temple around Pavagadh hill. The ruins were strewn together to make one temple, so it looks a bit more renovated. All in all, a visit to the Champaner Pavagadh Archeological Park can give one a good glimpse of the three main religions in India, Hinduism, Islam and Jainism, throughout different centuries in the region.
    • Distance from Ahmedabad - 150 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Jama Masjid, Nagina Masjid, Juni Masjid, Kevada Masjid, Kalika Mata Temple and Jain Temple
    Kevada Masjid in Champaner (Image from Arian Zwegers)

    4. Palitana - Next is the temple town of Palitana, regarded sacred by Jains because this is where Lord Adinath was born, the first Jain tirthankara. There are over a thousand Jain temples in and around Palitana. But the greatest number of temples in just one mountain ever recorded was in Shatrunjaya hill, which is located in Palitana, having over 800 temples. The mountain is aptly named as the Shatrunjaya Hill Temple, where there are clusters of Jain temples at every nook and corner. The highest temple, the Adinath Temple, is located at the peak of the mountain and dedicated to Adinath which can be approached after 3,500 steps. The temple is richly ornamented with exquisite carvings and its pure marble facade is very stunning too. Yet it still exudes simplicity and peace, which is ultimately the main goal of any religious site. Also worth visiting is the Kumarpal Temple, located within the Shatrunjaya hill as well. It is regarded sacred too because it is here that Pundarika, a disciple of Adinath, gained nirvana. Even for the non Jains, a visit to Palitana can be very worthwhile and awe-inspiring, as you take a stroll around the largest temple complex in the world.
    • Distance from Ahmedabad - 211 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Shatrunjaya Hill Temple (Adinath Temple and Kumarpal Temple)
    • Related Thread - n/a
    Away from the concrete jungles...

    5. Bhavnagar - If you want a bit of an adventure, a place where you can still enjoy the tranquility of nature, head on to the Blackbuck National Park of Velavadar in Bhavnagar. The best part about the national park is that it has open tropical grasslands so the opportunity of spotting wildlife is higher. This is the home of the endemic blackbucks, a specie of antelopes found only in India now. If you have your own vehicle, you can bring it inside the national park, along with a government guide. You can also hire a jeep, in case you don't have your own vehicle, since the terrains inside the park can be bumpy. Aside from blackbucks, the national park is also home to other species of animals like nilgais, wolves, hyenas, jackals and wild boars. It's best to try for an early morning safari when spotting animals are easier as many rest during the day time. If you still have time, take a boat ride from the Ghogha Beach, about an hour or so away from the national park, to reach the Piram Bet Island. The island is the most pristine beach destination of Bhavnagar. It is basically a barren island, enveloped with lush greenery on one side, and the Gulf of Khambhat in the other.
    • Distance from Ahmedabad - 171 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Blackbuck National Park of Velavadar and Piram Bet Island
    Blackbuck National Park (Image from Bernard Gagnon)

    6. Polo Forest - Polo Forest is located in Abhapur in Gujarat, near to the border of the state with Rajasthan. It is about three hours away from Ahmedabad proper. If you enjoy trekking or nature trailing, the forests here are quite pristine and untouched by commercialisation yet. Picture a place filled with trees, streams of gurgling waters in rivers and waterfalls, views of the mountain ranges and even ruins of ancient temples, that is Polo Forest. Once a capital of the Idar dynasty in the 10th century, Polo Forest attracts nature lovers and history lovers alike. Before you reach it, make sure you reach the Varnav Dam, just outside the forest proper. This dam is very picturesque especially during and after the monsoon season. En route you can also visit religious sites like the Vireshwar Shiva Temple, Saraneshwar Shiva Temple and a Sun Temple. Trekking around the Core Area of the forest, you would enjoy the lush greenery of the mixed deciduous forests. The chirping of the birds, the sounds that all the other animals make as they become in contact with the plants, these can all invigorate you.
    • Distance from Ahmedabad - 152 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Core Forest Area, Varnav Dam, Vireshwar Shiva Temple, Saraneshwar Shiva Temple and Sun Temple
    • Related Thread - n/a
    Serene bird watching...

    7. Thol Bird Sanctuary - One of the nearest places to Ahmedabad for a one-day trip is the Thol Bird Sanctuary. As we all know, Gujarat is a haven for bird-watchers as birds from countries as far as Siberia migrate here during winter season. The Thol Bird Sanctuary is one such place where you can enjoy bird watching without venturing too far from the city. The Thol Lake provides for the feeding and breeding ground for different bird species in this sanctuary. Originally, it served its purpose as a water reservoir, built by the Gaekwad dynasty during the 19th century. The government noticed its importance as a bird sanctuary so declared it as the Thol Lake Bird Sanctuary thereafter. Though the lake is a freshwater one, the surrounding marshy grounds provide for the feeding areas of the birds. Make sure you reach the sanctuary early in the morning for the best bird watching experience. It closes late in the afternoon, by 5:00 pm, so make sure you reach before that time, if you can't make it early in the morning. Commonly spotted bird species here are great white pelicans, painted storks, kites, flamingoes, Indian spot-billed ducks, egrets, common hoopoes, Eurasian spoonbills, grey babblers and many more. You can easily spend a whole day just being fascinated by the numerous bird species in the sanctuary. However, make sure you bring your own water or snacks as tourist facilities are very limited here.
    • Distance from Ahmedabad - 36 Kilometres
    • Must Spot Birds - Great White Pelicans, Painted Storks, Kites, Flamingoes, Indian Spot-Billed Ducks, Egrets, Common Hoopoes, Eurasian Spoonbills and Grey Babblers
    • Related Thread - n/a
    8. Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary - Under two hours away from Ahmedabad is another bird sanctuary, the Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary. As compared to the Thol Bird Sanctuary, this one is more popular and has more tourists, perhaps because it is larger and more commercialised. On approaching the bird sanctuary, it's not uncommon to find birds flocking to the sides of the roads already. You need to pay for an entry fee once you reach the entry gate proper and then ride a shuttle taxi to reach the sanctuary proper. Still, your journey isn't over yet, you need to ride a boat in order to tour the sanctuary in its entirety. This costs an additional charge so make sure you haggle properly as the boatmen here don't have fixed rates. The sanctuary is known for its huge number of lesser and greater flamingoes. The pink-feathered birds can be spotted in various points along the sanctuary. Other bird species that you can spot here are egrets, grey herons, black cormorants, yellow wagtails and Eurasian coots. The boat ride lasts for around two hours, for the normal Rs. 1,320 rate, but you can lengthen your bird watching experience though the rate would be higher.
    • Distance from Ahmedabad - 67 Kilometres
    • Must Spot Birds - Lesser Flamingoes, Greater Flamingoes, Egrets, Grey Herons, Black Cormorants, Yellow Wagtails and Eurasian Coots
    • Related Thread - n/a
    Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary (Image from Sheetal Kulkarni)

    Recreation and fun...

    9. Himmatnagar - Himmatnagar is famed for one place and that is the Tirupati Rushivan, a theme park with both dry rides and water rides. It claims to be Gujarat's largest theme park, which is not unlikely because it is spread over a large expanse of land. The entry fee is very minimal too, at Rs. 100 for adults and Rs. 70 for children, with 3 free rides to choose from for each ticket. However, after your three free rides, you need to pay for the succeeding rides that you'd like to try. For the water park, entry fee is at Rs. 300 but this gives you access to all the slides, swimming pools and fun rides on it. If you're more of a sightseeing person, the park also has replicas of attractions like the Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, Taj Mahal and many more. For food, there are many stalls and dining areas that one can buy refreshments from as well. Modern attractions like the 6D Theatre, Archery, Rifle Shooting and Flying Fox are suitable for adventurous individuals. Families and friends alike would have tons of fun in this theme park. You can easily spend your whole day here, since it is not too far from Ahmedabad, just under two hours away.
    • Distance from Ahmedabad - 88 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Tirupati Rushivan
    • Related Thread - n/a
    10. Gandhinagar - Last on this list is the city of Gandhinagar, which you might be wondering, why is it included here? Well, Gandhinagar might be the bustling capital of the state but it has an assortment of fun theme parks that can be pursued from a one-day trip in Ahmedabad. Topping this section is the Indroda Nature Park, a nature theme park, with exhibits about dinosaurs in one section, a snake park in another section and of course, a zoo in another section. The dinosaur section is a favourite amongst tourists because it has life-sized statues of dinosaurs and a fossil section where skeletons and eggs of real life dinosaurs are displayed. It is believed that these dinosaur fossils are from the Cretaceous period of the region, which means they are over 60 million years old already. The snake section has alive venomous and non-venomous snakes, though they are caged for the safety of the tourists. The zoo section has some wild animals like leopards, tigers, deers and various bird species. There's also a small botanical garden that you can visit which features some cacti species and herbal plants. There's also the Fun World, a theme park with dry rides and water rides for guests. The amusement park has a number of simple kiddie rides as well as some thrilling adult rides. The water park has the usual lazy river and wave pool that everyone seems to enjoy. You can also combine a trip for the Snow World, just adjacent to the theme park, when in Gandhinagar. Last is the Aalloa Hills Resort & Golf Course, which is more like a nature park with resort facilities. If you want a nature getaway but don't have much time to venture away from the city, this is a good choice. The Sabarmati River flows within the resort, there are nature trails that you can try which would take you around dry river beds and lush forest views. It's surreal that such a place exists close to the city of Ahmedabad.
    • Distance from Ahmedabad - 27 Kilometres
    • Must Visit Attractions - Indroda Nature Park, Fun World and Aalloa Hills Resort & Golf Course
    Indroda Nature Park (Image from Gandhinagar Blog)


    Did you enjoy this list? Well, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and explore these destinations close to the city of Ahmedabad. Whether you're into heritage sites, religious sites or nature getaways, there's tons of places to choose from that won't require more than four hours of driving from Ahmedabad. Have fun!