At the end of 2016 I had to do a couple of short trips to Ahmedabad for some personal work and while I was there, decided to cross a couple of items off my perenially growing travel bucket-list: Sabarmati Ashram and the Adalaj stepwell.
Sabarmati Ashram: The Ashram is an open air, free entry museum along the Sabarmati river with nothing but a few bare essentials that belonged to Gandhi on display – his spectacles, a walking stick, some chappals and a spinning chakra. That’s about it. You get to walk around his house and courtyard and get a sense of where and how he lived. The open air museum just built next to it is a nice structure full of opinionated propagandist writing about Gandhi posed in the form of leading questions – with the answers provided. I’ve never before seen such a blatant display of biased historical information that is looking to preserve its established hero in formaldehyde. Oh well, at least I’ve been there now.
Adalaj stepwell: This was my first visit to a stepwell anywhere in India and I didn’t regret it for one moment. I took a cab there to the village of Adalaj, about 30minutes by Uber just outside the main city centre, and back. It didn’t take more than an hour to walk around the fantastic structure full of ornate details painstakingly carved into every pillar and post. It was around the time of the Diwali holidays so there was quite a mob of people milling around in the late afternoon. Go in the early morning when I suppose its quieter. The stepwell’s beauty lies in its carved details as well as the slightly asymmetrical architecture that cuts deep into the earth’s bowels.