Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat, resides on the banks of River Sabarmati. Contrasting with the chaotic city life of Ahmedabad, Gandhinagar is on the peaceful side. The broad avenues, fortified houses, open areas, proper jogging tracks and walking gardens, Gandhinagar is one of the well planned cities of the nation. The city has been named after Mahatma Gandhi and in 1970 the secretariat was moved here. It also is the home to the politicians of Gujarat. Enlisted here are 10 places that one must see while on a trip to Gandhinagar.
1. Akshardham Temple
Akshardham Temple is an amalgam of religion, architecture, art, exhibitions and research sprawling in about 23 acres of land. An intricate craftsmanship of over thousand artisans is reflected in the temple premises. Nearly 6000 tonnes of pink sandstones were used to make the main temple stand amidst the manicured lawns. The temple belongs to the Swaminarayan Sect where the worshipping sculpture is a gold-leafed statue of Lord Swaminarayan which stands about seven feet tall.The temple is an architectural masterpiece.
2. Adlaj Step Well
Beautifully carved Step-well or Vav, (as it is commonly called in Gujarati) Adlaj Step Well is a splendid example of Indo-Islamic architecture. Built in the 15th century by Queen Rudabai, the well extends a several stories inside the ground. The step well has three entrance staircases and intricate ornamental carvings along with carved flowers, leaves and birds on the walls and pillars. This octagonal well is truly artistic. It is believed to be used by travellers in the early days. Also because of its architecture the well inside is cooler as the sunlight doesn’t reach the well directly except for a brief period during the day.
3. Gujarat Science City
Gujarat Science City is an initiative of the Government of Gujarat to encourage the students towards science. The science city comprises of an amphitheatre, energy park, Hall of science, planet earth and Life Science Park along with others. Currently spreading science activities in an area of 107 hectares it is proposed to extend and acquire a total area of 300 hectares for carrying out science related activities. The park has a unique charm that pulls people of all age to explore science.
4. Indroda Dinosaur and Fossil Park
India’s own Jurrasic Park, Indroda Dinosaur and Fossil Park is said to be the second largest ground where the dinosaurs hatched eggs. The fossilised eggs and some skeleton parts of these gigantic animals were found on this ground. The park is managed by GEERI (Gujarat Ecological and Research Foundation) and was set up by Geological Survey of India. This park is the sole Dinosaur Museum in the country. Some fossil track ways are also on display in this park.
5. Craftsmen’s Village
A little hamlet on the outskirts of Gandhinagar, Pethapur is also known as the Craftsmen’s Village. Once richly famed for its bandhani work that includes dying and tying the cloth and recreate a typical pattern. Nowadays the village is famous for the wooden blocks that have unique patterns and are used to hand pattern the cloth. These wooden blocks are exported. The vibrancy of the village will take you deep down to the roots of the local culture.
Trimandir is a collection of three sanctums that together combine and make this beautiful temple come to life. Carved with pink sandstones the temple is dedicated to a number of deities. The right sanctum is devoted to Lord Shiv, Parvati Devi, Lord Hanuman and Lord Ganesha. The centre sanctum has Lord Simandhar Swami and the third sanctum houses Tirupati Balaji, Shreenathji, Bhadrakali Maa and Shree Amba Maa.
7. Hanuman Temple
The hanuman temple is a symbolic representation of sacrifice, loyalty, devotion and bravery. The saffron coloured idol bears a mountain over the shoulder. The temple is situated in the main city and is conveniently accessible. A lot of devotees come here on regular bases.
8. Mahudi Jain Temple
The temple dedicated to Ghantakarna Mahavir, Mahudi Jain Temple is a Jain Pilgrimage. The temple is built in an area that extends around 2 kms in length. The artistic remains of the temple along with the idols that were excavated from the ground are about 2000 years old as inscribed in the Brahami Script written over them. The idol is considered to be a reincarnation of King Tungabhadra who was considered to be a protector of the needy and hence the idol has a bow and an arrow in the hands. The idol is also said to possess miraculous powers.
9. Children’s Park
Children’s park is one of the most beautiful parks that are built in the city. The park has recreational and fun activities for people of all age group. The park also encompasses a beautiful lake and boating facilities are available here. Also the park has a mini train that is a favourite amongst the children.
10. Sarita Udyan
Sarita Udyan as the name suggests is the garden by the river. On the banks of River Sabarmati this beautiful garden boasting a diverse flora makes the garden spectacular. The fragrances that merge with the fresh air and overlooking the clear waters of the sea, Sarita Udyan is famous among the tourists and the locals. Also the deer park adjacent to it makes the place a revitalizing experience for people from all age groups.
Gandhinagar shows a class of well-planned area and has tried to connect the modern trends without leaving the cultural roots. Being the capital of a state, it surely lives up to the expectation.