Gandhinagar is the capital of Gujarat and is one of the earliest planned cities in India. It lies on the banks of the river Shabarmati and is well known for its educational and research institutes. It is located about 30 km north east of Ahmedabad and was the newly created capital for the state of Gujarat after it was bifurcated from the Mumbai state. There are numerous places of tourist importance in Gandhinagar.
No trip to Gandhinagar in Gujarat is complete without a visit to the Akshardham Temple. Infact, the people of Gandhinagar take special pride in it. And, why not? It has the best combinations of traditional stone architecture, ancient wisdom, and the best of modern technology that goes in making it an ultimate tourist destination to create the most powerful experience of Indian Culture to exist, ever.
For the traveler with a religious bent of mind, the temple provides the right ambience to thank the Almighty for His blessings. The temple has been dedicated to Lord Swaminarayana of the ‘Swaminarayan Sect’ - the richest sect in the world. An imposing golden figure of the Lord Swaminarayan has been placed inside the temple along with life like idols of other gods and deities. The temple is the result of the service and devotion of thousands of volunteers. And every day, it satisfies the spiritual thirst of all its visitors turning their visit into a private pilgrimage. For those who are interested in architecture cannot help but marvel at the majestic structure that has been built from 6000 tonnes of pink sandstone from Rajasthan, which have been neatly fashioned together to make the temple consisting of 93 carved pillars, 40 sculpted windows and numerous other stone statues. The walls have been ornately done with literally every inch of the structure carved in the most refined way.
And what’s more the architectural delight did not use any steel or iron rods in the construction, taking us to the traditional era when these metals were not available. Infact, the temple has been designed and crafted according to ancient Indian Architectural Treatises (called the Sthaapatya shastras). The monument consisting of three floors radiates a spiritual aura which fills the mind of every traveler with peace and tranquility.
For those who would like to enlighten themselves about Hinduism and Indian culture, the temple has ample scope. The temple also houses a Research Center called AARSH which stands for Applied Research in Social Harmony. This centre is unique in its own way. It draws inspiration from the past, studies the present and prepares solutions for the future. Located in the peaceful surroundings of the Akshardham Complex, it serves as a seat of education. With wide range of activities, this research center brings the scholars of the society together to exchange the ideas and opinions to bring the social harmony.
For the curious children, there are various multimedia and audio animatronics shows that take you back to an era of bliss and contentment. The light and sound show depicting the life and times of the Lord Swaminarayan is worth watching. But to enjoy the exhibition you have to reach before 5.30pm.
If you want to spend a relaxed evening in the temple premises then you are definitely in the right place. The temple is set in the multi-acre garden, Sahajanand van, with intricate sculpture of Hindu Gods, beautifully landscaped garden with lakes and waterfalls, rock gardens and spray fountains that catches everyone’s attention. The cafeteria and other amusements equipments for recreation make it an attractive family outing. Infact, it is the best place for education, entertainment as well as enlightenment for both young and the old.
You can visit the place anytime of the year, but make sure you don’t go there on Mondays, as they take weekly off.
This is a good picnic spot for families, children and the youth. There is a lake and you may avail the boating facility provided. There is a mini train also which children may find very amusing.
Akin to the Children`s park the Sarita Udyan as the name suggests is a park and is a prominent picnic spot. The recreational facilities available here are one of a kind and is a must visit.
Adjacent to the Sarita Udyan is the deer park. It serves as a perfect refuge for those seeking some calm and peace away from the din of the city. It’s not merely for the young but you can see older people visiting the place as well.
The highly advanced capital city, Gandhinagar also has a distinct place which is dedicated to the art of Bandhani prints .The village is situated about 7 km form the capital city. It is popular not merely for the prints but also wooden blocks carved with exquisite designs on hand printed cloth. Those of you who wish to purchase some ethnic bandhani printed fabric must visit the place as you get them at very reasonable prices.
We are sure you would enjoy Gandhinagar- one of the three planned cities of India, apart from Bhubaneshwar and Chandigarh.
By Air: The nearest Airport is situated at Ahmedabad.
By Rail: The nearest railway heads are at Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad. They are connected with all the major cities of India.
By Road: State transport buses connect various cities of Gujarat.
Some of the best quality accommodation facilities available in and around Gandhinagar include Hotel Haveli, Sovereign-The Heritage Hotel, Taj Residency Ummed, Cama Park Plaza, Comfort Inn Sunset, Inder Residency, Holiday Inn, Hotel Westend and Fortune Landmark.
Safe & Secure Shopping