Ahmedabad in Western India
The largest city in Gujarat, Ahmedabad has a river running through it and traditionally is known for the textiles industry. There is a wonderful textile museum well worth a visit. There's also some very old buildings to visit dating back over the city's 900 odd year history. The famous leader Ghandi also lived here and many visitors come to see the ashram where he once lived.
Annual Ahmedabad festivities
The 12th to 14th January is 'Makar Sankranti', the arrival of Spring. The Kite Flying Festival follows on straight after on 14/5th January. Muharram (muslim month) sees the procession of Tajia. Monsoon is from mid-June and there are special monsoon foods at street stalls (e.g. Kichu). In August there's the Rakshabandhan (Rakhi) and Janmastami festivals - the birth date of Lord Krishna. September/October: Navratri (Navadurga Parva) sees the 9 Days Pooja celebrations for the 9 Forms of Shakti, with local dances (Garba). Deepavali is in October/November which is the festival of lights. Dates vary for Eid al-Fitr marking the end of Ramadan (Sugar Feast), and Eid al Adha - the Sacrifice Feast.
Visas and other useful knowledge
Visas are needed for India. Regulations vary, however, 'British citizen' passport holders may be able to apply for an e-Tourist Visa. Passports will need two blank pages and a minimum validity of 6 months at the time of application.
Vaccinations should be up to date. Other recommendations include: Hepatitis A, cholera, typhoid, diphtheria, polio and tetanus.
The language is Gujarat, but Hindi and English are all spoken too.
The cost of living is far cheaper than in London, and a cheap thali, including salad, bread, pulses, vegetable curries and sweets, costs around INR100. A restaurant meal costs around Rs250, and a beer is about INR100.
Getting about and local info.
Taxis from the airport are about INR300 - 400, an auto rickshaw is around INR150 - INR200, but always negotiate with the driver in advance. There is also a bus operated by AMTS that takes passengers into the city centre.
A cheap hostel in Ahmedabad will be about INR700; mid-range from INR1700, and luxury roughly INR3400. Taxis are rare in Ahmedabad, but there are buses and rickshaws. Negotiate, the start rate should be about INR20 and INR15 for every 1 km + 25% extra between 23 h - 6 h. Buses are about INR4. Day passes are about INR45. BRTS buses are faster than those operated by AMTS. There's no bus service between 11 pm and 6 am.
For food head to SG Road and the central square 'Manek Chowk" where you will find food stalls and markets.