Do you know what the concept of a twin city is? Well, suppose there are two cities that are in close geographical proximity. Both of them are developing in a more or less speed and almost in the same way. Resources and amenities are also present in equal amounts in both the cities. Thus, when two cities are almost identical to each other in nearly every respect, they are known as twin cities. In fact, because of the geographical proximity the cities share a cultural similarity as well.
In the Indian scenario, you will find quite a number of twin cities. Hyderabad and Secundrabad are well-known twin cities. Generally, the concept of twin cities is related to the development of those two places. All the twin cities show a rapid upward curve towards development. Another pair is the Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. While the former was the erstwhile capital of Gujarat, the latter is the current capital of the same state. Both of them have shown a synchronized growth curve due to numerous government policies as well.
However, do not for once think that these twin cities are only about technological development and economic growth. These two cities are well-known for their areas of tourist interest. While some include mosque and temples signifying the excellence of art and architecture, on the other hand, you have museums and nature parks. These two are, in fact, well-known tourist destinations. If you are planning to head out to this pair, then these are the top 10 places that you must see here:
- Akshardham Temple: Considered to be one of the wonders of the modern world, this temple complex was built by and dedicated to the Hindus. There is a huge garden that surrounds the main core area of the temple, and it is around 15 acres in measurement. This temple is dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan. A huge idol of his is placed within the Mandir or the temple area. This idol of the Lord is about 7ft in length and is gold leafed. Apart from these, you can also take a tour of the Vibhuti Mandapam and Prasadi Mandapam. The inside of the temple exudes a charm of its own. Located in Gandhinagar, this temple is truly worth a visit and is one of the main attractions here.
- Adalaj Trimandir: If you travel around 20kms away from the city of Ahmedabad, you are bound to come across a temple complex that promotes the unity of religion and is as non-sectarian as any temple can be. This temple complex houses Gods who are from three very different religions- Shaivism, Vaishnavism, and Jainism. While Shaivism means the practice of worshipping Lord Shiva (practiced mainly in the southern part of India), Vaishnavism means the worship of Lord Krishna. Jainism does not lay its faith in any God; it believes in the policy of ‘live and let live’ and practice extreme nonviolence, as shown by Jainism’s founder Mahavira.
- Sabarmati Ashram: Ahmedabad is also the city from where Gandhi operated. He lived here, and he successfully conducted various movements from here as well. The suburbs of the main city are where this Ashram is located. The location is extremely beautiful, and it derives its name from the River Sabarmati that flows right by it. This Ashram has now been turned into a guest house in order to preserve the various documents and objects of historical importance that have been found here.
- Kankaria Lake: Right in the southern part of Ahmedabad you will find the second largest lake in the city- the Kankaria Lake. A lot of tourist attractions and recreational centres have developed surrounding the lake here. You will find a zoo, avail toy train rides and everything that is a child’s delight in this area! If you are travelling with your family have kids, then do try out the surrounding areas of the Kankaria Lake.
- Adalaj Stepwell: In the arid regions of this country were mainly found these architectural wonders called step well. This structure, often accompanied with intricate carvings, went so deep into the ground that it reached the water table, and it is from here that water was extracted for daily use. One such stepwell is located in the village, Adalaj, which is near Ahmedabad. It’s interesting structure and detailed carvings garner a lot of tourist attention even to this day!
- Sidi Bashir Mosque: There are numerous numbers of mosques that are located in both Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. This mosque is of particular interest because of its architecture. Thanks to the shaking minarets that are seen in this structure, this mosque is also often referred to as the Jhulta Minar. This gigantic structure also happens to be one of the largest in India.
- Hutheesing Jain Temple: When it comes to Jain temples in the city of Ahmedabad, this is the most well known one. The Manastambha in this temple is in honour of Dharmanatha who was the fifteenth of all the Jain Tirthankaras. Spread out over a large area and with a quaint atmosphere about it; it is one of the best places for some spiritual soul searching and meditation.
- Indroda Nature Park: In the city of Gandhinagar, you will find a huge nature park that covers a total area of 400 acres! It is also popularly referred to as the Jurassic Park of India. The Indroda Nature Park situated on the banks of the river Sabarmati is truly worth a visit!
- Gates of Ahmedabad: Ahmedabad is also popularly referred to as the walled city. This is because of the fact that there are numerous gates that mark the entry points of the city. With the expansion of the city, these gates are now a part of city streets. Lal Darwaja is probably the most famed of all the gates in the city.
- Bhadra Fort: Built by Sultan Ahmad Shah, this fort stands today as one of the most important artefacts of historical significance. The temple of Bhadra kali, the Clock Tower, and the Teen Darwaza are some of the major attractions to be found in this place.
Apart from the above ten, there are many more areas of special interest that you will find in these two cities. One thing is for sure; you will never run out of places of tourist interest in the fast developing twin cities of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar!