Ahmedabad, the city in Gujarat is known for its sightseeing places like Gandhi Ashram, Riverfront Park and Sabarmati River. But what if you are planning for a weekend trip from the city? No doubt away from the teeming heads of the metropolitan, you will be looking for some relaxing and virgin place to tuck in. In this post, I have tried to condense 7 best weekend destinations from Ahmedabad. The list includes my choice of weekend destinations near Ahmedabad that can be covered in a day or two.
Located in the Mehsana district, Patan is a 3- hour drive from Ahmedabad. The place is well known for its 11th-century stepwell of Rani Ki Vav. Situated in the heart of a lush green garden, this stepwell attracts a large number of tourists every day. Apart from the stepwell, other tourist places in Patan include Patan Museum, Shastralinga Talav, Hemchandra Acharya Gyan Mandir, Jain temples and Khan Sarovar. This historical sightseeing place near Ahmedabad also homes the timeless tradition of Patola silk. Besides, there is a factory cum exhibition centre where visitors can perceive the Patola silk in making and even buy them.
- Modhera Sun temple
Just before you reach Patan, on the same road comes the 11th-century Modhera Sun temple. Inside the temple premises, you will find an assembly of three carved halls with ornate facades and pillars opening up to a stepwell. As the name suggests the temple is dedicated to the Sun God, the supreme among the Navagrahas in Hindu mythology. Modhera Dance Festival is an annual program organized by Gujarat Tourism in the temple premises that attracts artists and spectators all across the country. You can cover both Modhera and Patan in a day and come back. The only thing you need is to start early.
- Statue of Unity
A smooth drive of 3 hours or even less will fetch you to this recently developed tourism zone of Statue of Unity. It is located near Sardar Sarovar dam on river Narmada. The statue is that of activist Sardar Ballavbhai Patel who was the first deputy prime minister and home minister of independent India. Beating the Statue of Liberty in New York, it is the tallest statuette in the world. The place is perfect for a family picnic or weekend outing. Botanical gardens, elevated viewpoints, riverfronts and adjacent hillocks render an awesome view of the place. This place can be easily covered in a day. Make sure you attend the light and sound show in the evening.
The hill station of Saputara is 400 km from Ahmedabad and is one of the best places to visit during monsoons. The place is a real charm in showers. The peaks of the Western Ghats surround this dwelling that is home to some splendid waterfalls and bottomless lakes. Major tourist attractions here list Gira Waterfalls, Saputara Lake, Botanical garden, Jain Temple, Sunset point and aquarium. At times when the sky is clear and wind good, the place also hosts adventure activities like paragliding. Every year Gujarat tourism organises an annual Monsoon Festival in Saputara. I will surely recommend an overnight stay here.
- Polo forest
Another green destination during monsoon is Polo forest. Just 170 km away from Ahmedabad, the National Forest in Abhapur is better known as Polo forest. Some people also call it as Vijaynagar forest. The forest homes several ancient temples like Surya temple and Shiv temple. A few 15th-century Jain temples are also located inside the woods. Reports say that the woods are home to bears, hyenas and even leopards along with a wide variety of birds and florae. Polo forest is one of the best places near Ahmedabad to plan a family outing. Avoid the summers and plan Polo in monsoon or winter. You can certainly make it in a day.
If you want to perceive the remains of the Indus Valley civilization, come to Lothal. It is just 2-hour drive of the city and is indeed an offbeat destination to peep in. Though Lothal was excavated during the 1950s, it’s historical history is 3700 years old. This prehistoric site is claimed to be the world’s first port with a dock. Remaining of drainage systems, dockyards and burial grounds can still be spotted at Lothal. The archaeological museum nearby exhibits the relics from the excavation ground that includes metal tools, weights, seals and pottery artefacts.
Just bordering the state of Gujarat, stands the city of Silvassa. It is the capital of the Union Territory of Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Silvassa is another offbeat place from Ahmedabad and is a top choice among both couples and families. Vanganga Lake, wildlife park, Dudhani, and Island Garden are some of the most visited places in Silvassa. With the availability of plenty of hotels, you can spend overnight here while concluding Silvassa sightseeing.
Since Gujarat is much hot and dry during summers, avoid visiting the place during this time. If you have your own vehicle, you can drive yourself to the above-mentioned places. Or else, hire a cab to see the places smoothly and hassle-free.