Ahmedabad Heritage Walk

Ahmedabad Heritage Walk will show you a side of Ahmedabad that is not so known among tourists. Before my trip with the Ministry of Tourism and Gujarat Tourism I always associated food and entrepreneurs with the city of Ahmedabad, however, the Ahmedabad Heritage Walk opened my eyes and I was mesmerised by the architectural beauty and rich heritage of Ahmedabad. No doubt why Ahmedabad has been given the honour of UNESCO World Heritage City and the first city in India to get this honour.

If you are travelling to Ahmedabad then going on an Ahmedabad Heritage Walk is an absolute must-do. In this detailed blog, I will cover the places to visit and also how you can book the tour and the price of this Ahmedabad Heritage walk is absolutely affordable at just Rs 200 per person for Indians & Rs 300 per person for Foreigners.

The Ahmedabad heritage walk truly signifies the religious diversity of India as it name – Mandir to Masjid walk. The Ahmedabad heritage walk starts at the Temple and ends at a Masjid which will absolutely keep you spellbound.

Well before we get into the details of the Ahmedabad Heritage Walk let's understand the history of Ahmedabad which will help you to under the nuances of the heritage walk better.

    History of Ahmedabad City

    The history of Ahmedabad traces back to the 11th Century when it was named Karnavati. King Karandev 1 was a Solanki ruler who defeated the Bhil kings and then he went ahead to establish this city of Ahmedabad along the Sabarmati river.

    The Solanki rulers ruled Karnavati ( i.e. erstwhile name of Ahmedabad) till the late 13th century when they were defeated by the Muzzafar Shah of Delhi Sultanate. Around 1487 Ahmed Shah fortified the city with a 10 kilometres wall with 12 gates and changed the name from Karnavati to Ahmedabad after his name. 

    Thus the name Ahmedabad was born.

    The city of Ahmedabad was built in Indo-Aryan style with the main road and subsidiary roads branching out from the main road. The city grew in leaps and bounds under Ahmed Shah and the Sultans of Gujarat where the city expanded. The city of Ahmedabad was well built with demarcated residential complexes, areas for bazaars, mausoleums and mosques and also came up with some beautiful gardens.

    Around the year 1573, Akbar, The great Mughal emperor conquered the city of Ahmedabad. Slowly the importance of Ahmedabad as one of the capital cities got lost under the Mughal rulers. The city was always an important place for the textile industry and it used to export raw materials as well as finished textiles to Europe. It was known as the Manchester of the East.

    Around the year 1753, the Maratha rulers Raghunath Rao and Damaji Gaekwad defeated the weakened Mughal empire and took over the control of the Ahmedabad city. The city started getting ruled by the Peshwas & The Gaekwads both where Peshwas controlled a bigger area of the city.

    The Britishers took control of the city in 1818 and started developing the city in an orderly way. They also established a military cantonment.

    The city of Ahmedabad played an important role in India’s independence movement when Mahatma Gandhi established two ashrams mainly the Satyagraha Ashram which took a place for many important activities related to the independence movement.

    Ahmedabad Heritage Walk and The Places of Interest in Ahmedabad

    Now let us travel through the city of Ahmedabad and witness the beautiful architecture, unique way of life and rich history of Ahmedabad.

    The following is the Map of the Ahmedabad Heritage Walk which is known as Mandir to Masjid walk.
    The walk start around 7:30am and you have to walk leisurely for 2 kms to witness the rich heritage which will take you around 2 hours.

    Swaminarayan Temple in Kalupur

    As you start your walk, the first sight of this masjectic temple will make you spellbound. The gate is intricately designed to depict human life. You will see cross-culture influences of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Marathi on this gate. The gate depicts various aspects of Human life like wrestlings, warriors, duels. The gate opens up the massive courtyard of the temple and the temple itself. 


    The temple has beautiful wooden carvings with Burma teak. During this Mandir to Masjid, Ahmedabad Heritage walk you will see the use of Burma teak for making houses as well and shows the importance of this material in the life of the people of Ahmedabad.

    The entire temple and the complex are intricately decorated and it’s a beauty to watch.

    Swaminarayan Sampradaya or sect is a part of the Hindu Vaishnav sect that worship the founder Swami Sahajanand. Swami Sahajanand is believed to be the avatar of Lord Krishna and also known as Swami Narayan. This is the first Swaminarayan temple of the Swaminarayan sect and thus plays an extremely important role.

    As the saying goes “ The morning shows the Day”, we could easily understand what lies for us if the start of the walk i.e. Mandir was so grand.

    Kavi Dalpatram Chowk

    From Swaminarayan temple, after navigating through the narrow lanes of the old Ahmedabad city we reached Kavi Dalpatram chowk also known as Dalpatram chowk.

    The chowk is surrounded by very old buildings and at the centre lies now façade of the house of the Dalpatram Dahyabhai who was a famous Gujarati poet and who lived between 1820-1898. Over the years the actual house was lost due to natural decay and doesn’t exist anymore. A façade that looks like a house has been erected in his memory and a black metallic statue has been erected.

    Few serene moments can be spent here and its provides a perfect place for a photo opportunities.

    The Pols of Ahmedabad

    The most interesting part of our Ahmedabad heritage walk was the Pols. So if you are wondering what is the meaning of Pol, then this is word is derived from the Sanskrit word Pratoli meaning entrance to an enclosed area.

    In Ahmedabad, the pols was a housing cluster of people who comprised of similar caste, professions or religions. People from the same background used to stay in these pols and it was a self sustained place with water wells, temples, places of trade etc. It is believed that these enclosed living areas were made as a protective measure from the riots which was very common between the Mughal-Maratha rule.

    A pol used to have a main entrance and there were few secret entrances or connected routes between various pols which were known only to the residents there and thus used as an escape route during any emergency.
    After visiting the Kavi Dalpatram Chowk we started exploring the Pols and getting lost in the old world.

    Khara Kuva Ni Pol

    Khara Kuva means Well that is salty. The Pol gets it to name from the well inside this well which has saltwater. It's really unique to see a well-having saltwater. The well is really intricately designed and its a huge structure which you can’t miss.


    While you enter the pol notice the extremely small windows on the entrance gate. These were basically security windows which were used by the people of the Pol to keep a watch on the roads and the people who are entering the pol.

    Kala Ramji Mandir

    From Khara Kuva ni Pol we walked towards the Kala Ramji temple which was built approximately 400 years ago. The unique part of this Kala Ramji mandir is also known as the Haveli mandir as people reside inside the complexes.

    Another uniqueness of Kala Ramji Mandir is that Lord Rama is in a sitting position rather than a standing position which is mostly seen in Rama idols.

    Shantinath Ni Pol & Derasar

    Our next stop of the Ahmedabad Heritage walk was the Shantinath Ni Pol & Derasar. I really loved this Pol as, as soon as you enter the Pol you will be transformed to the bygone era of the Pol life. There is an interesting sitting area with wooden benches where people used to sit for a chit chat or evening gossips.

    Every pol has Chabutaro which is used for feeding the birds and this Pol has a very unique and intricately designed Chabutaro.

    You must be wondering by now why I am mentioning Derasar here in this Shantinath Ni Pol. Well at the corner of the poll there is a Jain Derasar or Jain temple. This Jain temple houses Shantinath Tirthankar and hence the name of the Pol. Earlier the temple was built completely of woods, however now it has been rebuilt with marble and the intricate wooden carvings have been kept intact.

    Kuvavala Khancha

    As I was mentioning earlier, Pol consisted of various narrow passages which were secret passages too, well this Pol gets its name from Khancha meaning narrow spaces in Gujarati.

    Kuvavala Khancha is a unique Pol where you can see various architectures from various periods. You can observe buildings depicting British architecture, Gujarati architecture, Marathi and Persian architecture. If you are an architecture fan then you will be mesmerised with this beauty of Kuvavala Khancha Pol.

    Popat Na Gokh or Parrot Holes

    The birds used to play an important role in the lives of the people staying here as its apparent from various Chabutaros or holes for Parrots.

    In every Pol, you can find intricately designed Chabutaros meant for feeding birds. In earlier days people used to make holes on the walls of their houses so that Parrots and other birds can make nests there. This place was extremely serene and close to nature as you could hear birds chirping and instantly you will connect with nature here in the mid of the city.

    Though hardly you will find parrots here however you will find the Parrot holes being taken over by the pigeons and for me, it was a perfect metaphor for how human beings are taking over nature.

    Doshivada Ni Pol

    The architectural heritage and intricately carved buildings is mesmerising and once this Pol was used by the goldsmith community to stay. The carvings here are breathtaking and so intricately carved. During our Ahmedabad Heritage Walk, we spent quite a time here taking pictures, so you can understand the beauty of this place.

    If you want to stay in a Gujarati Haveli in the mid of Pol then there is a heritage hotel here which is converted from a heritage home. This will be the perfect opportunity to stay here.

    Harkunvar Shethni ni Haveli

    If I had to pick one highlight of Ahmedabad Heritage Walk, then it has been Harkunvar Shethni Ni Haveli. This was one of the most intricately designed houses with wooden work made out of Burma Teak. The design draws inspiration from Chinese architecture as you can see a visible dragon in the carvings. This haveli has a connection with the Nehru family as Krishna, the youngest sister of Jawaharlal Nehru was married into the Hutheesing family who owns this Haveli. 

    Sadly we couldn’t enter to see the majestic beauty as we heard that this Haveli has 60 rooms which open to a courtyard filled with wooden pillars with similar carvings. If the outside is so beautiful I can only dream how beautiful the interiors will be.

    Fernandez Bridge

    Fernandez Bridge is the Mecca for book lovers and students. If you have heard about College street of Kolkata then this is a smaller version of College street. Under the Fernandez bridge, you can find bookstalls selling all kinds of books. It is said that if you can’t find a book in Fernandez Bridge then probably not available anywhere in Gujarat.

    Old Ahmedabad Stock Exchange

    Now I can easily say I have seen the Top 3 Oldest Market in India and Asia starting with Bombay Stock Exchange, Calcutta Stock Exchange & Ahmedabad stock exchange. Our Ahmedabad Heritage walk took us to this magnificent building which has a huge influence of colonial architecture. No trade happens here and by the way, Ahmedabad Stock Exchange is the second oldest stock exchange in the country after the Bombay Stock Exchange. You can now understand the importance of the city of Ahmedabad in trade.

    Mahurat Pol

    This was the first Pol of the city of Ahmedabad and hence the name Mahurat. 

    Mahurat means an auspicious time for something auspicious to begin. Since this was the first Pol and hence the name of Mahurat Pol was given.

    The mahurat pol is right across the Ahmedabad Stock exchange and it is believed to be built by Ahmad Shah himself and he would spend time here in this Pol.

    Manek Chowk

    Even if you have not visited Ahmedabad, I am sure you must have heard this name in movies, read in books or have heard in news.  The Manek chowk is a jewellery market during the daytime and turns into a food street at night. I just have to visit Ahemdabad again just to enjoy the food at Manek Chowk in night.

    Badshah No Hajiro

    This is an important place in the history of Ahmedabad City as the tomb of Ahmed Shah – 1 is situated here. The architecture is beautiful.

    One interesting aspect you will see is there are many small tombs just opposite to Badshah No Hajiro on which people have made buildings and they stay there too. These small tombs were of the people who served the Badshah. Many wanted to rest in peace near Badshah and hence the small tombs.

    Jama Masjid

    This was the last stop of our Mandir to Masjid Ahmedabad Heritage Walk. The mosque is one of the most important mosque in the state of Gujarat and also in India. The architecture and the the interior is just breathtaking, but sadly only men were allowed inside.

    Jama masjid houses the tomb of Royal families. The prayer hall of Jama masjid can easily accommodate 2000 people. 

    The architecture is extremely unique as it derives inspiration from Islamic & Gujarati architecture. This is one of the oldest mosques in the country and was built by Ahmad Shah -1.

    Finally our Ahmedabad Heritage Walk ended and we returned with some great insights of the city and unknown facts and history which was not known to me before.

    Shoestring Travel

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