January 2007
a walking tour of Ahmedabad

We started our walking tour in the complex of the colourful Swaminarayan mandir.

Sachin and I have heard of this city all our lives, but this was our own first exploration


it was more diverse, curious and intriguing than we could have imagined - like being in a fairy tale!


morning monkey parade


our guide weaved us through the alleyways of the old town, full of details, contrasts and surprises




woman grinding sandalwood into a fine paste for temple ceremonies

we arrived just after the kite festival, casualties of which still fluttered in all sorts of places

children in the town




obligatory cow in front of a temple, and a statue of the poet Dalpatram

ancient and immense baoli - a reservoir for common water supplies
with Sachin illustrating the scale

(glad something loomed over him for a change)

one irritating aspect of the
otherwise entertaining film Swades -
the idea that rural India needs
NASA-trained engineers to do
communal water projects!
on the other hand
its sad to see how much
such civilised ways of living
have been forgotten
or abandoned


a more colourful baoli in the same area

I love the mixed and contrasting architectural styles of Ahmedabad - Hindu, Jain and Muslim

a tiny child pushing a rickety cart and family member, while a woman carries fodder

many Gujaratis still live in the desperate poverty which partly led to our diaspora

I remember that poverty whenever I hear boasts of new toll roads and broadband internet access -
though Gujarat is fabulous, there is still a long way to go for those less who are less fortunate