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Gandhinagar: Capital & Smart City of Gujarat

Gandhinagar, capital of the state Gujarat listed among potential 100 smart cities under smart city mission by the Ministry of Urban Development. Of course, it is a planned city with 30 sectors, trees on both sides of the road, and markets along with beautiful gardens. It is an educational hub with several colleges, institutes, and universities. Let’s have a real-time experience of living in Gandhinagar. 🙂


What is it like to be in the city?

We have been living in the city for the last two years and acquainted well with the city hustle. Before coming to Gandhinagar, we had lived in Chandigarh (another very well planned city and Union Territory of India). Obviously, we would be comparing life in both cities. No doubt, Gandhinagar city plan is greatly influenced by The City Beautiful- Chandigarh.

We have found certain things quite impressive but at the same time, few things are heads up for the city- Gandhinagar. 🧐 Let’s find out!


1. Impressive Architectural Beauty: Akshardham Temple

Swaminarayan Akshardham is a large Hindu Temple complex inspired by Lord Swaminarayan. The complex was built over 13 years and is dedicated to the life of Swaminarayan and his teachings. The Temple complex is spread in 23-acre land and is built from Rajasthani pink sandstone.

Main Attractions-

  • The Focal point of Temple: The central chamber of Temple has a seven-foot gold leafed sacred idol of Lord Swaminarayan. No steel or iron has been used in the Temple. There are many carved pillars, domes, balconies, and sculpted figures.
  • Abhishek Mandapam: This is an area designated for all visitors to perform Abhishek on murti of a Yogic form of Swaminarayan.
  • Exhibition Hall: There are five exhibition halls to explore various themes in Hinduism with audio-visual presentations.
  • Laser light & Sound Water Show: The show's title is Sat-Chit-Anand Water Show which is an interpretative performance of Nachiketa (son of a rishi named Udalak), translates to Truth-Knowledge-Bliss. This show brings to life an age-old tale from ‘Kathopanishad’. The story offers lessons of living by principles, realizing one’s true self, perseverance in the face of difficulties. This is a vibrant show of water fountains, fire explosions, laser projections, music and live performances by the two actors. It lasts for 45 minutes and starts every evening at 7:30 PM, except on Mondays. 
  • Sahajanand Van: There is 15 acre garden with lots of attractions including fountains, waterfalls, rock arrangements, plant nursery, and sculptures of Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, Sun chariot, Lord Swaminarayan, spot depicting holy rivers Ganga, Yamuna, and Saraswati.


  • Note:

No camera and mobile phones or any other electronic devices are allowed inside the complex. However, you are allowed to take your wallet.

  • If you want your photograph in front of Akshardham Temple then a paid photography counter is available inside the complex.
  • At Abhishek mandapam, visitors are allowed to perform abhishek on murti after getting a proper fee receipt from the counter available.


Facilities:

Parking Facility- Paid

Food Court- Vegetarian only

Cloakroom- free

Wheel Chairs- Free

Restrooms

Timings:

Temple Entry- 9:30 AM to 7:30 PM

Exhibitions- 10:00 Am to 5:30 PM

Abhishek Mandapam- 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Water Show- After sunset 7:30 PM (Currently)

Tuesday to Sunday (Monday closed)

Entry Fee:

Exhibition- Rs.60/- (adults)

Rs.40/- (children)

Water Show- Rs.90/- (adult),

Rs.60/- (children 3-11 years)

Address: Sector 20, 'J' Road, Gandhinagar - 382 020 Gujarat, India.


2. Indroda Nature Park

This is the best place for a morning walk and Boon to photographers. The nature park is a perfect place for a family picnic, bird watchers, wildlife Seekers. This Park is basically an initiative by the Forest Department of Gandhinagar to conserve the natural environment.

What to expect?

  • Dinosaur & Fossil Park- It is run by Gujarat Ecological & Research Foundation (GEER). Also known as Jurassic park of India. The park displays Dinosaur life-size models with details of each period in which they existed along with displays of eggs and fossils.

Dinosaur Fossil Park @Gandhinagar

  • Wilderness Park- Innumerable number of species of birds, reptiles, Nilgais (blue bull), monkeys, and peacocks can be seen in its vast forest.

Indroda Nature Park @Gandhinagar

  • Skeleton of Sea creatures- There is a skeleton of blue whale and dolphin at display in the park.
  • Other things- There are a botanical garden, amphitheater, and camping facilities inside the park.

Indroda botanical garden @Gandhinagar


Timings: 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM (except Monday)

Entry fee: Rs.30/- (above 12 years)

Rs.15/- (5-12 years)

Rs.8/- (school students)

Address: GEER Foundation, Deer Park, Indroda Village, J road, Gandhinagar, Gujarat 


3. Road Plan

The roads of Gandhinagar are well planned and beautifully maintained. There are attractive circles named after Gujarati alphabets. All the roads are accompanied by trees and flowering plants. Service roads along with the main road facilitate good and efficient commuting.


  • Note:

No doubt the roads are beautiful and well planned in the city but it failed in maintaining traffic rules. Nobody follows traffic signals, none bothers about wearing seat belts or helmets while driving. 🤐

But at the same time, RTO (Regional Transport Office) of the city conducts strict driving tests before issuing a driving license.


4. Gardens/Children Parks

  • Sarita Udhyan

This green park is suitable for families and couples. It is perfectly located along the bank of Sabarmati River. Beautifully decorated with flowering plants, green grass, walking track, benches to sit, open gym facility and Children Park.

Sarita Udhyan @Gandhinagar

Timings: 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM

Entry: Free

Address: Sector 9, Indroda Village | Near Sabarmati River, Gandhinagar 382010, India.


  • Toy Train Park & Garden

It is the oldest park in Gandhinagar and is good for families. There is a children park and toy train ride for all. It is a quite spacious garden. There is also a boating facility in a pond inside the park. To take a toy train ride one must reach before 7 PM.

Toy Train Park @GAndhinagar

Address: Garden Railway Track, Sector 28, Gandhinagar, Gujarat 382027

Timings: 6:00 AM to 9:00 PM


  • Swarnim park

Swarnim park is located in the center of the city. This garden is from Vidhansabha to Mahatma Mandir featuring lawns, jogging tracks, cycling tracks, playground and statue of Sardar Patel.

Statue of Sardar Patel at Swarnim Park, Gandhinagar

Swarnim Park at Gandhinagar

Address: G Rd, Sector 12B, Gandhinagar, Gujarat 382016

Timings: 5:00 AM to 10:00 PM


  • Punit Van

This is a botanical garden developed in 2005 by the forest department of the state.

Address: Rd Number 4B, Sector 18, Gandhinagar, Gujarat 

Timings: 5–11 AM, 5–7:30 PM


5. Dandi Kutir

Dandi Kutir represents a salt mound Gandhi museum. It is the world’s largest and only museum built on the life teachings of one man, Mahatma Gandhi.

Dandi Kutir @Gandhinagar

The Concept:

The museum is housed within a building that recalls a mound of salt. This represents a powerful idea of Gandhi asserting people’s common right to salt itself- A symbol to inspire people to march towards independence.


What to experience:

  • You will get to see a glimpse of Gandhi’s life which is beautifully portrayed with the help of audio guides and visual projections.
  • Specially designed museum based on the biography of Mahatma Gandhi. From his birth on 2nd 1869 in Kathiawad to his childhood moments, student life, marriage to Kasturba and his experiments with youth.
  • This museum is designed with sophisticated electronic technology like audio, visual, 3-D projection mapping, 360-degree shows, and dummy train bogey in three storied building with multi-layered technology.

  What to Explore:

  • Early Life
  • Life in London & Back Home
  • Life in South Africa
  • Return to India & Satyagraha
  • Road to Independence


Address: Salt Mount, Sector 13C, Sector 13, Gandhinagar, Gujarat 382016

Timings: Tuesday- Sunday

10:30 AM to 5:00 PM

Closed on Monday

Tickets: Rs.10/- (for Indians)

Rs.200/- (for foreigners)


  • Note:

A batch of 50 people leaves at an interval of 30 minutes, assisted by a tour guide. If the tickets of all the batches are sold before 5 PM then ticket counter will be closed and no extra ticket/batch will be entertained.

Photography is strictly prohibited inside the museum. You will be asked to switch off the mobiles also. No baggage is allowed inside the museum. Separate free baggage collection counter facility is available.


6. Mahatma Mandir

It is a convention and exhibition center as well as memorial inspired from life and philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi- Father of the Nation. It spreads over 34 acres makes it one of the biggest convention center of India. It is located in close proximity of famous Dandi Kutir. There is a connecting bridge between Mahatma Mandir and Dandi Kutir.


Salient features:

  • The Complex- to accommodate free movement of 15000 people and 5000 people seating capacity.
  • Exhibition Centre- 3 exhibition halls. Two large sized and one medium sized.
  • The Convention Centre- with a capacity of 5000 seats plus VIP viewing galleries. There is a facility of movable partition walls.
  • Seminar Halls, Conference Rooms & Meeting Rooms- 4 seminar halls with a capacity of 500 and 1000 seats.

Mahatma Mandir @Gandhinagar


Address: Sector 13C, Sector 13, Gandhinagar, Gujarat 382016

Fact: There is no Sector-13 in Chandigarh.


7. Gurudwara Shri Guru Nanak Sahib

On the eve of Gurupurab (Shri Guru Nanak Birthday), we were seeking darshan in Gurudwara. After searching, we found Gurudwara Shri Guru Nanak Sahib in Gandhinagar. It is a place where once you enter you will at once feel peace of mind and solace. You are engulfed by a cool and protective shield.

Gurudwara Shri Guru nanak Sahib @Gandhinagar

Address: Sector- 30, Gandhinagar.


8. Swaminarayan Dham

It is a divine place with traditional values of Indian heritage. It has been built with famous yellow stone found in Porbandar.

Salient Features:

  • There are three main door gateways to Swaminarayan Dham.
  • Prarthna mandir (Prayer Hall) and Swaminarayan Dham Gurukul (Boarding School).
  • Sahajanand Park- An excursion and amusement park.
  • Vast gardens, book stall, general store, and food stall.
  • Samarpan- Monastery for Saints (Sant Ashram).
  • Bapashri Awas- Accommodation facilities for visitors from overseas and across India.
  • Swaminarayan Dham International School- affiliated with Cambridge University.
  • A divine exhibition.


Opening hours: 

 Sahajanand Park- 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM

 Exhibition- 4:00 PM to 7:30 PM

 Tickets:

Exhibition- Rs.10/- (Adults)

                      Rs.5/- (below 12)

Address: Opp. Infocity, Koba-Gandhinagar Highway, Gandhinagar, Gujarat 382007


  • Note:

Although, Gujarat is a dry state (alcohol is banned) yet we see every second person with tobacco in his mouth most of the time. This is also responsible for increasing incidences of oral cancer. 😕

People run toward places like Daman & Diu for cheap alcohol on vacations. 🤫


9. Educational Institutions

Swaminarayan Dham International School @Gandhinagar

There are several educational institutions located in Gandhinagar.  I have listed a few of them-

·         Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information And Communication Technology

·         Gandhinagar Institute of Technology Khatraj

·         Government Engineering College

·        Institute For Plasma Research

·         LDRP Institute of Technology And Research

·         K.B.institute of Pharmaceutical Education And Research

·         Samarpan Arts And Commerce College

·         Institute of Hotel Management, Catering Technology & Applied Nutrition

·         National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT)

·         S. K. Patel Institue of Management & Computer Studies 

·         Technical Examinations Board

·         Centre For Entrepreneurship Development

·         Gujarat National Law University (GNLU)

·         School of Aeronautics

·         Indian Institute of Public Health (IIPH)

·         Gandhinagar Cambay Institute of Hospitality Management

·         Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University-School of Technology

·         International Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD)

·         Institute of Design Environment and Architecture (IDEA)

·         Institute of Information and Communication Technology (IICT)

·         Institute of Aviation Technology and Engineering (IATE)

·         City Pulse Institute of Film and Television (CPIFT)

·         Nuclear Engineering Academy (NEA)

·         Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Gandhinagar)

·         College of Fire and Disaster Management

·         Central University of Gujarat (CUG)

·         Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India


10. Sanskruti  Kunj

This is a cultural hub set up of India. Basically, it is a composite craft village set up under the initiative of the State Cultural Department. Every year Spring Festival- Basant Mahotsav is organized here and popularly known as ‘Sanskruti Kunj Fair’. The venue is located along the banks of Sabarmati River in 12 hectares.

Sanskruti Kunj @Gandhinagar

Address: Indroda village near Sarita Udhyan, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India

  • Note:

Don’t miss the event of this place while you are in Gandhinagar during spring (Feb-March). It is highly recommended. To know more about this you can read our post here.

This place offers a great talent show at a negligible entry fee.


11. Markets: Shopping/Eateries

  • Infocity

This place is basically a hub for software companies. There are top software companies in this area including Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. (TCS). Apart from being a software hub, the market of Infocity includes many restaurants of a variety of flavors like Punjabi Kulcha, South Indian Dosa, and Gujarati Thali, etc. It is also a place for a few shopping brands.

  • Reliance Chokdi

This market is basically a food hub. You will get all kind of cuisines available here. You can choose from various available options like street food, fast food, vegetarian food, non-vegetarian food, buffet restaurants, subway, dominos, etc.

  • Sector 21 Market

The market of this sector includes everything required for a day to day life. There are a separate vegetable and fruit market along with various eateries and other shopping material.

If you like online shopping then please go to the Amazon search page below. Thank you

 

The Spicy Street

This is the biggest food park in Kudasan area of Gandhinagar. It is a perfect place for those who would like dining in an open-air with vegetarian food. It offers a variety of cuisines to visitors with good service at one place. There are decent food stalls offering Punjabi Tadka, Continental, Chinese, Italian & Mexican flavors, Rajasthani dal bati, Gujarati Thali, Delhi chat, Pizza, sandwich zone, etc. along with desserts and drinks. A good place to hang out with family and friends. There is also a small game zone for children.

The ambiance is good with live music. On special occasions or festivals/days, there is always a theme which matches the occasion. For example: During cricket season, there will be a big screen projecting live match.

This place rocks after 7:00 PM.

Spicy Street @Gandhinagar

Opening Hours:

8:30 AM to 11:00 PM (Daily)

Address: Food Chopati Opp. Nagraj Party Plot, Nr. Kansar Restaurant, Kudasan Rd, Kudasan, Gujarat 382421


  • Note:

The markets of Gandhinagar are flooded with eateries and can easily spot pan parlors everywhere. This truly symbolizes that Gujaratis are real foodies. 🙃 But there are a handful of ATMs and Medical Stores available in the city. 😒

Many times we had difficulties in finding the prescribed medicines as well as cash from ATMs. 🤨


EndNote:

The above write-up is influenced by personal experiences while living in Gandhinagar. The opinions may vary from person to person. We tried our best to present the facts.


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28 thoughts on “Gandhinagar- Capital & Smart City of Gujarat. How well you know?

  1. Development of Gujarat is improving rapidly. Gujarat tourism is definitely to explore. Gandhinagar is beautiful too and is akshardham temple is same as area of akkshardham in Delhi.

  2. Gujrat is a state that I have always wanted to visit as I have heard from many friends that it is a very safe place to travel and explore alone. You post about Gandhinagar and so many various places to visit in there, has piqued my interest. Roads with trees on both sides is such a pleasant welcoming thing to me while travelling. Hope to visit sometime soon! 🙂

  3. What a great, thorough guide to a city I knew nothing about. Gandhinagar sounds like it has a lot to offer residents and visitors. I think if I were in the city I’d like to visit the Botanic gardens and Dandi Kutir, it sounds very interesting.

  4. There’s plenty to see in Gujarat, I’ll give you that! But what I don’t really get is what makes it a smart city. I understand that the IT domain is well represented there (education & business hub), but what has been done in the city to use ICT for enhancing the quality and performance of urban services?

    1. Well well well! This was exactly my whole point behind this post. I think you are the only one who got my point. I have mentioned certain points in the post that actually irked me as well. But only a few people have noticed that. 🙂

  5. You really let your readers have an insight of your hometown – that’s so neat! I can really see myself visiting and having a whole different perspective of that place. I especially find the botanical garden and the salt mound alluring.

  6. The post is very informative and a great guide to the city. I like that you have included so many places and travel tips for visiting Gandhinagar. I am saving this post for later.

  7. You had me at the nature park and a morning walk. That would have to be my starter for the day. It would work up a good appetite for the food hub and the market, followed by a visit to Swaminarayan Dham.

  8. Wow, knowing that all the roads are accompanied by trees and flowering plants I would really love to live here as well. I just wish that we also have this kind of road plan, cause big City like where I’m living now really needs trees. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I’m truly inspired.

  9. I’ve yet to travel to India, so this was an interesting post to read. I like how the old and the new sit side by side in this city. Will remember this post if I ever visit!

  10. You had me at ‘Architectural Beauty’, I love architectural photography when I travel. So as much as I love learning about the city’s history I also love checking out its architecture. Looks like an interesting city to visit.

  11. You have such great information! I want to travel to India so badly. I will keep this for inspiration for when I finally make my way there. Thanks!

  12. After reading your article, I checked out your website, and i really like your post. It looks massive and pretty cool. It offers a lot of awesome things to do.

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