After Independence, the territories in India were divided based on linguistic lines. The erstwhile Bombay state was bifurcated into two states, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Gujarat Ghandinagar and Maharashtra came into being on May 1, 1960. Initially, Ahmadabad – a commercial hub of Gujarat was chosen as the state capital and it was proposed that a new capital should be constructed along the line of other new state capitals, particularly Chandigarh. The two Indian architect, H K Mewada, and Prakash M Apte, who worked as apprentice for the Chandigarh city, designed the new state capital. It was named after Mahatma Gandhi.
Gandhinagar is a good mix of technology-driven locations for being software hub in the state, as well as warehouse spots. But it is for the artistically inclined people that Gandhinagar serves as a heaven. Woodcarving is an important craft here which is evident through many elaborately carved temples and mansions and palaces. Even objects of daily and ritual use are richly carved. Terracotta products and ﬁgurines too dot almost everywhere; along side roads, shrines, temples, lonely hill tops and so on. Tribal jewellery, belonging to different clans are unique. Gandhinagar entices the visitors for its ﬁve unique places to visit:
Akshardham Temple- built entirely of pink stones with astonishing carving is also a great picnic spot boasting of gardens and fountains that surround the temple. Adalaj Step Well, the architectural marvel built in 1499 by Queen Rudrabai, This well is famous for its unique architecture with a huge artistic ediﬁce and a ﬂight of steps that enables one to reach the water, whatever be its level.
Saita Udyan, located at the river bank of Sabarmati is an ideal picnic spot with full recreational facilities, botanical garden, and sprawling Deer Park at Indroda with various sections such as Jurassic Park, Dinosaurs Park, deer park, Snake Park, birds park, aquarium etc.
The Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar Gujarat is one of the popular pilgrimage sites in India. The temple attracts nearly 2 million visitors each year. The temple is dedicated to Lord Swaminarayan and is famous for its unusual and massive architecture. The Akshardham temple is the largest temple in Gujarat in terms of the complex with peaceful and clean surroundings. The interiors have stunning columns that mount up to an elevated dome. A special light and sound show is organized for the visitors here. The show depicts the glorious past of Sanatan Dharam. Akshardham temple complex combines devotions art, architecture, education, exhibitions and research at one place. It is majestic, intricately carved stone structure which stands amid sprawling gardens set in a 23-acre plot at Gandhinagar (Gandhinagar district). It is built in 6000 tonnes of pink sandstone and not a bit of steel has been used. The monument stands on 7 sculpted pillars, 210 single-piece stone beams, 57 window grills, M domes, eight ornate zarokhas, etc. The sanctum sanctorum contains the 1.2 tonne gold-plated idol of Lord Swaminarayan, the founder of the sect.
Adalaj Step Well
The architectural marvel built in 1499 by Queen Rudrabai, This well is famous for its unique architecture with a huge artistic ediﬁce and a ﬂight of steps that enables one to reach the water, whatever is its level. This ﬁve-storey step well was not just a cultural and utilitarian space, but also a spiritual refuge. There is an opening in the ceilings above the landing which allows the light and air to enter the octagonal well. However, direct sunlight does not touch the ﬂight of steps or landings except for a brief period at noon. Hence some researchers say that the atmosphere inside the well is six degrees cooler than the outside and is a spectacular example of Indo-Islamic architecture and design.
Located at the river bank of Sabarmati is an ideal picnic spot with full recreational facilities, botanical garden, and sprawling Deer Park at Indroda with various sections such as Jurassic Park, Dinosaurs Park, deer park, Snake Park, Birds Park, aquarium etc. Its Punit van-a botanical garden containing a fusion of Botanical Garden depending on Zodiac signs is a major draw for many. Indroda Nature Park (INP) is spread over an area of about 400 hectare. In the snake park, there are number of venomous and non-venomous snakes. The skeletons of two blue whales (an adult and a juvenile), one dolphin and a dugong have been displayed with detailed interpretation. The fossils of a large number of sea animals have also been displayed. The Indroda Nature Park is open for public from Tuesday to Sunday, 8:00am to 6:00pm.
Located near Gandhinagar, on the Sabarmati River back, is Pethapur village, only 7 km from the capital. Once famous for its colourful 'Bandhani' saris, the village also used to export wooden printing blocks to Singapore. The wooden blocks, with exquisite patterns carved on them, are used for the hand-printing of cloth.