Synonymous to reverence, passion and enthusiasm, Navratri in Gujarat, may have earned the title of being one of the longest dance festivals in the world, but does that do justice to the vivaciousness of the state during these nine nights?
Does it tell us anything about the elation on each person’s face when they are swaying to the tunes of their favourite songs during this time?
Not at all!
To truly experience the fervour of the festival, visit Ahmedabad, Gujarat’s largest city and the hub of the most exciting Navratri events. Embracing each visitor as their own, people of Ahmedabad, fondly called Amdavadis, allow you to delve into the most cherished aspect of their life and savour the local life of the city. Homes are lit up with lights and the nine forms of the feminine divinity ‘Adhya Shakti’ are worshipped one day at a time.
Turning into the fashion capital of Gujarat at this time, you will find people in Ahmedabad dressed in the most stylish lehnga cholis and dhotis and pyjama kurta, bringing inconceivable hues on the canvas that is the city at that moment. There are a few select places in Ahmedabad that you must-visit to gorge on the most amazing Gujarati delicacies and enjoy the best folk tunes during this nine-day festival.
The Most Popular Navratri Events in Ahmedabad
Vibrant Gujarat Navratri Festival
The Gujarat Tourism (Government) takes it upon themselves to arrange the most happening night in the city along with the Gujarat Industries Navratri Festival Society (GINFS). The GMDC Ground in Ahmedabad turns into a playground of beautiful colours, twinkling lights, blaring music perfectly complemented by a whiff of fresh food in the background. If you’re very confident about your dancing skills, participate in the state-level dance competition held here.
Navratri Event at the Karnavati Club
One of the most elite clubs in Ahmedabad, Karnavati Club witnesses hundreds of thousands of visitors attend the festival organized by Max Events. Each year, the club comes up with a particular theme keeping in mind the spirit of the city, and also a social cause that can be highlighted during this time. For instance, one year they went green, in order to create awareness about the environment, organized in association with the Gujarat Environment Department.
Navratri at Rajpath Club
To add to the excitement of an already beaming city, Rajpath Club arranges a festival for approximately 16,000 visitors that come to this club each year. Most popular local bands Nashik and Puneri perform here playing the most loved folk music mixed with the peppy music of today.
An Ahmedabad event exclusively held for mothers and their children, Baal Raas is a rather popular celebration that is known for its Robotic Aarti. Other than garba, there are multiple surprise games and fun elements for children and their mothers.
Kalhar Bungalow- Navratna, Shilaj Road, Ahmedabad
A cluster of nine bunglows located in the outskirts of Ahmedabad, the celebrations here are based on the traditional ‘Sheri Garba’ concept. Societies come together to worship the divine spirit and indulge in celebrations. Other prominent areas in Ahmedabad where you can find these celebrations are Bhadra Fort, Teen Darwaja and Manekchowk.
The Other Facet of Ahmedabad
While Navratri and its merriment is the prime reason for your visit to this city, plan an itinerary to experience the other side of Ahmedabad - one full of rich, cultural heritage, historical step wells, beautiful temples, and shops selling delectable Gujarati foods like sweet jalebis and other savoury items.
Take a peek into these top attractions of Ahmedabad when visiting the city:
Sabarmati Ashram: The place where Mahatma Gandhi lived for 15 years, the Gandhi Ashram in Sabarmati is now a museum, which explicitly narrates the unassuming life story of this freedom fighter.
Adalaj Stepwell: A fine example of magnificent Hindu and Islamic styles, Adalaj Stepwell is known for its detailed carvings on this five-storey deep stepwell.
Akshardham: Founded by Lord Swaminarayan who went around Gujarat on a pilgrimage for seven years, preaching his religion, this temple is the perfect amalgamation of a modern structure built in traditional Indian style and is home to acres and acres of garden space called Sahajanand Van.
Jama Mosque: The 15th century, yellow sandstone structure will offer you unmatched solitude and the peace of mind that eludes your everyday life.
The Ultimate Road Trip in Gujarat
A road trip is always a fantastic idea considering there is more than one architectural gem in Gujarat. Starting at Rani Ka Vav in Patan, about 3 hours from Ahmedabad, get mesmerised by this 11th-century stepwell with most of its intricate carvings still intact. Continue to Jamnagar to visit the Bala Hanuman Temple that has found its name in the Guinness Book of World Records for the ongoing chanting of ‘Jai Ram, Shri Ram, Jai Jai Ram’ since 1964.
India’s cultural marvels will not cease to amaze you, especially at your next stop Dwarka, a principle pilgrimage site in India and Lord Krishna’s humble abode. The evening aarti at the Dwarkadhish Temple is enticing, transporting you to a state of complete euphoria. Witness true reverence in people at the Somnath Temple too, in Somnath, where you halt shortly before you dive deep into the wild at Sasan Gir National Park. Catch the rich wildlife of India in its natural habitat performing the usual antics that will be nothing short of entertaining. Return to Ahmedabad via Junagarh, a medieval town cradled by the fort of the same name.
Contagious happiness, enthusiastic spirit and charming avenues, there is no time better than Navratri to visit the state. You know why?
Because in Gujarat, Navratri is not just a festival, it’s an emotion, a way of life!
For more information on Navratri in Gujarat visit Gujarat Tourism.
For more information on Navratri packages visit Yatra.com.