Walled city and gates
After the founding of Ahmedabad on the east bank of the Sabarmati River by Ahmed Shah in 1411 AD, the city grew steadily for the next several decades. By 1487, it had become enough of a power center that Shah’s grandson Mahmud Begda decided to fortify it against possible attacks. A wall 10 km in circumference was built to encircle the city and protect it from invasion. This wall originally had twelve gates, 189 bastions, over 6,000 battlements and these were added to over time.
Over the next few centuries, the city grew steadily outgrowing the space within the city walls, spreading further outward even to the other side of the river. Eventually, most of the walls were removed, and today only the gates still stand, as well as a short section of wall also stands along the riverfront. The area within the boundary of the old wall is known today as the “old city”, and the difference will be easily visible to a visitor. The streets are far narrower, as they mostly predate motorized transport, and the city is organized into neighborhood units called pols.
The gates standing today are (clockwise from the northwest corner) Shahpur Gate, Delhi Gate, Dariapur Gate, Prem Gate, Kalupur Gate, Panch Kuva Gate, Sarangpur Gate, Raipur Gate, Astodia Gate, Mahudha Gate, Jamalpur Gate, Khanjia Gate, Raikhad Gate, Ganesh Gate and Ram Gate. Each of the gates has beautiful carvings, calligraphy and some of them even balconies. Each is a unique island in the midst of the traffic, with people often sitting beneath them, and they lend an antique historical feel to the city, even as newer buildings have been built around them. Pedestrians, bicycles, scooters, rickshaws and cars still drive through them, though a sign on Sarangpur Gate specifically prohibits elephants from doing so.
How to get there
By road: Gujarat has one of the better developed road networks in India. Ahmedabad is well connected with all major cities and towns by road. Prominent bus stops are located at Gitamandir near Kalupur Railway Station and Paldi. Regular bus services are available by Gujarat state transport buses and private operators to all the major destinations of the state.
By rail: The main railway station is located in Kalupur area. This station falls under the prominent national railway circuit and is connected to all major cities of India. If you are on the western side of the Sabarmati river, then you can go to the Gandhigram station near Ashram road to buy your railway tickets easily.
By air: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel airport at Ahmedabad is an international airport with direct flights to USA, UK, Singapore, Dubai and other international hubs. Numerous domestic flights are also operational from here.