We were told by our guide the next day on the breakfast table that he has booked a tour for us in the Calico Museum of Textiles. One can only visit as part of the guided tour here. Set in an old house with lovely wooden floor it is a private collection of the Sarabhai family (a renowned name in Ahmedabad). Calico museum is a stunning and outstanding collection of Indian Fabric Textiles. One get to see the most fabulous fabrics in various colours and styles. There are dazzling sarees, silk work, beads, tie- dye work, embroidery work and block work in unimaginable styles. Shah Jahan a renowned Mogul ruler’s tent can also be seen there! The sitting area at the end of the tour with the sound of flowing water and roaming peacocks adds to the tranquility of the ambience.
It was altogether a wonderful experience. Some of my friends wanted to do some shopping. Our guide cum friend assured us that he shall take us to the shops which not only sell good stuff but also have reasonable rates. My experience in Manali was little different in this respect. But I had full faith in my guide. Oh! By the way did I tell you his name? He had a very sweet name – Bharat. For shopaholics the city is truly a paradise. It is famous for the woven fabrics in wide variety. The markets have an enormous collection of fabrics that are painted using traditional methods of tie and dye, also the zari work that makes use of gold and silver thread is another attraction. Handcrafts of Gujarat are very fascinating so I purchased some of them for my friends and family at home.
After our shopping spree we had a hefty lunch as walking in the streets had really sapped our energy. Bharat told us about Akshardham , a temple we were to visit in the evening. One thing I have noticed about the Indians is that they are very religious people and whatever phases of life they are going through they never lose faith in their idol. Akshardham is one of the largest temples in Gujarat. The monument enshrining the 7 foot high, gold leafed statue of Lord Swami Narayan is the focal point of the complex. It aims to promote Indian art, culture, and values. Its tagline is, “This is a place where art is ageless, culture is borderless, and values are timeless.” The laser show and the musical fountains made the visit worthwhile. The laser show is one of its kinds in the world. The architecture, designing and the animated statues are very interesting. We learnt a lot and had a total spiritual experience.
Coming to This part of India was a great experience. Let’s see where I go next, but wherever it is I surely plan to share all my experience with you. Cheers!!