Ahmedabad (also called Amdavad, Ahmadabad or Ahemdavad), Gujarat's major city, grows on you. Yes, during peak hours with traffic, noise, and air so thick you can chew it, the place can be a little overwhelming, but it's well worth taking the time to get to know this remarkable city. It wins you over with its wealth of architecture – from centuries-old mosques and mausoleums to cutting-edge contemporary design. Then there's the fascinating maze of an old quarter, excellent museums, fine restaurants, a bustling street-food scene and the tranquility of the Sabarmati Ashram (Gandhi’s former headquarters).
The old city, on the east side of the Sabarmati River, used to be surrounded by a 10km-long wall, of which little now remains except 15 formidable gates standing as forlorn islands amid swirling, cacophonous traffic. The new city on the west side of the river has wider streets, several major universities, and many middle-class neighbourhoods.