Flights to Ahmedabad

The Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport serves the megacity of Ahmedabad in the state of Gujarat in western India. Named after India’s first Deputy Prime Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the airport is one of the busiest in India with its high passenger traffic, area of over 1,000 acres and 4 terminals. Terminals 1 and 2 are considered the main terminals and handle domestic and international flights, whilst Terminal 3 handles secondary traffic and usually serves as an overflow terminal. Terminal 4, the newest of them all, is used to carry cargo. Interestingly, this new terminal was modelled after Singapore’s award-winning Changi Airport. The airport currently offers both domestic and international flights, but international destinations are limited to cities within Asia and the Middle East as of July 2014.

Getting around

The airport is only about 15km from the city centre of Ahmedabad, and tourists have multiple options for getting into the city. They can choose to take a public bus run by the Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service, which offers very inexpensive fares, or take a prepaid taxi from outside the arrivals area at Terminal 1. Plans are supposedly underway for the extension of existing bus routes as well as starting of new metro rail to increase the accessibility of the airport.

Alternatively, tourists can also rent a car direct from the airport and drive into the city as the route from airport to city is relatively uncomplicated and sport informative signposts.

What to see and do

Ahmedabad is the largest city of Gujarat, and its former capital. Known as the ‘Manchester of the East’ for its developing textile industry (Manchester in the United Kingdom used to be known as Cottonopolis for its textile industry), Ahmedabad is today ranked one of the fastest-growing cities in the world by Forbes. If you’re in this megacity, don’t miss one of its most famous attractions: the gorgeous Lake Kankaria, a circular lake constructed in the 1400s by a sultan. Besides boasting an idyllic island garden in the middle of the lake (that comes complete with a summer palace), the lake is also surrounded by parks, a zoo, a natural history museum and an aquarium. For a full appreciation of the size and beauty of the lake, take the adorable ‘toy train’, otherwise known as the Atal Express, a pretty life-sized train modelled after toy trains that take visitors on a slow scenic ride around the whole lake.

Another must-see in Ahmedabad is the mosque of Sidi Sayed, a prominent icon of the city. Established by Sidi Sayed, a sultan’s slave, the mosque is famous for its extraordinary 10 semi-circular windows covered with intricate latticework, as well as stone tracery of trees, foliage and motifs. A true work of art, there is nothing in the world quite like the Sidi Sayed and it is definitely worth a look.

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Airports near Ahmedabad

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