The Best Museums to Visit in Ahmedabad, India

Gandhi's Three Monkeys at a museum in Ahmedabad
Gandhi's Three Monkeys at a museum in Ahmedabad | © Uwais / WikiCommons
Photo of Poonam Binayak
India Writer31 March 2018

India’s first-ever world heritage city, Ahmedabad is home to several excellent museums, that feature everything from the rich history and heritage of Gujarat to art and cultural traditions of its various communities. Read on to discover the best museums to visit in Ahmedabad, India.

Calico Museum of Textiles

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Housing one of the best textile collections in the world, the Calico Museum of Textiles is Ahmedabad’s most noteworthy museum. Laid out across several rooms and galleries, the museum contains handmade textiles spanning five centuries, along with 19th century regional embroideries, religious and tie-n-dye textiles, royal garments, tribal costumes and miniature paintings. It also houses an incredible collection of Jain art and sculpture, and South Indian bronzes. There is also a library for those who wish to delve deep into the history of Indian textiles. Visitors can check out this beautiful collection via guided tour. A single tour is available everyday, and visitors are required to pre-register for it – either through the website or telephone. Book well ahead, as the space is limited to 20 people only.

Auto World Vintage Car Museum

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Vintage Museum
There are over 110 vintage cars in Auto World Vintage Car Museum | © Rahil Rupawala / Flickr

The Auto World Vintage Car Museum is a huge hit among car enthusiasts. From ceremonial limousines to sports cars and rare marques, this museum has an enviable collection of over 110 vintage cars, that are even open for public to drive, of course at a price, though. You’re most likely to find the vintage automobiles of brands, such as Lincoln, Mercedes, Cadillac, Maybach, Cord and Lancia. Staff are friendly and knowledgeable, happy to guide you through the history of vintage automobiles on display.

Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum

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Housed in LD Institute of Indology, the Lalbhai Dalpatbhai Museum showcases thousands of ancient and medieval Indian art and artefacts, including Jain, Hindu and Buddhist deities in marble, bronze and stone; ancient coins, Gujarati Jaina style paintings (some belong to the Mughal period), old books in several languages, Indian drawings up to 1000 years old, and miniature paintings depicting mythological tales. Some unrivalled highlights include the 5th century Buddha in stucco and the 6th century sandstone carved image of Lord Rama. It also contains 76,000 handwritten Jain manuscripts, which is perhaps the largest collection of its kind in the country.

Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Memorial

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Patel Museum
This museum depicts the life and times of Sardar Patel, the Iron Man of India | © Omshakthitt / WikiCommons

Though named as a Memorial rather than a museum, the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Memorial deserves a place in this article, as it is dedicated to the ‘Iron Man of India’, the Sardar Patel. The museum is housed in a beautiful Moti Mahal Complex that stands out with its Mughal architecture, while inside contains documents, journals, life-size portraits and other personal belongings of Sardar Patel, which essentially documents his life and times. In addition, 3D light, sound and laser shows are held here that narrate the story of India. The outside space of the museum houses lush green garden, complete with water bodies – it makes for excellent photo ops.

Shreyas Folk Museum

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Perhaps the only museum in the city that is dedicated to the spirit of women who have contributed immensely to put the Gujarat handicrafts on the map. Spread over four sections, the Shreyas Folk Art Museum showcases the regional art and culture. The Lokayatan Folk section exhibits folk arts from different communities residing in Gujarat. The Kalpana Mangaldas Balayatan section houses craft items from about 54 places in India – of which – the highlight is the 3.19-meter-high elephant skeleton. The Shreyas Sangeet Vadyakhand houses musical instruments, such as percussion, bow and wind instruments. There’s also a gallery, called Kathani that features photographs and pictures of the fairs and festivals held in Gujarat.

Patang Kite Museum

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Kite Museum
Kites of different shapes, sizes and patterns are on display at the Patang Kite Museum | © Nizil Shah / WikiCommons

Part of Sanskar Kendra (Ahmedabad’s cultural center), the Patang Kite Museum was founded by Bhanu Shah and the museum houses his collection of kites, along with many others. Kites of different shapes, colours, prints and papers are on display here. Some highlights include hexagonal shaped Japanese kites known as Rokoku, 22 by 16 feet long kite with Garba dance crafted on it, Radha-Krishna kites, block-style and mirror work kites. Like its displays, the building of the museum itself is beautiful. It was designed by well-known Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier.

Vechaar Museum

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Perhaps Ahmedabad’s most unique museum, the Vechaar Museum is a mud-hut shaped museum featuring ancient utensils, up to 1000 years old and made up of German silver, wood, bronze, glass, copper and stainless steel. Housing more than 3500 different types of utensils and equipment’s, including casseroles, knives, spoons, kettles, forks, nutcrackers, incense burners, pitchers, lamps and betel boxes – this museum is a treasure trove of classic household articles.