Oasis - Gandhi Ashram
Gujarat isn't on the radar for most travelers who visit India. It's a dry state (alcohol is banned in Gandhi's homestate to honor his lifestyle and respect for a sober humanity) and it's a little bit off the beaten track from the usual Bombay, Delhi, Agra, Varanasi, hotspots. But for the discerning visitor, Ahmedabad (the largest city in Gujarat) is an incredible gem! An exquisite blend of urban college students, renowned textiles from surrounding rural villages, British-style compounds, Partition era housing, and 3 major slums, strict Hindu/Muslim definitions, a bustling old-town, and much more ... all along the Sabarmati river. While immersing myself in the tumultuous development sector, I found a peaceful and rejuvenating oasis at the Gandhi Ashram. Walking tours, a demonstration of cotton spinning, and lots of open space make it a true oasis. These three monkeys were my favorites - speak no evil, see no evil, hear no evil. If you can visit, be sure to stop by the neighboring Manav Sadhna and toss a frisbee with the local slum kids or help them decorate greeting cards for the Earn N Learn programs to keep kids off the streets.