Posts Tagged With: science city

Ahmedabad Chronicle Part 1

In April – May 2012, we made plan to visit Delhi to meet my sister and my cutest niece who were visiting India for the first time since her birth last year. We decided to include Ahmedabad, my SIL’s place, too in the itinerary. Visiting both the places in the months of April and May was going to be a real challenge due to the hot weather. Sight seeing and sun do not go together at all! But who knew the trip was going to be one of a kind experience for me!

So we went via flight to Ahmedabad….my first flight experience ever! The field of clouds, the farm lands, the miniature buildings, the streams, the lakes and the sun from high above in the sky…breathtaking experience!

Next day we visited these places :-

# Adalaj Ni Vav – It is located at Adalaj village, around 19 kms away from Ahmedabad on Gandhinagar road. A Vav in Gujarati, means a stepwell – a well that is accessed through many levels of steps. The step well was built in A.D. 1498 by Ruda, wife of Vaghela Chief Virasimha. The oblong step well runs from south to north. The entry to the step well is from south through stairs on three sides which descend into a spacious landing with octagonal opening supported on eight pillars. All the walls are covered with intricately carved and beautiful sculptures and frescos. The grand architecture of the step well really takes one back into that century and you can imagine women bearing water pots, sitting, resting and chatting at specially designed places at the step well. There are openings in the many ceilings which provide good ventilation for the octagonal well. Thankfully direct sunlight does not touch the flight of steps or landings and it is quite cool inside. The well is covered with a netted enclosure. After admiring the structure and the skill of the workers of yore, we went to inspect the roof. There were five tombs on the roof but there was no description of these tombs anywhere.

After visiting Adalaj we came back home for lunch and afternoon siesta 🙂 In the evening, we decided to visit Kankaria Lake at Ahmedabad.

# Kankaria Lake – It is a polygonal (though appears to be circular) lake situated on the south-eastern side of the Ahmedabad city. Apparently it was constructed in 1451 by Sultan Qutb-ud-Din. The lake and the surrounding area have five entrances/gates. Gate 6 leads one straight to an island-garden with a summer palace and musical fountain show known as Nagina Wadi, right in the center of the lake. The lake is a very popular recreational centre and it is difficult to find parking!! It is surrounded by trees, plants, benches along with nice pathway for those who like walking. There are facilities like ‘Bal Vatika'( children’s garden), boating, aquarium, balloon safari, dirt track racing, natural history museum, a zoo, joyrides on toy train (Atal Express and Swarnim Jayanti Express)and a colorful bus. It was quite late and most of the facilities were closing for the day. But it was enjoyable seeing the place at the evening time because of special lighting of the lake in evening. We decided to go for the “Balloon Safari”. The tickets were priced at Rs 100 per person!! Since it was weekend, there was a long queue. It had got dark by the time our turn came. The balloon safari is a ride up on a securely tethered hot air balloon upto a height of around 50 m and then it comes down. But the view of the Ahmedabad city from above was wonderful! There is an entrance fee to the lake and for various rides and shows. Closed on Mondays.

The next day plans were made to visit the Science City at Ahmedabad post lunch.

# Science City – This is situated at Thaltej off the Sarkhej – Gandhinagar Highway. After having visited Science City at Kolkata and Digha, we were keen to see the one at Ahmedabad. The mission of the Science City, in their words, from their website is

Gujarat Science City is envisioned to be an impact-making science appreciation and entertainment experience for the common citizen while providing special offerings to the educated and the gifted. the Government of Gujarat is keen to create such Gujarat Science City as will be become a role model for the developing world.

Science City covers around 107 hectares and has attractions like Hall of Space (where you can also take your photo wearing a spacesuit!), Hall of Science, Thrill Ride/Simulator (where people can enjoy simulations of riding a roller coaster, flying in an aerobatic aircraft, a journey into space etc inside a closed capsule), Energy Park (where people can see solar panels, solar water heating system, solar lantern, wind turbine, water mobile, working models of Nuclear Power Plant etc), IMAX 3D theater, an LED screen having dimension of 20′ x 12′ size as an outdoor exhibit, a musical fountain ( which is spread over an area of 9000 sq.m in hexagonal grid pattern and is claimed to be the Asia’s largest one) and an Electrodome to explore various realms of electricity which we didn’t get time to visit sadly. Moreover we found Bangalore’s musical fountain to be far better than the one at Ahmedabad. But still, it was a great place to visit and we enjoyed a lot. There is a small curios shop where one can buy some science and other hobby related stuff. The Musical Fountain shows timings are Monday-Sunday – 7.00 pm, 7.30 pm, 8.00 pm and 8.30 pm. The center is open daily from 10 am to 10 pm. Other show timings are available at their website.

After the musical fountain show, we came back home. The next day being Monday I and D decided to explore the city further on our own…..To be continued…….

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Categories: Cities, Gujarat | Tags: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Kolkata Chronicle

In August 2009 I visited Kolkata along with my parents. Our schedule was just full of meeting friends and relatives. We had just one day to do sightseeing around Kolkata. So here is an account of my trip.

Day 1 – 13th Aug 2009:- Mumbai Howrah Mail reaches Howrah at 5.50 am as per Indian Railways. But the moment it entered Howrah’s  nearby region, there was no line clearance and the train started moving at snail’s pace. We reached at 8.30 am!!

:evil: Then there was the long queue at the prepaid taxi booth. (If you don’t go by prepaid, the taxi drivers will fleece you).

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That is a view of the red building of Howrah Station and The Howrah Bridge

Day 2 and 3 were spent with relatives doing nothing fruitful. 🙂

# Day 4, 16th August 2009 :- At last Dad took me sightseeing around Kolkata..but due to rains we couldn’t stick to our time schedule. First we went to Science City.

Science City, the largest science centre in the sub-continent, under the National Council of Science Museums consists of two facilities, the Science Centre and the Convention Centre. The Science Centre complex comprises Space Odyssey, Dynamotion, Evolution Theme Park, Maritime Centre and a Science Park. The Space Odyssey houses India’s first Large Format Film Theatre, Time Machine, 3-D Vision Theatre, Mirror Magic and exhibits on space science, motion, electricity and virtual reality. The Dynamotion Hall has a Butterfly Corner, Aquaria, an exposition on giant robotic insects and host of interactive exhibits on science & technology for both education and entertainment of the visitors.

It was an awesome place for people interested in science. There was a small scientific show on dry ice where I got applauded for my correct answers. :D The Time Machine was cool too but my mom got very scared. A 70 mm documentary called “The Living Sea” was telecasted in the Space Theatre. It was simply awesome!! Though photography was prohibited people were taking pictures inside the theatre. I decided not to in the best interests of my camera. In the collage below you can see the science city building, mom walking on the musical piano, the “see your voice” equipment and “The Powers of Ten”.

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Due to rain, we were unable to visit rest of science city and take more snaps. :( Then we went to visit one of my Dad’s friends in South Kolkata and had lunch there. I was able to take a snap of the famous “Tram”. Kolkata is the only city in India to have a tram network. Kolkata tram is the oldest operating electric tram of Asia, running since 1902. Trams are under the administration of the Calcutta Tramways Company, popularly called CTC.

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From there we went to the Millennium Park located along the Strand Road. The most wonderful thing about this park is that its on the bank of river Hooghly. A nice place to sit and relax. But there are some bad areas of the park where one can see the pollution of the river. One can see both the Vidyasagar Setu and the Howrah Bridge from the park. Check out my photoblog for more photos of the park and its activities.

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It was already dusk by the time we reached the famous Victoria Memorial. So all the snaps did not come out that well as my camera is not suited for night photography.

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Dead tired after roaming about all day, we came back home.

# Day 5, 17th August 2009 :- Afternoon was spent in packing and we left for station by 6 pm, 2 hours before the train’s departure time. Kolkata traffic and roads are unpredictable!!

Categories: Cities, West Bengal | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment
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