Ahmedabad Tour Packages
Sanskar Kendra City Museum Ahmedabad Timings
|Monday||Closed / Holiday|
|Tuesday||10:00 am – 12:00 pm
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
|Wedesday||10:00 am – 12:00 pm
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
|Thursday||10:00 am – 12:00 pm
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
|Friday||10:00 am – 12:00 pm
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
|Saturday||10:00 am – 12:00 pm
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
|Sunday||10:00 am – 12:00 pm
4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
The preservation of the culture, traditions and history are an integral aspect of the identity of a city. Ahmedabad is one such city that has preserved its rich history and traditions in a noteworthy museum called Sanskar Kendra.
Apart from its historical importance, the Kendra is also known for a separate reason – it was designed by Le Corbusier, a pioneer of modern architecture. To tourists and locals alike, the museum provides an opportunity to enrich themselves with the multi-layered history of Ahmedabad, available at their fingertips.
Broad overview of Sanskar Kendra
Sanskar Kendra is essentially made up of two separate museums: the Museum of the City and the Kite Museum (or the Patang Museum).
The Museum of the City
The museum of the city focuses on historical, cultural, economic and political aspects of the city through its collection of exquisite art and artefacts of importance to the city as well as historically significant documents.
But that’s not all; the museum boasts that it has successfully preserved the history of Ahmedabad from a time when it wasn’t even called Ahmedabad! That’s right, the museum has records and exhibits that go way back to the 11th Century, when the city’s time was “Ashval”.
The Patang Museum
The second part of the museum, as the name suggests, is solely dedicated to the long-standing sub-continental tradition of kite-flying, known to hold some kind of a spiritual meaning for the people of the sub-continent.
Architecture of Sanskar Kendra
Overview of the design
Covering a total surface area of roughly 27000 square feet, the most characteristic feature of the Sanskar Kendra building complex is the collection of the 11 feet high pilotis, a signature part of Le Corbusier’s designs. Rather, they are a signature to any building that is a result of modern architecture.
The pilotis in the Sanskar Kendra are essentially thin, reinforced concrete columns that support the weight of the various sections of the building. The beauty of Le Corbusier’s work lies in its simplicity, as the building sports a modest look with an unassuming brick exterior which is accented by raw concrete.
The most enjoyable aspect of Le Corbusier’s work is that the building was designed with a spiral as the basis, allowing for further expansion, if ever required.
Although grand in its design and idea, the museum has seen better days; one could say that it needs to reorient itself in the river of time, to keep up. To put it plainly, it is currently in a state of poor repair and is in dire need of maintenance operations as soon as possible.
Le Corbusier’s design: Dealing with the Heat and Light of Ahmedabad
While designing the Sanskar Kendra, Le Corbusier paid close attention to the weather of the city. To make the building a more comfortable place for locals and tourists alike, where they could escape from the unforgiving heat of the city, he incorporated various ingenious “cooling systems” into the building.
These include various intensive patches of greenery and plants, sun-shading systems and the crown jewel of the cooling system conglomerate, forty-five water basins on the roof of the building, each having a surface area of 540 square feet and a depth of 13 feet. This provides an intensive cooling effect to the building. There is a large pool near an open plaza, at the entrance to the building itself.
Le Corbusier also paid a great deal of attention to the ambient lighting of the environment that the complex was being constructed on. His attention to detail is visible even today, as visitors of the museum will no doubt agree; the environment of the museum is a masterful display of its design. It allows the intermingling of natural light with its numerous shading systems and water-based designs, providing a calming and inviting cooling effect which is a welcome respite to the challenging heat of the city.
History of Sanskar Kendra: The Cultural Centre of Ahmedabad
Actually a part of a larger development project that also included two private houses, the Villa Shodhan and the Villa Sarabhai, as well as the Mill Owners’ Association headquarters, this building complex was designed by celebrated Swiss-French architect, Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier, in 1954.
Surprisingly enough, Sanskar Kendra was not the original name that was intended for this museum. During design and construction, Le Corbusier had assigned “Museum of Knowledge” as the name for this particular museum, known as Sanskar Kendra today.
It was part of quite an ambitious project, titled “Cultural Centre of Ahmedabad”, which divided the current complex that Sanskar Kendra stands on, into various sections which would each be dedicated to a specific field – archaeology, sculpting, anthropology and history as well as open air theatres for folklore and workshops.
But unfortunately, this project never saw the light of day and Sanskar Kendra is the only museum in the original action plan that was built. It stands as a lone representative of the history of Ahmedabad. Quite the daunting task to undertake all alone but one that the museum has done admirably.
Image Gallery of Sanskar Kendra City Museum Ahmedabad
Goal of the of the Sanskar Kendra: The Cultural Centre of Ahmedabad
Coincidentally, Sanskar Kendra was going to be the cultural centre of Ahmedabad but the project fizzled out before it could reach completion. It was the efforts of the Vastu Shilpa Foundation that led to the Museum of the City being established in Sanskar Kendra, as they tried to revive this resplendent building.
Their goal was two-fold – establish a community centre that revitalized the culture, traditions and rich history of the city itself as well as the people of Ahmedabad, along with the preservation and maintenance of the invaluable architecture. So, in one way or another, Sanskar Kendra did end up becoming the “Cultural Centre of Ahmedabad”!
Tourist activities at Sanskar Kendra
1. Items of Interest for Tourists
The museum of the city is efficiently divided into a number of sections that include various aspects of the city throughout history. Some of the more notable ones are the sections devoted to the Father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi, the struggle for Indian Independence as well as the different religious communities of Ahmedabad.
A wide range of sculptures, text and old relics pertaining to these topics is available for viewing in the Sanskar Kendra.
Another unique feature of the museum would have to be the fact that it houses one of the tallest objects in the world; the tallest incense stick, with a height of 4.5 m, can be found in this museum!
It also houses the foundation block of the Ellis Bridge, one of the numerous bridges over the Sabarmati river, on the banks of which Ahmedabad is built.
The creator of the well-known Kite museum of Ahmedabad, Bhanu Shah, has been a collector of kites since he was 21 years old. His collection, even if it is only of kites, is outstanding and awe-inspiring.
It was only natural for Bhanu Shah to decide to turn this dedication of his into something that people could enjoy as well, and thus was born the Kite Museum of Ahmedabad. His exquisite collection of kites along with several interesting depictions and illustrations, resplendent in its magnificence and grandeur, is proudly displayed in the museum as a testament to his love for kites.
Kites hold a special place in the hearts of the people of Ahmedabad, as is evident from it being the home ground of the International Kite Festival which is organized every year in January. The recently developed Sabarmati Riverfront is all decked up for the occasion as people throng on the ground, with kites blocking out the sky!
Entry Fee and Timings of Sanskar Kendra
Entry into Sanskar Kendra is absolutely free of cost. There is no charge for locals and tourists alike on any day of the week.
The museum is closed on Mondays but open every other day of the week, including Saturdays and Sundays.
The weekly timings of the museum are from 10 am to 12 pm and then from 4 pm to 6 pm.
Places to visit near the Sanskar Kendra Museum
There are a number of places that one can visit that are within half an hour from Sanskar Kendra. Some of the more notable ones are listed below.
1. Sidi Saiyyed's Mosque: This mosque was built in the last year of the Gujarat Sultanate by Sidi Saiyyed, a follower of the last general of the last Sultan of the Sultanate; Muzaffar Shah III. It is a piece of history that one can easily associate with Ahmedabad. It's only 10 minutes from the Sanskar Kendra by car, on the other side of the Sabarmati.
2. Bhadra Fort & “Teen” Darwaza: Close to Sidi Saiyyed’s Mosque, Bhadra Fort is the perfect place for a quick picturesque detour as well as a pit stop for shopping if you have some extra time in your hands. Its is only 7 or 8 minutes by car from the Sanskar Kendra.
3. Kankaria Lake: Only a 15-minute drive from the Sanskar Kendra, this circular lake serves as the perfect location for a day out with kids as it offers facilities like boating, water sports, a toy train, a hot air balloon ride and several other rides and games as well as a great view of the surrounding city at the backdrop of the lake.
4. Sabarmati Riverfront: The recently developed Riverfront is an iconic Ahmedabad location that one wouldn’t want to miss if they find themselves in the city. An 11 km long promenade along the river provides the perfect opportunity for you to stretch your legs after a long day.
The riverfront also offers a wide range of facilities including parks and urban forests as well as water sports activities such as boating. It is one of the most ambitious development projects undertaken by the city and is definitely worth paying a visit. It runs along the banks of the Sabarmati and is easily accessible from Sanskar Kendra, only a 10-minute drive from it.
How to Reach Sanskar Kendra City Museum
Sanskar Kendra is located in Paldi, near the Sardar Bridge, opposite to the National Institute of Design.
● The closest bus stop is Gitamandir, on the other side of the Sabarmati. It is 30 minutes by foot and only a 10-minute drive, if one can get a car arranged at the bus stop. Government as well as privately operated buses are available regularly. You can also opt for a private cab from top car rental companies in Ahmedabad for your trip.
● Sanskar Kendra is approximately 20 minutes by car from the Kalupur Railway Station, which is a part of the major railway circuit of the country and is naturally accessible from any other city connected to the network.
● The museum complex is approximately half an hour by car from the Sardar Vallabhbhai International Airport, via Airport Road.
City museums are a great way of establishing and maintaining the culture and history of a city as well as being a testament to its evolution. And a museum like Sanskar Kendra, if nothing else, is truly poetic. It is an architectural beauty and within it, is preserved the beauty of the city of Ahmedabad – its history, culture, traditions and practices.
It houses a vast collection of art and artefacts that are an evidence of the one thing that takes us all forward – it is a testament to evolution, it is a proof of progress. Looks like Le Corbusier was correct in his decision of making the Museum of Knowledge, better known as the Sanskar Kendra today, “expandable” in nature; progress, after all, will never stop.
A trip to this historical city is best enjoyed with Ahmedabad tour packages offered by Ahmedabad Tourism, a division of Holidays DNA. You can have an enjoyable and informative holiday experience with our tour packages that include a visit to all the popular and important tourist attractions of Ahmedabad. Please fill the Contact Us form for us to help you better.