The most obvious day-trips from Ahmedabad are north to Adalaj, with its impressive step-well, and beyond to Gandhinagar, with its extraordinary Swaminarayan religious complex. South of town, the lake, pavilions and mausoleums of Sarkhej make a pleasant break from the crowded city, while further south is the ancient Harappan site at Lothal.
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LothalNear the mouth of the River Sabarmati, by the Gulf of Cambay, is Lothal, one of the largest excavated Harappan (or Indus Valley) sites. Foundations, platforms, crumbling walls and paved floors are all that remain of the prosperous sea-trading community that dwelled here between 2400 and 1900 BC, when a flood all but destroyed the settlement. A walk around the central mound reveals the old roads that ran past ministers’ houses and through the acropolis. The lower town comprised a bazaar, workshops and residential quarters. Evidence has been found here of an even older culture, perhaps dating from the fourth millennium BC, known as the Red Ware Culture. You can see remains from this period and from the Indus Valley Civilization in the illuminating museum situated adjacent to the site.