Ahmadabad…A Walk through 600 years.

I’ll include some pictures in this quick summary of our walking tour of Ahmadabad today.  It started at the Swaminarayan Hindu Temple and ended at a Muslim mosque (both pictured).

In between we visited many small shrines and temples and learned the history of a city that dates back to the year 1400 and a lot about its religious heritage.  India is over 80% Hindu (there are a wide variety of expressions within this) and over 10% Muslim.  It is less than 5% Christian with a smattering of other faiths.

To any observer, the streets of this city are full of activity and cramped quarters – creating a little sensory overload at first sight.  I’ve seen some narrow roads in old parts of Europe, but these are even smaller.  Roads built for slower paced, simpler times are now jammed full of busses, cars, motorcycles, bicycles and these three-wheeled “RicShaws”.  Not to mention cows, which wander freely even in the cities.  Everything seems to weave in and out in ways that make us cringe, but is beautiful if you can step back and appreciate it.  Our tour guide today said drivers in this city need three things: “ good horn, good brakes, and good luck”.

After the walking tour today, I rode in one with 2 friends back across the city in one of the ricshaws.  We held on tight and had a few good laughs!

I’m still processing what I think of all of this.  We have had incredible access to some of the highest leaders (Sadhus and even the Acharya) of a prominent stream of Hinduism called “Swaminarayan”.  It was explained to us today that the Acharya would be equivalent to their “pope”.  I will probably spend some time reflecting about their faith and my own before writing anything.  I just keep coming back to the word “fascinating.”

~ by Greg Lee on October 23, 2010.

One Response to “Ahmadabad…A Walk through 600 years.”

  1. Awesome opportunity. Look forward to hearing more about your trip and how you integrate what this amazing experience into your ministry and everyday living experience.

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