For every person who has ever said that ‘Ahmedabad is boring with no night life, has definitely been absolutely oblivious to the vibrant mid-night food hub of Manek Chowk!
“Manek Chowk”, the name coined after the saint Baba Maneknath who helped Ahmed Shah build the Bhadra Fort in 1411, is a bustling open square in the heart of Old Ahmedabad, and is possibly one of the most unique elements of Ahmedabad given its dynamic nature. It takes a form of a vegetable market in the early hours, with vendors and buyers bustling from dawn out to buy the most fresh and luscious local grows, till early afternoon, where it strategically and almost magically shifts its nature to that of a jewelry market, being the second biggest jewelry market in India with a turnover of a staggering 3 million rupees of annual turnover. As the day settles into afternoon, you can see the people’s temperament change from frantic vendors hurrying to patient jewelry hoarders and excited women of all ages shopping for traditional Gujarati silver jewelry. The market also encompasses a portion where traditional Gujarati festive clothing, oxidized jewelry and colourful bangles are sold by the most enthusiastic and smiling vendors at a throwaway price, with a little bargaining ensuring that you get the prices reduced to half! In addition to this, some of the finest ‘Mukhwas’, or an assortment of candied spices and fruits, and dried fruits stalls dot Manek Chowk.
If this enchantingly dynamic place hasn’t already got you hooked, it definitely will now! From late evening you can see the place shift shape again and by 9pm, you can see it turn into one of the finest local street food, which a foodie visiting Ahmedabad JUST CAN”T MISS! A gastronome’s delight, Manek Chowk breaks the traditional stereotype of ‘nightlife’ and boozing at dark dinghy pubs or bright boisterous clubs to bonding while gorging on the most lip-smacking Gujju treats! With heritage spots like Rani No Hajiro, Badshah No Hajiro (Emperor’s tomb) and Ahmedabad Stock Exchange Building in the vicinity, the Food Hub stretches till Dawn where the whole cycle begins again! From teenage kids, to families to the Oldie Goldies, Manek Chowk is a vibe whose delight can escape no one who enters! Crowded with street food lovers, with barely any space to sit, you will be welcomed with a variety of food, some very unique and quirky like the Pineapple-chocolate sandwich, the cheese-pineapple sandwich and the chocolate-butter sandwich. If this wasn’t enough to get you drooling, there’s plenty more! The famous Dosa, originally a dish from the southern part of India is served with a twist of Gujju spices and flavours. The Vadapav and the Bhajipav are also a USP with a sweeter and spicier version of its Mumbaikar counterpart! And now comes the best part- The dessert, The best malai kulfi and falooda in town at The Manek Chowk make up for a perfect ending to this delectable affair!
Manek Chowk is not just amid-night food hub, It is a vibe, A vibe that is a true testament to the zeal, enthusiasm, warmth and flavor of the Gujju Hospitality! And thus a trip to Ahmedabad is incomplete without enjoying the slice of nightlife with not even a drop of intoxication in you!