ABOUT GANDHINAGAR & AHMEDABAD


Gujarat is a home to incredible diversity due to its geographic and strategic location. Its Gujarati pride and rich cultural heritage is reflected in the arts, music, literature, religious traditions, cuisine, fairs and festivals of every city and place.

Gandhinagar is the State Capital of Gujarat. Named after ‘Gandhi’, the father of the nation, it is situated 32 kms away from Ahmedabad.

Situated in the heart of Gujarat, the city of Ahmedabad is best known for its spirit for enterprise. Ahmedabad is a bustling metropolitan with reputed institutes and a rapidly growing economy, but is also deeply rooted in tradition. The city is known for its association with Mahatma Gandhi and hosts some of the country's finest medieval Islamic architecture. Sarkhej Roza, just outside the city, is a mesmerizing inheritance of the Gujarat Sultanate and makes for an idyllic retreat. For an excursion into nature, Nal Sarovar, an extensive wetland, attracts thousands of migratory birds during winter. The neighbouring Gandhinagar District is home to Gandhinagar, the state capital, and Adalaj, a classic example of Gujarat's enchanting stepwells. 

Climate

Ahmedabad has a hot, semi-arid climate. There are three main seasons: summer, monsoon and winter. Aside from the monsoon season, the climate is extremely dry. The weather is hot from March to June; the average summer maximum is 43 °C (109 °F), and the average minimum is 24 °C (75 °F). From November to February, the average maximum temperature is 30 °C (86 °F), the average minimum is 13 °C (55 °F), and the climate is extremely dry. Cold northerly winds are responsible for a mild chill in January. The southwest monsoon brings a humid climate from mid-June to mid-September.

Electric Supply

The electric current used throughout India is 230 volts AC, 50 Hz (continental Indian standard). Wall outlets are compatible with other continental Indian plugs and most hotels have facilities for various types of outlets.

Currency, Foreign Exchange, Banking, Credit Cards and ATMs

The official Indian currency is the Indian Rupee (INR).  Information on the exchange rate can be found at the following internet sites:

The Government of India issued instructions in November 2016 withdrawing the legal tender character of the older series banknotes in the denominations of INR500 and INR1000.  The link below has the information issued by the Indian Foreign Exchange Department in respect of this.

Participants are encouraged to keep checking this page as this information will be updated from time to time as the situation evolves and the need arises.

For more information on foreign exchange, please refer to the website http://dor.gov.in/fem.

Most banks are open Monday to Saturday (except 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month) from 10.30 a.m. to 3.00 p.m.  Almost all banks have Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). These are available all over the city and accept all the major international credit/debit cards, namely, American Express, MasterCard and Visa.  While most shops accept these credit/debit cards, it is not uncommon for some shops and restaurants not to accept them.  If planning to settle any bills with a credit/debit card, it is advisable to enquire about the acceptance of the card before making any purchases.  You are also advised to check the validity of your bank card in India with your local bank before you travel.

Currency exchange offices are located at airports, as well as in hotels and market places. The main currencies that are easily exchanged are British Pounds, US dollars and Euros. Please note that the money exchanger or the bank may charge a fee for the transaction. When exchanging currency, you must present your international passport.

Emergency Numbers

In case of any emergencies, you may contact any of the following numbers in line with the nature of the issue:

  • 108 – General Emergency
  • 100 - Police
  • 101 - Fire Station
  • 102 - Ambulance
  • 197 - General Inquiry
  • 1091 - Women Emergency Helpline

Smoking

Smoking is prohibited in public places in India. Some bars, restaurants, theaters, museums and other public places have designated areas for smoking.

Drinking

Gujarat is a dry state and drinking of alcohol in the State is prohibited, and therefore, regulated under the State laws through the issue of a Government permit.  Passengers arriving on international flights may request for a permit from the duty free shop in the arrival hall and purchase alcohol from the shop.  Consumption of such alcohol is only permited in the privacy of the hotel rooms of the beneficiaries of such permit.  Please note that hotels will demand for such permit if alcohol is found in the luggage of any participant. 

Telecommunications

International telephone services are available to allow for direct communication between India and other countries. Telephone and telefax services are available in hotels at the delegates' expense. Access to internet wireless network will be made available for free at the Conference Center, and is also available at the hotels for a fee or free of charge depending on the terms for the sale of the hotel room.

Mobile phone SIM cards will be available for purchase at the Conference Center for participants who wish to use local mobile phone networks for the duration of their stay in India. It might require submission of an application form with the vendor along with 2 colour passport photographs, photocopies of, the personal details page of the international passport; the Indian visa; proof of the home address in the participant’s country of residence (passport, driver’s license or any other Government issued document); and a proof of where the participant will be staying in India.

“What Africa does with agriculture is not only important for Africa: it will shape the future of food in the world.” – Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB President