Beyond the bazaar: Unraveling the many facets of Ahmedabad's Manek Chowk

Beyond the bazaar: Unraveling the many facets of Ahmedabad's Manek Chowk

The story of Ahmedabad’s Manek Chowk transitioning into three different markets throughout the day

Manek Chowk has become the beloved hub for Amdavadis to relish the most delicious street food the city has to offer. From fulfilling Gujarati thalis to lusciously buttery dosas, tantalizingly spicy chaats, and delightful kulfis, this culinary paradise boasts an extraordinary range of delectable treats.

But the most captivating aspect of this place lies in its chameleon-like ability to transform into three distinct markets throughout the day. Join us as we explore the most interesting story of Ahmedabad’s Manek Chowk and its magical transformations!

The history of Manek Chowk

Manek Chowk, a historic square located in the heart of the Old City of Ahmedabad, derives its name from Saint Maneknath, who served as an advisor to Emperor Ahmed Shah I during the 15th century. Manek Chowk began as a regal courtyard, serving as a significant space for royal processions and ceremonies.

Over the centuries, this courtyard transformed into a bustling marketplace, becoming a vibrant hub of commercial activity and community life. The square attracted traders, artisans, and locals who gathered here to buy, sell, and exchange goods, creating a lively and diverse atmosphere.

One city square and three markets!

The time-honored jewelry market, brimming with resplendent gold and silver ornaments during daylight hours, gracefully closes its doors in the evening, ushering in a haven for food enthusiasts.  As dusk settles, the square undergoes a magical metamorphosis, inviting the people of Ahmedabad to a nocturnal odyssey of culinary delights. The once-quiet jewelry market gives way to a vibrant tapestry of food stalls. Tables and chairs adorn the sidewalks, setting the stage for yet another night of culinary euphoria.

The atmosphere is electric, with an abundance of street food delicacies (laden with copious amounts of rich butter), traditional Gujarati dishes, and delectable Paubhaji, sandwiches and much more breathing life into the market square.

During weekends and festivals, the place becomes so crowded that finding a seat becomes an arduous task. With special permission to operate late into the night, the market remains a lively spectacle, pulsating with the chatter and aromas of locals pondering what to eat next!

It's hard to believe that the same space, once a jewelry market, can transform so dramatically. Yet, the magic doesn't stop there. This nocturnal culinary haven, which thrives well into the night, undergoes yet another transformation with the break of dawn.

Before the sun peeks over the horizon, the food market sheds its allure and morphs into a vibrant vegetable and fruit bazaar. The very same space that once hosted the fervor of food stands now welcomes vegetable and fruit sellers offering a bounty of fresh produce.

Knock Knock

The existence of these three distinct markets, harmoniously coexisting within the same space but at different times of the day, is a testament to the enigmatic charm of Manek Chowk. This extraordinary phenomenon has persisted for years, further enhancing the allure and mystique of this historic square in the heart of Ahmedabad's Old City.

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