Chandravillas: A journey celebrating 123 years of introducing 'Gujarati Thali' to Ahmedabad

Chandravillas: A journey celebrating 123 years of introducing 'Gujarati Thali' to Ahmedabad

From Gandhi and Patel to Raj Kapoor, this Ahmedabad restaurant held a special place in the hearts of many.

Situated on Gandhi Road, Chandra Villas is a 123-year-old restaurant that carries a piece of the city's history. Back in 1901, it introduced 'Gujarati Thali' to the people of Ahmedabad – a medley of flavors served on a single plate. This concept quickly won people over, making Chandra Villas a celebrated name.

Unfortunately, the original four-story restaurant fell victim to a fire during the happenings of 2002. Yet, the Joshi family displayed remarkable resilience by resurrecting it on a smaller scale.

How It All Began

In 1900, Chimanlal Hemraj Joshi started Chandra Villas, pioneering the concept of the 'Gujarati Thali' in the city. This unique offering featured an array of delectable dishes, from vegetable curries, rotli, bhakhri, paratha, and poori, accompanied by potatoes, lentils, rice, dal, farsan, and delectable sweets, all for one rupee!

Swiftly, the establishment's reputation grew, earning a special place in the hearts of locals and becoming a culinary pilgrimage for visitors to Ahmedabad. Eminent personalities also frequented the place – Sardar Patel found solace in their ratalu ni puri, Mahatma Gandhi himself graced its doors, and when Raj Kapoor visited the city as a guest of a theater owner, Chandravilas' flavors graced his table too.

Embracing a vintage charm, the restaurant boasted oak chairs imported from France and ceiling fans adorned with wooden fittings, crafted by a skilled British carpenter. The enticing aromas of its delectable dishes used to fill the entire street.

The restoration

However, the ravages of riots befell Ahmedabad, and this esteemed establishment was not spared. Reduced to ashes and forced to close its doors, Chandra Villas was reborn as a modest snacks and jalebi shop. Yet, its spirit endured, and the legacy was revived. Now, under Pavan Joshi, the fifth generation of the Joshi family, the restaurant thrives once more. Its offerings have expanded to include famed delights like jalebi fafda alongside their renowned daal.

With a history that spans eras and a culinary journey that resonates with the city's essence, Chandra Villas remains an enduring reminder of Ahmedabad's rich heritage and timeless flavors.

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