Manek Chowk is the central square of Ahmedabad’s oldest district, The Pols. During the day it is the liveliest market in Ahmedabad where fruits, spices, traditional steel kitchen and table utensils are sold as well as a section of bright Indian fabrics. The central plaza is ringed with various gold and silver shops with a varied display of jewelry to make any a bride smile. Having crowds of hungry patrons in the square at night is extra security for the jewelry stores. At night the, the square is transformed into a giant outdoor restaurant complete with tables, chairs, vendor booths and hundreds of hungry patrons. This tradition of serving food every night of the year, began in the early 20th Century when hungry workers returned after late hours of work in the many nearby fabric mills. We had heard about Manek Chowk the whole time we were in Ahmedabad, but had never gone at night. I am not sure why, maybe because The Pols or Old City was far from where we lived, or because some of the students had become sick from eating street food near Cept University. Whatever the case may have been , we decided to go the last week with a guide and friend from Cept. The city has, as it turns out, set down some pretty strict regulations of meeting sanitary guidelines. Throwing all caution to the wind, we ate with gusto. And the food, excitement, smells, tastes, and complete sensory explosion made it a night to remember. We especially loved the chocolate and cheese pizza, and pineapple, chocolate, and cheese sandwiches Really, I am not kidding. It may just be some Indian magic , but they were delicious. And not a one of us was sick during the night or the next day from our late supper in Manek Chowk. By the time the square is set up and food is prepared, the festivities starts about 10 o’clock. If you have a chance to experience this place, day, night or both …..don’t miss it!
This video by Jaymin Modi, made me laugh with the memories of this special place. Enjoy.
Nameste. . . . T I I