Gujarat has been at the crossroads of civilizations for longer than memory. Its most iconic city, Ahmedabad, still holds its unique architectural mix of Jainism, Hinduism and Islam.
The comparison was inevitable: the old city was much cleaner and more preserved than my beloved Chandni Chowk in Delhi. Then there was the woodwork and the vibrant colours of Gujarat. I have seen many old quarters of the ancient cities succumb to the obnoxious litter and signage that can pollute architectual jewels across India. That is why I was so enchanted by the galis and katras that have still maintained some of the heritage of old Ahmendabad, including the ornate and sensual influence of Jainism with its unique reverence for life.