Vishalla AhmedabadWalking into Vishalla, one feels the landscape change from the harsh concrete structures of the city of Ahmedabad to the subtle, serene and soothing surroundings of a rustic, yet charming Gujarati village. This traditionally designed restaurant has come to see thousands of visitors over the years inclusive of dignitaries, politicians, celebrities and sport stars since its establishment in 1978.
This awesome place was designed by Mr. Surendra Patel, who discovered its name as well, from 'Vishala' in the book Bhattachintamani of a religious group called 'Swaminarayan'. Vishala gets its name from a place in the Himalayas called 'Badri Vishalla'- a prominent retreat for the rishi-munis since time unknown. Thus, 'Vishala' envisioned as a restaurant offering a homely, staple food in a relaxed atmosphere derives its name from the same.
Vishalla, a Must Stop for VisitorsAnswering, on just why you should stop by at Vishalla? There are several reasons this place has become a must stop for visitors from both India and abroad. The esteemed list of visitors includes late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, Bharat Ratna Pandit Ravi Shankar, M.F. Husain, Amitabh Bachchan, Sachin Tendulkar and Narendra Modi amongst others. The place gives you a break from the usual restaurant scene that you have come to see and perhaps gotten bored of. Vishalla has no closed rooms or halls, the bright lights and over the top chandeliers are replaced by the calming lights of the lanterns, the breezy and cool atmosphere owing to the trees is a pleasant replacement from the air-conditioned closed rooms, the music is rustic and easy on the ears as folk songs are sung without mikes, the muddy lanes and the homely food is served to you on a tree leaf. And what better to top it all than the feel of being at home in a traditional Indian village.
Vishalla believes in giving you the best experience while you’re in their premises and thereby they make sure you proceed to your seats without any hassles on your mind and just relax. At Vishalla you place your order, decide the menu and pay the bill at the reception itself. Selecting from the menu at your seat deprives you of the necessary relaxation. Paying the bill earlier on frees the mind from thinking about the expense.
The staff at Vishalla is warm and leaves no stone unturned to make you feel comfortable and welcome. The hospitality is in sync with what you’d likely experience in an Indian village. Vishalla has no doors- a conscious design element which emphasizes the focus on freeing the mind. The staff here is dressed in traditional Indian wear, comprising of a very typical turban and dhoti-kurta. The interior design of the premise is such that it wears everything Indian on its sleeve with pride.
The connection with the nature's perfect ambiance, the plants and the muddy pathways deliver the mind from all day-to-day concerns. The earthly village-look is found in every nook and corner of Vishalla. There are lanterns to light up the place, the entire area is mud-plastered, and even the entertainment section uses no modern sound systems. The effect is further enhanced with the staff dressed in a traditional, Indian style.
Food in VishallaVishalla is not only designed to bring you the feeling of an Indian village but it serves like one too. The food is certainly consistent with village staples and uses pure ingredients so as to give you the best food experience.
The premise has no washbasins to wash your hands. In fact they have a turbaned attendant to pour water on your hands. The seating just like in any Indian village is on the mud floor; there is a low, wooden plank that replaces the usual table. A tip for you here: The best way is to sit in a cross-legged posture. Food is served to you on a plate made of leaves and delicious dishes are served to you in succession. The food is a sampling of the typical Indian platter. It may interest you to know that the menu contains no fried items. The menu at Vishalla is planned so as to give you a wholesome food experience while keeping the items least fatty as well. The menu also includes roasted or baked items, lots of greens as well as sprouted salads. Try the 'chhas' when at Vishalla. The food is unlimited.
While at Vishalla also find time for the very unusual Utensils museum housed in the premises. Popular as the Vechaar Utensils Museum, it is a must visit. The museum gallery displays various types of Utensils collected from India and abroad, right up from ancient times to modern day. Several of these Utensils are made of dying ware art, while some are donated for the higher cause of preserving the heritage of Indian utensil and metal ware. The museum is closed on Mondays.
Entertaining Evenings in VishallaVishalla aims at giving its visitors a wholesome experience and brings you all that you wish from an entertaining evening. They have a wonderful entertainment section on the premises. While the food is being freshly prepared for your dinner table, (preparation takes approximately 25-30 minutes) you may proceed to the entertainment area. The entertainment section has an open ground with charpoys to sit and watch the performances. Entertainment performances include bhajan recitals, folk dance garba performance by dancers in traditional dress, puppet shows and magic shows.
Vishalla is also for bookings. You may contact the reception for a day or evening booking, both of which are offered at the Heritage restaurant.
Quick Facts:Address: Opposite Vasna Toll naka, Ahmedabad 380055
Phone: 26602422, 2660919
How to reach VishallaYou may take a rickshaw from Sarkhej-Gandhinagar road towards Vasna or hop on to the several Ahmedabad Municipal Transport system buses that parole on the same road. Another route of reaching Vishalla would be via the Shreyas Foundation Flyover.
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