Why the airport-like revamp of Gandhinagar railway station matters

Gujarat’s capital has a new five-star hotel, the Leela Gandhinagar atop the redeveloped Gandhinagar Central railway station. The location piques curiosity—the hotel has an imposing structure built on three sets of live railway tracks. It has 318 rooms, two restaurants, a spa, three lounges, and convention centres.

Leela Gandhinagar, which has begun operations, is India’s first hotel to be built above railway tracks. Of course, visitors wouldn’t know that from inside as the structure has been insulated against vibration and noise. Several of its rooms offer an impressive view of the cityscape, including the 41-metre-high salt mound-shaped Dandi Kutir museum and the Gandhi Memorial.

The Gandhinagar Central railway station, redeveloped at a cost of Rs 71.5 crore, was the star attraction of the slew of railway infrastructure projects inaugurated virtually by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on July 16. Everything about the station screams airport terminal. The railway station has an art gallery with an LED wall display lounge. The three platforms have WiFi connectivity, escalators and elevators. They are connected through two subways. A landscaped area outside the station building can park 325 vehicles.

“The amenities provided at the railway station will help develop business around Gandhinagar,” says Mukesh Kabra, a city resident who is among the scores of locals to have already visited the station.

India Today
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