[Last updated: 10 July 2018]
On Day 3 of my road trip in Gujarat, our final stop was the AMUL Dairy factory in Anand. I was very keen on visiting this factory although it meant we were driving 50 km further down from Vadodara to Anand. What made it trickier was that the factory allowed visitors only between 2pm and 4pm. So, not only were we driving to another city just for one attraction but also racing time to arrive between the fixed visiting hours.
But I was willing to go the extra mile (quite literally) to visit a factory that brought about the White Revolution and changed the way dairy farming was practiced in India.
Amul Dairy Mascot
Amul’s contribution to Indian Dairy
Amul or Anand Milk Union Ltd. is a milk co-operative established in 1946 in the city of Anand, Gujarat. It was formed to end malpractices and exploitation of dairy farmers at the hands of milk middlemen and traders, particularly Polson Dairy who had a strong milk monopoly back then. Farmers in the region approached social leader Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who in turn appointed Tribhuvandas Patel and Morarji Desai to organise farmers and form small co-operatives.
The Amul co-operative initially started with only 2 villages. Under the supervision of Dr. Vergese Kurien, the milk co-operative grew from strength to strength and expanded to several other villages in Gujarat. With the help of H.M. Dalaya, a unique technique of making skim milk powder from buffalo milk, in place of Cow milk, was invented. The innovation was a milestone for AMUL and the first such invention in the world.
Dr. Vergese Kurien Memorial
AMUL’s unique invention and rapid expansion across Gujarat inspired political leaders to replicate the successful business model in other parts of India. Thus, Amul Dairy became instrumental in bringing about the White Revolution in India, also called the Operation Flood. Amul’s business model played a key role to transform India from a milk deficient country to one of the largest producers of milk in the world.
Amul Dairy Museum
Amul Dairy Anand Factory Visit
Apart from a state of the art factory, the Amul headquarters in Anand houses a dairy museum and some Amul parlors.
The Dairy museum is the first stop for visitors where a guide runs you through the history of Amul in the backdrop of visually attractive collage walls. His explanation lasts no more than 10 minutes and the experience is very ordinary for a milk co-operative with such rich history and a victorious tale to tell.
Next, you walk towards the Amul factory where one can see machineries at work and how Amul products are processed and packed. On the way to the factory, you are captivated by the sight of huge milk silo units which quickly become the best feature of your entire visit.
Inside Amul headquaters – transportation trucks
Inside the factory, an assigned employee acts as your guide and takes you through some of the departments, mainly, Quality Control, Processing and Packaging of Amul Butter and the process of making skimmed milk powder. Visitors can see these huge machinery at work through large glass windows.
During our visit, the guide threw light on interesting facts like:
- The factory runs 24 hours and employees work on rotational shifts
- The entire factory is machine run and these heavy duty machines can produce and pack up to hundreds and thousands of standard products in a minute
From a visitor’s point of view, the guided factory tour lasts no more than 45 minutes; which is less time considering the size of the factory, its several units, myriad range of products and its inspiring history. While it does throw light on some interesting facts, the overall experience is very surface level, lacking to provide insightful information that ideally makes a factory visit an exclusive experience for visitors. Even the Amul parlors inside the premises sell its products at the same cost as that available in the market. This makes no sense for visitors who like to purchase stuff from locations they go visiting as a token of remembrance.
Amul Parlors inside AMUL Dairy complex
In a Nutshell:
The Amul Dairy factory is a decent visit, most likely targeted towards school field trips and families with kids. It has very limited to offer to travel enthusiasts, museum lovers and those with a keen interest in history. Its location further acts as a deterrent with nothing else to see in the city.
Having said that, I wasn’t very disappointed with my Amul factory visit. I reckon, this is because I read adequate material online about this milk co-operative and my visit to the factory was merely to aid my visualization of this ultimate example of rural organization that not only brought a national change in dairy practices but also became one of the largest food brands in India.
- It is recommended to proactively ask questions to the guide, since his explanation is very basic
- There is nothing to see in Anand, except the Amul headquarters. So, try to club this visit with an onward journey towards Ahmedabad or Vadodara, depending in the direction you want to head
- If you choose to spend a night in Anand, there are hotel options like Madhuban Resort and Spa and Hotel Surabhi Regency
- We stayed at Hotel Kalyan in Vadodara and did a day trip to Anand
Amul Dairy Anand Visitor Timings
Amul Dairy Museum visiting hours are between 2 and 4 pm.
Entry to Amul Dairy museum is free.
Photography is allowed in the complex and the Dairy museum but not inside the factory.