Ahmedabad or Ahmadābād, is the biggest city of Gujarat and the sixth largest city of India. It has about 4 million residents.
Ahmedabad is also a district in the state of Gujarat. Ahmedabad city falls under this district. This district is surrounded by Mehsana, Sabarkanthaa, Gandhinagar (North), Anand, Kheda (East), Bhavnagar(South) and Sabarkantha(West) districts. To the south of this district also lies the Gulf of Cambay.
This city is also known as Karnavati. However as of February 2004, the official name is still Ahmedabad.
It is a large industrial city with chemical and textile industries. Ahmedabad is often described as the Manchester of the east, because of its once booming textile industry.
The city was founded in the 15th century by Ahmed Shah on the Sabarmati river. The climate is warm and dry. Ahmedabad city is currently a major economic hub.
|Languages||English, Hindi, Gujarati and others|
|Density||551 per km2|
The history of Ahmedabad begins with King Karandev 1, the Solanki ruler. He had waged a war against the Bhil King Ashapall or Ashaval. Karandev 1 named this city Karnavati. In 1411, Gujarat fell in the hands of Sultan Ahmed Shah, and he renamed the city Ahmedabad. Ahmedabad was the royal capital for a period of 162 years (1411-1573 A.D.) until the independent Sultanate of Gujarat came to an end in the reign of Murzaffar-III.
This city was originally built on the banks of the river Sabarmati, but it has expanded since. The city was enclosed by a fort of six miles in circumference and consisting of 12 gates, 189 bastions and over 6000 battlements in 1487 by Mohammed Begdo, the grandson of Ahmed Shah, to protect it from outside invaders. Conditions in the city were chaotic in the time of Sultan Muzaffar III. Akbar, the great Moghul emperor, conquered Gujarat in 1573. During the Moghul reign, Ahmedabad became one of the thriving centres of trade in the country. During this time the trade in textiles flourished. Textiles were exported as far as Europe. By 1753, the armies of Raghunath Rao and Damaji Gaekwad captured the city, which resulted in the end of the Mugal Rule in Ahmedabad. A famine in 1630 and the rule of the Peshwa and the Gaekwad virtually destroyed the city. By 1818, the British East India Company had taken over the city. A railway link and a municipal system were established after this.
The main Ahmedabad city (downtown) is currently a thriving business place. On any given day the city is almost crowded. The city has developed rather haphazardly and hence most of the roads are narrow. A wide variety of shops and businesses exist in the city.
In 1915, Mahatma Gandhi came from South Africa and established Ashram on the banks of Sabarmati.
He started the salt satyagraha in 1930. He and many followers marched from his ashram to the
coastal village of Dandi, to protest against the Britishers imposing a tax on salt.
Before he left the ashram, he vowed not to return to the ashram until
India became independent. He could never return to the Ashram.
The places of interest in Ahmedabad include the Kankaria Lake, Law Garden, Jama Masjid, Sidi Saiyad's Mosque, Rani ni Vav, Adalaj Stepwell, Sidi Bashirs mosque(Shaking minarets), Bhadra Fort and Teen Darwaja, Sabarmati Ashram, Shahi Bag, Hussain-Doshi's Gufa, and the IMAX theater.
Kankaria is an artificial lake, developed by Qutub-Ud-Din in 1451. It also has an aquarium and zoo. In the middle of the lake is a island palace, built during the Mughal period. It is now a local picnic spot. A new lake has also been opened recently in Vastrapur area, and it is expected to get lots of visitors.
Gandhiji's Sabarmati Ashram is situated on banks of river Sabarmati.
Law Garden is a local recreational spot for the people of Ahmedabad. It has a special area for children. Also, in the evening you will find a market for traditional Gujarati dresses worn during various festivals, especially Navratri.
The famous Indian Institute of Management is located here. This institute has been rated as the best in Asia by Asiaweek and one of the best in the world. Another famous institute, National Institute of Design is also located here. Apart from the great educational institutions, centers of national importance such as the Indian Space Research Organization and Physical Research Laboratory also have their establishments in the city.
ISCON temple on Sarkhej-Gandhinagar highway draws many visitors. It is a newly built huge structure with gardens around it. Krishna devotees perform puja at designated hours and the Maha Aarti in the evening is attended by thousands of devotees as well as visitors.
The city has many multiplex theatres. The C.G. Road is a commercially popular road in the city with many good hang-out places. The Sarkhej Gandhinagar highway has also become a popular destination these days with new shops, restaurants, clubs and multiplexes being developed there.
The Darpana Academy of Performing Arts is a must see for all art lovers or people interested
in dance, music, theatre, and new media.