(Last Updated on : 21/05/2010)
Located 290 miles north of Mumbai city, Ahmedabad is the largest city in Gujarat. It is located at the heart of Gujarat. It is the sixth largest city in India and is known for its old architecture and textile industry. The city of Ahmedabad is known as the Manchester of Textile Industry in India. The NASSCOM survey in 2002 ranked the city as fifth among the top nine most competitive cities in the country.
The Harijan Ashram at Ahmedabad found by Mahatma Gandhi on the banks of the river Sabarmati is one of the many attractions for tourists coming from far and wide.
History of Ahmedabad
It is said that there were signs of life in Ahmedabad since the 11th century. The Solanki ruler, Karandev I, who was the ruler of Anhilwara ( Patan) waged war against the Bhil king of Ashaval. After emerging victorius he established the city, Karnavati on the banks of the Sabarmati, which is the site of modern Ahmedabad. Until the 13th century, the Solanki`s ruled the country. After which Ahmedabad was conquered by the Sultanate of Delhi.
The rule of Muzaffarid dynasty was established in Gujarat in 1411. It is said that
Sultan Ahmed Shah , while camping on the banks of River Sabarmati happen to see a hare chasing a dog and impressed by this, the Sultan, who was searching for a place to build his new capital, decided to locate the capital here and named it as Ahmedabad.
Im 1487, the grandson of Ahmed Shah, Mahmud Begada made an outer wall for the city that consisted of twelve gates, 189 bastions and over 6,000 battlements. Until 1573 the Muzaffarid dynasty ruled Ahmedabad. Gujarat then fell into the hands of Mughal emperor Akbar in 1573. During this time, Ahmedabad became a major center of trade, mainly in textiles. Shahjahan, the Mughal ruler spent the prime of his life in the city, sponsoring the construction of the Moti Shahi Mahal in Shahibaug.The Mughal rule came to an end with the capture of the city by the Maratha generals.
In 1818, the British East India Company took over the city. In 1915, the Indian independence movement established strong roots in the city. Gandhiji established two ashrams: the Kochrab Ashram and the Satyagraha Ashram on the banks of the Sabarmati .In 1920`s, textile workers and teachers went on strike, demanding civil rights and better pay and working conditions. In 1930, Gandhi gave leadership for the Salt Satyagraha from Ahmedabad. He led the famous Dandi Salt March. In 1942, during the Quit India movement people took to peaceful protests as per Gandhiji`s instructions. After independence came the partion of India in 1947, during this time communal riots broke in the city between Hindus and Muslims.
On 1 May, 1960, with the bifurcation of the State of Bombay, Ahmedabad became the capital of the new state of Gujarat. In 1974, Ahmedabad became the core for national politics.
On 26 January 2001, the city(Bhuj area) was stuck by a devastating earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale claiming thye lives of 752 people and destroying the city`s infrastructure. In 2002, there broke communal riots between Hindus and Muslims paralysing the city for more than a month.
The city has witnessed the growth of scientific and service industries, the expansion of the IT sector, and improvements in transportation and communications.
Geography of Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad is located on the banks of River Sabarmati in north-central Gujarat. The city is the administrative centre of Ahmedabad district and was the capital of Gujarat from 1960 -1970 and later the capital was shifted to Gandhinagar. The city is located at 23.03° N 72.58° E in western India at an elevation of 53 metres.
Ahmedabad is divided by the Sabarmati into two physically distinct eastern and western regions. The eastern bank of the river houses the old city, which includes the central town of Bhadra and there are bazars, places of worship, shanty buildings at this part. The Werstern part of the city houses educational institutions, modern buildings, well-planned residential areas, shopping malls, multiplexes and new business districts.
There are two lakes within the city`s limit as Kankaria Lake and Vastrapur Lake. The Kankaria lake, is an artificial lake that was developed by Qutb-ud-din Ayibak.
The three seasons of Ahmedabad are summer, monsoon and winter. The country experiences a hot climate during the months from March to June. The average rainfall is 93.2 cm.
Education of Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad is a city that gives much importance to education of its citizens. There are 884 Primary Schools and 548 Private Primary Schools. There are 2 Primary Schools of Hindi Medium and 3 of Urdu Medium. The District Primary Education committee runs these schools. The Sanctioned post of teachers in Ahmedabad is 6661. There are proposals to build 364 classrooms under D.P.E.P.
There are 81 Pay center schools, 11 BRC and 140 CRC Centers all over the District. Teachers are trying to improve the quality of education. The Government is aiming for universalization of education under the SSA scheme (SARVA SHIKSHA ABHIYAN).
Economy of Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad is the largest industrial center in Western India. Ahmedabad is an important center for trade, commerce and industry. Agriculture is the major economy of the state. The major crops grown here are Rice, Wheat, Jowar, Bajra, Maize, Tur, Gram, Groundnut while major non food crops are Cotton, Tobacco. In 2001-02, the production of the total food grains was estimated to be 38.28 lakh tones.
There are several textile mills as, the Ahmedabad Spinning and Weaving Company Limited, Calico Mills, Arvind Mills etc. The largest textile mills in Ahmedabad is the Aravind Mills. There are also chemicals and pharmaceuticals industries at Ahmedabad. Two of the biggest pharmaceutical companies of India - Zydus Cadila and torrent pharmaceuticals are based from the city of Ahmedabad. The city serves as the corporate headquarters of the Adani Group, which is a leading multinational trading company. The Nirma group of industries has its corporate headquarters in the city.
Many foreign companies as Bosch Rexroth, Strok, Rolleppal,Johnson pumps have set up their sales offices and production facilities in Ahmedabad. The IT sector has greatly developed in Ahmedabad with companies like Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, Satyam Computers ltd, Wipro Ltd. Ahmedabad is turning out to be the leading retail destinations of India as a result of the malls and multiplexes coming up occupying an area of 5 million sqft.
The Gujarat government has increased investment in the modernisation of the city`s infrastructure, providing for the construction of larger roads and improvements to water supply, electricity and communications.
Transport of Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad is well connected to other states by means of road, rail and air. Ahmedabad is one of the six operating divisions of the Western Railway. Railway lines connect the city to all major cities of rest of India. The main terminals of Ahmedabad are Ahmedabad Railway Station and the Maninagar Railway Station. The Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport is the major airport that provides for both domestic and international aviation for the city and the neighbouring cities of Gandhinagar, Mehsana and Nadiad. The airport connects the city with destinations all across India and to cities in the Middle East, East Asia and destinations in Western Europe. Ahmedabad is connected to Vadodara through National Expressway 1.There are facilities for auto rickshaws and municipality run buses(AMTS). The Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service runs the local bus service in the city. Ahmedabad is easily approachable from the other major cities of India besides the other parts of Gujarat. The excellent road network, railway system and the air linking make Ahmedabad a favorite travel destination of western India.
Culture of Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad being the center of Gujarat enjoys a rich cultural tradition. There are people belonging to diverse traditions and religios communities. The popular festivals celebrated are Uttarayan, Navratri, Deepavali, Holi, Eid ul-Fitr and Christmas. The Rath Yatra procession on the Ashadh-sud-bij and the procession of Tajia during month of Muharram are integral parts of the city`s culture.
The cuisine of the people consists of roti, dal, rice and Shaak (cooked vegetables, sometimes with curry), with accompaniments of pickles and roasted papads. The beverages used by the people are tea and buttermilk. A strong tradition of vegetarianism is maintained by the city`s Jain and Hindu communities. The city has the Jewish Synagogue, Parsi Fire Temple, Christian churches, the Prathna Samaj Hatheesing Jain temples constructed in 1848 etc.
The people usually wear light clothes with dark sunglasses and hat to escape from the scorching sun.
Sanctuaries of Ahmedabad
The major sanctuaries of Ahmedabad are the Little Rann of Kutch Wildlife Sanctuary, Ratan Mahal Sloth Bear Sanctuary, Nalsarovar Bird Sanctuary, Jessore Sloth Bear Sanctuary.
For complete business listing of Ahmedabad visit Ahmedabad Yellowpages .