Ancient History of Ahmedabad
The ancient history of Ahmedabad entails the event during the 15th century, when an independent sultanate ruled by the Muslim Muzaffarid dynasty was established in Gujarat. This phase can be divided into 3 parts. They are:
Origin of Ahmedabad: One day Sultan Ahmad Shah was wandering around river Sabarmati. He saw a little hare chasing a vicious dog. Usually, it happens in a reverse manner. Fascinated over this, he called his spiritual advisor for an explanation. The advisor quoted it as a miracle of this enchanted land that generates such inimitable behaviour amongst the animals and the human inhabitants. Stunned, the Sultan ordered his capital be built on this very land, which was named Ahmadabad.
The Claim of Solankis: During the 10th century, the place was called Ashapalli. It was ruled by the Bhil kings. In 11th century, the Bhil rule received a challenge to the throne by Solanki King Karandev. In the battle the Solankis were the vanquishers. Their reign lasted upto 13th century when the Vaghelas defeated the Solankis. Vaghelas then lost to Sultan Ahmed Shah who seated himself as the Sultan and renamed the city.
The Sultanate: Sultan Ahmed Shah was the ruler under the Sultanate Empire of Gujarat. Muhammad Begada was his grandson, who took charge and raised a perimeter wall to secure the city. On founding the city in 1411, Ahmed Shah invited merchants and traders to his new city, which became a flourishing commercial, trading and industrial city, with textiles as its most important goods. Wealthy Hindu and Jain merchants made up the commercial class dominating the community and eventually the oldest and most recognized families, while Muslims were the expert weavers working for them and (until Maratha rule) the government officials finally ruling them. For centuries, the city existed without depending on feudal lords or support from a single court. A competent system of lending, banking, credit and accounting developed, and Ahmedabad financiers developed a refined banking network across the country. They had strong hands in the Mughal Court and loaned money to the ruling classes through the 16th and 17th centuries. The last Sultan of Ahmedabad was Muzaffar II.
Medieval History of Ahmedabad
History of Ahmedabad says that the Mughal emperor Akbar conquered it in 1573. During the Mughal reign, Ahmedabad became one of the empire's booming centers of trade, especially in textiles, which were exported to Europe. Jahangir, son of Akbar visited Ahmedabad in 1617 and called it Gardabad, the city of dust. Shahjahan spent the prime of his life in the city and also built the Moti Shahi Mahal in Shahibaug. During Mughal rule, with the rise of Surat as a rival commercial center, Ahmedabad lost some of its luster, but it remained the most important city of Gujarat.
Ahmedabad wouldnt have flourished thus, if it wasn't for the Mughal governance. Under their rule, business was getting acknowledged. Overseas trade started there during the rule of Jahangir.
In 1753, the armies of the Maratha generals Raghunath Rao and Damaji Gaekwad captured the city and concluded Mughal rule in Ahmedabad. However the Mughal rule proved out to be much better than the Maratha Rule. The internal disputes amongst the Marathas went to the south and resulted in a tyrannic rule over the city. Nearly, the entire city was destroyed in this mutiny. However, the major attractions survived. After this, the British East India Company took over Ahmedabad in 1818.
Modern History of Ahmedabad
1818 was the year when the British took command of Ahmedabad. Some improvements were done, like a military cantonment was established in 1824, a municipal government in 1858, and a railway link between Ahmedabad and Bombay (Mumbai) in 1864. During the struggle for independence, Ahmedabad nurtured the art of Satyagraha and taught it to the rest of India. This happened under the guidance of the Father to our nation-Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhiji founded the Kochrab Ashram and Satyagraha Ashram on the river line of Sabarmati. During the 1920's, fabric makers and teachers proceeded with their strike, forcefully requesting for civil rights, proper wages and working circumstances. In 1930, Gandhi dedicated headship for the Salt Satyagraha from Ahmedabad. He headed the celebrated Dandi Salt March. In 1942, during the Quit India Movement, people went for passive protestations following Gandhiji's pedagogies.
After Independence, Ahmedabad was a temporary part of Bombay. On May 1, 1960, the state of Bombay was bifurcated into two states: Maharashtra and Gujarat. Ahmedabad was entitled to be part of Gujarat and was made to serve as the Capital to the state. While it was the largest city in the state, Gandhinagar was picked to be the new Capital of Gujarat.
On 26 January 2001, a devastating earthquake occurred near Bhuj, measuring 6.9 on the richter scale. It brought massive destruction and loss to the city. As many as 50 multistoried buildings collapsed and 752 people died. In February and March 2002, Ahmedabad witnessed communal riots as an outcome of the burning of a train full of Hindu pilgrims at Godhra. History of Ahmedabad has witnessed many such tragedies, along with some superb progress in the domains of education, technology development and business. Currently, Ahmedabad is a major tourist attraction. The city excels in many sectors. It is one of the UNESCO's World Heritage Site.
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