Famous For:Unique Textiles.
Best Season:Months of October and March.
Main Languages:Gujarati, Hindi, and English.
Ahmedabad founded in the year 1411 AD is located on the banks of River Sabarmati. Ahmedabad has been named after Sultan Ahmed Shah, who was primarily responsible for building it. Today, this city is known as the 'Manchester of the East'. One of the highly industrialized cities in India, Ahmedabad is also India's Textile City.
The old city of Ahmedabad is dotted with labyrinthine bylines called 'pols'. The exquisite carved wooden mansions and havelis are in no manner less than their stone counterparts in Rajasthan. The city is full of architectural delights. Though the capital of Gujarat was shifted from Ahmedabad to Gandhinagar, it is still the second largest industrial city in western India.
Ahmedabad, a mass of factories, mosques, temples and high-rise offices, amazes the visitor by its unique mix of ancient and modern, along with the combination of thriving Hindu, Muslim and Jain communities that lend the city an appealing character that can be hard to resist. A Witness to Indian Freedom Movement.
Ahmedabad became the base camp for the Indian freedom struggle. Gandhi built the Sabarmati Ashram on the outskirts of the city. From here, he guided India to freedom.
During the freedom movement, this city of textiles became the nerve center of the struggle. It was a spectator to the strategies and plans of Gandhi, which he chalked out to make the freedom struggle a mass movement.
In 1930, it was from here that Gandhi started his 'Dandi Yatra' to break the salt laws of the British. Ahmedabad is now regarded as a national Pilgrimage, a symbol of non-violence and peace.
A Peek Into History: When Ahmed Shah inherited the Sultanate of Gujarat in 1411 AD; he chose to move his capital from Patan to the site of Asawal village, a small settlement on the east bank of the Sabarmati, renaming it after himself. The city quickly grew as skilled artisans and traders were invited to settle. Its splendid Mosques were clearly intended to assert Muslim supremacy, and heralded the new Indo-Islamic style of architecture, which though best displayed here, is a marked feature of many Gujarati Cities.
In 1572 AD, Ahmedabad became part of the growing Mughul Empire and was regarded as India's most handsome city. It profited from a flourishing textile trade, which exported velvets, silks and shimmering brocades as far a field as Europe. But after a devastating famine in 1630 AD and a period of political instability when government passed to and for between the Muslims and the Hindu Marathas, the city went into decline.
Another famine in 1812 AD left it almost crippled, but the merchants and traders who had left during Maratha rule were encouraged to return five years later when taxes were lowered by the newly arrived British. Trade in opium grew, as the British needed something to offer the Chinese in return for silk and tea. The introduction of modern machinery re-established Ahmedabad as a textile exporter that came to be known as the "Manchester of the east".