The city of Ahmedabad, the seventh-largest metropolis in India and the largest in the state of Gujarat, was founded in 1411 AD as a walled city on the eastern bank of the river Sabarmati.
Historically Ahmedabad has been one of the most important centres of trade and commerce in Western India. It is also a major industrial and financial city, contributing about 14% of the total investments in all stock exchanges in India and 60% of the total productivity of the state.
It is home to several scientific and educational institutions of national, regional and global importance. The city has a great architectural tradition reflected in many exquisite monuments, temples and modern buildings. Ahmedabad is the first Indian city to receive UNESCO’s World Heritage City status in the year 2017.
Ahmedabad has a tropical monsoon climate, which is hot and dry, except in the rainy season. Summer days are very hot with a mean maximum temperature of 41.3°C, while nights are pleasant with a mean minimum temperature of 26.3°C. The mean maximum and minimum temperatures in winter are 30°C and 15.4°C, respectively. The average annual rainfall of the area is 782 mm. The average relative humidity is 60% with a maximum of 80% to 90% during the rainy season.
Ahmedabad enjoys a thriving cultural tradition, being the centre of Gujarati cultural activities and diverse traditions of different ethnic and religious communities. Popular celebrations and observances include Uttarayan – an annual kite-flying day on 14 January. The nine nights of Navratri are celebrated with people performing Garba – the folk dance of Gujarat. Other festivals such as Deepavali, Holi, Eid ul-Fitr and Christmas are celebrated with equal enthusiasm. The annual Rath Yatra procession on the Ashadh-sud-bij date of the Hindu calendar and the procession of Tajia during the Muslim holy month of Muharram are integral parts of the city’s composite culture.
Ahmedabad as an Industrial Hub
Ahmedabad is one of the biggest exporters of jewellery and gems in India and also the largest among denim suppliers in the country.
The mainstay of the city’s economy is the textile industry. Its other important components are pharmaceuticals and chemicals. Two of the biggest pharmaceutical companies of India – Zydus Cadila and Torrent Pharmaceuticals are based here.
The city houses the corporate headquarters of the Nirma Group of Industries, Adani Group, Rasna, Wagh Bakri, Intas Pharmaceuticals, Paras Pharmaceuticals, and Zydus.
Some of the main attractions of Ahmedabad are:
According to history, a slave of Sultan Sidi Bashir constructed the Siddi Bashir’s Mosque and the minarets in the year 1461. There are many myths surrounding the Jhulta Minar or the Shaking Minarets and the most popular belief is that it was done to avoid the earthquakes. Jhulta Minar is mainly known for its unique architecture. This is a pair of pillar which is a part of the Sidi Bashir Mosque. Known for its superb craftsmanship, these minarets are built in such a manner that it starts swinging if a little pressure is applied on any one side of the Minar. Jhulta Minar or the Shaking Minarets is an interesting tourist attraction of Ahmedabad.
Jama Masjid was built during Ahmed Shah’s reign in the 15th century. It was supposedly the largest mosque in the Indian subcontinent. It lies south of the processional axis that runs from the Maidan-i Shah with three arches called Teen Darwaza in the old city. Ahmed Shah, his son, and his grandson have mausoleums west of the mosque.
Science City, situated on the Sola Santej Road is an ambitious venture by the Gujarat Government which aims at igniting the spark of curiosity in children and adults alike. Sprawling over a huge 100 hectare area, Science City houses different scientific and entertainment exhibits where everyone is encouraged to interact, touch, feel and wonder. These exhibits include Hall of Space, Hall of Science, Energy Park, and the Earth Pavilion. Each of these Halls have a number of models and equipment which try to explain topics such as electricity, optics, acoustics, mathematics, etc. by hands on experiments.
Bhadra Fort was built in 1411AD by Sultan Ahmad Shah. The fort had many temples, mosques, palaces, and other structures. The fort was named so because of the presence of Bhadra Kali temple built during the reign of the Marathas. It is also said that Sultan Ahmad Shah built the Bhadra gate for entering the fort and due to this, the fort is called Bhadra fort.
Sarkhej Roza is one of the most elegant and attractive architectural complexes in the state of Gujarat. The tombs of Saint Ahmed Khattu Ganj Baksh (1445), Mehmud Shah Begada, a prominent ruler of Gujarat Sultanate (1511), and his queen, their palace and pavilions and a mosque all lie clustered together in this complex, surrounding a huge, stepped tank. The buildings are remarkable from an architectural point of view and draw visitors from across the country. An absence of arches and the use of pierced stone to build trellises are fine examples of early Islamic architecture. In fact, the architectural style of the monument is a precursor to the Mughal era and reflects Hindu, Jain and Islamic styles.
Calico Museum of Textiles
One of foremost and premier textile museums, not only in the country but also the world, the Calico Museum of Textiles has a wide collection of fabrics that are from different regions of the country and belong to different time periods. The concept behind setting up this museum was to create awareness, and conserve and empower the textile heritage of the nation. Located in the premises of the Sarabhai Foundation, which was started in 1959 by Smt Sarladevi Sarabhai and Sri Ambalal Sarabhai in the Shahibaug area, the museum was inspired by Dr Ananda Coomaraswamy and housed in the large industrial house of Calico. It moved to its present premises in 1983.
As per historical sources, after returning from South Africa, Gandhiji established his first ashram at Kocharab Bungalow, which belonged to his barrister friend, Jivanlal Desai, on May 25, 1915. Back then, it was called Satyagraha Ashram. However, Mahatma Gandhi had plans to begin various activities like animal husbandry and farming so he needed a larger space. On June 17, 1917, the ashram was relocated to an area of 36 acre on the banks of River Sabarmati and thus came to be known as Sabarmati Ashram. At Sabarmati Ashram, one can travel back in time to get a sense of Mahatma Gandhi’s ideology and remarkable life. Documents related to his non-violence movement, including the Dandi March, which began from here, have been put on display at the Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya (museum). There is a library for literature on Gandhi that holds an immense archive of letters written by him, most of them on used paper scraps. The ashram shares land with Hridaykunj-the quarters where he lived; Vinoba-Mira Kutir, a guest house, a prayer land and a building used as a training centre for cottage industries. At this ashram, Gandhiji tried his hand at farming, learnt the art of spinning and weaving, and led the production of khadi.
Rani no Hajiro
When entering it, it is a square open courtyard, it is about 37 meters in width, which has a big corridor on all sides. This was built in 1445 but it was completed by Mehmood Begada in 1457. It has eight marble graves of Ahmed Shah I queens and other Gujarat Sultanate rulers in its courtyard. The main tomb is Mughal Bibi, the wife of Muhammad Shah II and the mother of Mahmud Begada. The area around this complex is now a market for women’s clothing, jewelry and accessories.
Sidi Saiyyed Mosque
Built in 1573, the Sidi Saiyyed Mosque lies off the eastern edge of the Nehru Bridge and is a remarkable structure. It is documented as the last major mosque built in Ahmedabad under the Mughal rule. Though it does not have a courtyard and is much smaller in size than the Jama Masjid, the mosque is famous for its craftsmanship. Inside the mosque are iconic windows with intricate, stone-filigree jaalis, one of which represents the tree of life. In this window, the jaali work has a tree with intertwining and overlapping branches. The carvings are so intricate that they look like fine lace.
Hutheesing Jain Temple
Built as a tribute to the 15th Jain tirthankar (saint) Shri Dharmanatha in 1848 AD, the Hutheesing Jain Temple is made of white marble with intricate carvings. It also has a mandapa (pillared-outdoor hall) capped by a large dome, which is supported by 12 ornate pillars. At the east end of the mandapa stands the garbha graha (main shrine) that reaches up to three impressive carved spires. It is further surrounded by 52 smaller shrines of various tirthankars. There are wide porches with decorated columns on the three outer sides of the temple.
|Co-ordinates||23.03° N 72.58° E|
|Area||466 sq km (year 2006)|
|Population||55,77,940 (year 2011 Census)|
|Density||11,948 /sq km|
|Literacy Rate||89.60 %|
|Average Annual Rainfall||782 mm|
|Popularly known as||Amdavad|
Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat state, is one of the greenest capital cities in India. The Infocity in Gandhinagar, an IT park project, is strategically developed on a 24/7 work culture, on a principal location spread across 150 acres, while the mega project of GIFT City (Gujarat International Finance-Tech City) has embarked to be devised as a global financial and IT services hub. The GIFT City is a business district promoted by the Government of Gujarat through a joint venture company. GIFT City is India’s first operational smart city in the Ahmedabad metropolitan region and international financial services centre. Gandhinagar also hosts a number of educational institutes of national and international repute.