Ahmedabad

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This article is about the city in India. For other uses, see Ahmedabad (disambiguation).
Ahmedabad
Amdavad
Karnavati
Metropolis
Clockwise from topː Gandhi Smarak Samgrahalay at Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad Railway Station, CEPT University , Kankaria Lake and the Kirti Stambh at Hutheesing Temple
Clockwise from topː Gandhi Smarak Samgrahalay at Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad Railway Station, CEPT University , Kankaria Lake and the Kirti Stambh at Hutheesing Temple
Ahmedabad is located in Gujarat
Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad
Coordinates: 23°02′N 72°35′E / 23.03°N 72.58°E / 23.03; 72.58Coordinates: 23°02′N 72°35′E / 23.03°N 72.58°E / 23.03; 72.58
Country  India
State Gujarat
District Ahmedabad
Founded by Sultan Ahmad Shah
Government
 • Type Mayor–Council
 • Body AMC
 • Mayor Meenakshi Patel
 • Deputy Mayor Ramesh Desai
 • Municipal commissioner Guruprasad Mohpatra
Area
 • Metropolis 466 km2 (180 sq mi)
Elevation[1] 53 m (174 ft)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Metropolis 5,570,585
 • Rank 5th
 • Density 12,000/km2 (31,000/sq mi)
 • Metro[3] 6,352,254
Demonym Ahmedabadi
Amdavadi
Time zone IST (UTC+5:30)
Pincode(s) 380 0XX
Area code(s) 079
Vehicle registration GJ-1,GJ-18,GJ-27
Sex ratio 1.11[4] /
Literacy 89.62[5]
Spoken languages Gujarati, Hindi and English
Website www.egovamc.com
Source: Census of India.[6]

Ahmedabad (Listeni/ˈɑːmɨdəbɑːd/; Gujarati pronunciation: [ˈəmdɑːvɑːd]) is the largest city and former capital of the western Indian state of Gujarat. It is the administrative headquarters of the Ahmedabad district and the seat of the Gujarat High Court. With a population of more than 5.8 million and an extended population of 6.3 million, it is the fifth-largest city and seventh-largest metropolitan area of India. It is also ranked third in Forbes' list of fastest growing cities of the decade.[7] Ahmedabad is located on the banks of the River Sabarmati, 30 km (19 mi) from the state capital Gandhinagar.

There has been human occupation in the area since the 11th century, when it was known as Ashaval (or Ashapalli). The Solanki clan established a city, Karnavati, on the banks of the Sabarmati, and their rule lasted until the 13th century. Rule then passed to the Vaghela dynasty of Dholka, then the Delhi Sultanate in the 14th century. In the 15th century, Muzaffar Shah I founded the Muzaffarid dynasty. Karnavati finally came under the control of Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1411 A.D. who renamed the city after himself. Incorporated into the Bombay Presidency during British rule, Ahmedabad remained one of the most important cities in the Gujarat region. The city established itself as the home of a developing textile industry, which earned it the nickname "Manchester of the East". The city was at the forefront of the Indian independence movement in the first half of the 20th century when Mahatma Gandhi established two ashrams which would become centres of nationalist activities, and was the scene of campaigns of civil disobedience to promote farmers' and workers' rights.

Ahmedabad has emerged as an important economic and industrial sector in India. It is the second-largest producer of cotton in India, and its stock exchange is the country's second oldest. Cricket is a popular sport in Ahmedabad, which houses the 54,000-seater Sardar Patel Stadium. In 2012, The Times of India chose Ahmedabad as the best city to live in India.[8] As of 2014 Ahmedabad's estimated gross domestic product was $64 billion.

History

Main article: History of Ahmedabad

The area around Ahmedabad has been inhabited since the 11th century, when it was known as Ashaval (or Ashapalli).[9] At that time, Karandev I, the Solanki ruler of Anhilwara (modern Patan), waged a successful war against the Bhil king of Ashaval,[10] and established a city called Karnavati on the banks of the Sabarmati. Solanki rule lasted until the 13th century, when Gujarat came under the control of the Vaghela dynasty of Dholka. Gujarat subsequently came under the control of the Delhi Sultanate in the 14th century. However, by the earlier 15th century, the local governor Zafar Khan Muzaffar established his independence from the Delhi Sultanate and crowned himself Sultan of Gujarat as Muzaffar Shah I, thereby founding the Muzaffarid dynasty. Karnavati finally came under the control of his grandson Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1411 A.D. who renamed the city as Ahmedabad after himself.[11]

In 1487, Mahmud Begada, the grandson of Ahmed Shah, fortified the city with an outer wall 10 km (6.2 mi) in circumference and consisting of twelve gates, 189 bastions and over 6,000 battlements.[12] In 1535 Humayun briefly occupied Ahmedabad after capturing Champaner when the ruler of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah, fled to Diu.[13] Ahmedabad was then reoccupied by the Muzaffarid dynasty until 1573 when Gujarat was conquered by the Mughal emperor Akbar. During the Mughal reign, Ahmedabad became one of the Empire's thriving centres of trade, mainly in textiles, which were exported as far as Europe. The Mughal ruler Shahjahan spent the prime of his life in the city, sponsoring the construction of the Moti Shahi Mahal in Shahibaug. The Deccan Famine of 1630–32 affected the city, as did famines in 1650 and 1686.[14] Ahmedabad remained the provincial headquarters of the Mughals until 1758, when they surrendered the city to the Marathas.[15]

During the period of Maratha Empire governance, the city became the centre of a conflict between two Maratha clans; the Peshwa of Poona and the Gaekwad of Baroda.[16] In 1780, during the First Anglo-Maratha War, a British force under James Hartley stormed and captured Ahmedabad, but it was handed back to the Marathas at the end of the war. The British East India Company took over the city in 1818 during the Third Anglo-Maratha War.[11] A military cantonment was established in 1824 and a municipal government in 1858.[11] In 1864, a railway link between Ahmedabad and Mumbai (then Bombay) was established by the Bombay, Baroda, and Central India Railway (BB&CI), enabling traffic and trade between northern and southern India via the city.[11]

The Indian independence movement developed roots in the city when Mahatma Gandhi established two ashrams — the Kochrab Ashram near Paldi in 1915 and the Satyagraha Ashram (now Sabarmati Ashram) on the banks of the Sabarmati in 1917 — which would become centres of nationalist activities.[11][17] During the mass protests against the Rowlatt Act in 1919, textile workers burned down 51 government buildings across the city in protest at a British attempt to extend wartime regulations after the First World War. In the 1920s, textile workers and teachers went on strike, demanding civil rights and better pay and working conditions. In 1930, Gandhi initiated the Salt Satyagraha from Ahmedabad by embarking from his ashram on the Dandi Salt March. The city's administration and economic institutions were rendered inoperative in the early 1930s by the large numbers of people who took to the streets in peaceful protests, and again in 1942 during the Quit India movement. Following independence and the partition of India in 1947, the city was scarred by the intense communal violence that broke out between Hindus and Muslims in 1947, Ahmedabad was the focus for settlement by Hindu migrants from Pakistan.[18]

By 1960, Ahmedabad had become a metropolis, with classical and colonial European styled buildings lining the city's thoroughfares. It was chosen as the capital of Gujarat state after the bifurcation of the State of Bombay on 1 May 1960. During this period, a large number of educational and research institutions were founded in the city, making it a center of higher education, science and technology.[19] Ahmedabad's economic base became more diverse with the establishment of heavy and chemical industry during the same period. In 1974 the Nav Nirman agitation — a protest against a 20% hike in the hostel food fees at the L.D. College of Engineering in Ahmedabad — snowballed into a movement to remove Chimanbhai Patel, then chief minister of Gujarat.[20] In the 1980s, a reservation policy was introduced in the country, which led to anti-reservation protests in 1981 and 1985. The protests witnessed violent clashes between people belonging to various castes.[21] The city suffered some of the impact of the 2001 Gujarat earthquake; up to 50 multi-storey buildings collapsed, killing 752 people and causing much damage.[22] The following year, a three-day period of violence between Hindus and Muslims in the western Indian state of Gujarat, known as the 2002 Gujarat riots, spread to Ahmedabad; refugee camps were set up around the city.[23]

The 2008 Ahmedabad bombings, a series of seventeen bomb blasts, killed and injured several people.[24] Militant group Harkat-ul-Jihad claimed responsibility for the attacks.[25]

The effects of liberalisation of the Indian economy has energised the city's economy towards tertiary sector activities like commerce, communication and construction activities.[26] Ahmedabad's population is growing, which has resulted in an increase in the construction and housing industries.[27]

Geography

19th century painted cloth map of Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad is located at 23°02′N 72°35′E / 23.03°N 72.58°E / 23.03; 72.58 in western India at 53 metres (174 ft) above sea level on the banks of the Sabarmati river, in north-central Gujarat. It covers an area of 464 km2 (179 sq mi).[28] The Sabarmati frequently dries up in the summer, leaving only a small stream of water, and the city is located in a sandy and dry area. The steady expansion of the Rann of Kutch threatens to increase desertification around the city area and much of the state. Except for the small hills of Thaltej-Jodhpur Tekra, the city is almost flat. Two lakes are within the city's limits—Kankaria and Vastrapur. Kankaria, in the neighbourhood of Maninagar, is an artificial lake developed by the Sultan of Delhi, Qutb-ud-din Aybak, in 1451.[29] According to the Bureau of Indian Standards, the town falls under seismic zone-III, in a scale of I to V (in order of increasing vulnerability to earthquakes)[30] 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. This part of Ahmedabad is characterised by packed bazaars, the pol system of close clustered buildings, and numerous places of worship. It houses the main railway station, the main post office, and some buildings of the Muzaffarid and British eras. The colonial period saw the expansion of the city to the western side of Sabarmati, facilitated by the construction of Ellis Bridge in 1875 and later the relatively modern Nehru Bridge. The western part of the city houses educational institutions, modern buildings, residential areas, shopping malls, multiplexes and new business districts centred around roads such as Ashram Road, C. G. Road & Sarkhej-Gandhinagar Highway.[31]

There are nine bridges on the river Sabarmati that connect the eastern and western regions.

Following a heat wave in May 2010, reaching 46.8 °C (116.2 °F), which claimed hundreds of lives,[32] the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) in partnership with an international coalition of health and academic groups and with support from the Climate & Development Knowledge Network developed the Ahmedabad Heat Action Plan.[33] Aimed at increasing awareness, sharing information and coordinating responses in order to reduce the health effects of heat on vulnerable populations, the action plan is the first comprehensive plan in Asia to address the threat of adverse heat on health.[34] It also focuses on community participation, building public awareness of the risks of extreme heat, training medical and community workers to not only respond to but also help prevent heat-related illnesses, and coordinating an interagency emergency response effort when heat waves hit.[35]

Climate

Ahmedabad has a hot, semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification: BSh), with marginally less rain than required for a tropical savanna climate. There are three main seasons: summer, monsoon and winter. Aside from the monsoon season, the climate is extremely dry. The weather is hot through the months of March to June; the average summer maximum is 41 °C (106 °F), and the average minimum is 27 °C (81 °F). From November to February, the average maximum temperature is 30 °C (86 °F), the average minimum is 15 °C (59 °F), and the climate is extremely dry. Cold northerly winds are responsible for a mild chill in January. The southwest monsoon brings a humid climate from mid-June to mid-September. The average annual rainfall is about 800 millimetres (31 in), but infrequent heavy torrential rains cause local rivers to flood and it is not uncommon for droughts to occur when the monsoon does not extend as far west as usual. The highest temperature recorded is 48.5 °C (119.3 °F)[36][37][38][39]

Climate data for Ahmedabad
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 28.7
(83.7)
31.0
(87.8)
35.9
(96.6)
39.5
(103.1)
41.4
(106.5)
38.5
(101.3)
33.5
(92.3)
32.0
(89.6)
33.5
(92.3)
35.8
(96.4)
33.2
(91.8)
29.9
(85.8)
34.41
(93.93)
Average low °C (°F) 13.1
(55.6)
14.8
(58.6)
19.4
(66.9)
23.5
(74.3)
26.3
(79.3)
27.2
(81)
25.7
(78.3)
24.9
(76.8)
24.4
(75.9)
21.9
(71.4)
17.5
(63.5)
14.1
(57.4)
21.07
(69.92)
Rainfall mm (inches) 2.1
(0.083)
1.2
(0.047)
1.1
(0.043)
1.9
(0.075)
9.1
(0.358)
97.4
(3.835)
309.8
(12.197)
213.8
(8.417)
126.6
(4.984)
13.5
(0.531)
6.1
(0.24)
1.7
(0.067)
784.3
(30.877)
Avg. rainy days (≥ 1 mm) 0 0 0 0 0 3 8 6 4 1 1 0 23
Source #1: India Meteorological Department (1901-2000)[40]
Source #2: Weatherbase (Avg. rainy days)

Cityscape

Early in Ahmedabad's history, under Ahmed Shah, builders fused Hindu craftsmanship with Persian architecture, giving rise to the Indo-Saracenic style.[41] Many mosques in the city were built in this fashion.[41] Sidi Saiyyed Mosque was built in the last year of the Sultanate of Gujarat. It is entirely arched and has ten stone latticework windows or jali on the side and rear arches. Private mansions or haveli from this era have carvings.[42]

After independence, modern buildings appeared in Ahmedabad. Architects given commissions in the city included Louis Kahn, who designed the IIM-A; Le Corbusier, who designed the Shodhan and Sarabhai Villas, the Sanskar Kendra and the Mill Owner's Association Building, and Frank Lloyd Wright, who designed the administrative building of Calico Mills and the Calico Dome.[43][44] B. V. Doshi came to the city from Paris to supervise Le Corbusier's works and later set up the School of Architecture. His local works include Sangath, Amdavad ni Gufa and the School of Architecture. Charles Correa, who became a partner of Doshi's, designed the Gandhi Ashram and Achyut Kanvinde, and the Indian Textile Industries Research Association.[45][46] Christopher Charles Benninger's first work, the Alliance Francaise, is located in the Ellis Bridge area.[47] Anant Raje designed major additions to Louis Kahn's IIM-A campus, namely the Ravi Mathai Auditorium and KLMD.[48]

Sabarmati Riverfront

Some of the most popular and visited gardens in the city are Law Garden, Victoria Garden and Bal Vatika. Victoria Garden is located at the southern edge of the Bhadra Fort and contains a statue of Queen Victoria. Bal Vatika is a children's park situated on the grounds of Kankaria Lake and also houses an amusement park and a water park. Law Garden was named after the College of Law situated close to it. Other main gardens in the city are Parimal Garden, Usmanpura Garden, Prahlad Nagar Garden and Lal Darwaja Garden.[49] Ahmedabad's Kamla Nehru Zoological Park houses a number of endangered species including flamingoes, caracals, Asiatic wolves and chinkara.[50]

The man-made lake, Kankaria, built in 1451 AD, is one of the biggest lakes in Ahmedabad.[51] In earlier days, it used to be known by the name Qutub Hoj or Hauj-e-Kutub.[52] It has an approximate circumference of 2.3 km (1.4 mi) and 34 sides, and is located in the southern part of the city in Maninagar.[52] Vastrapur Lake is in western part of Ahmedabad.

Lal Bahadur Shastri lake in Bapunagar is almost 136,000 sq metres. Another 34 lakes are planned in and around Ahmedabad of which five lakes will be developed by AMC; the other 29 will be developed by AUDA.[53] Chandola Lake covers an area of 1200 hectares. It is a water reservoir, embanked and circular in form. It is home for cormorants, painted stork and spoonbill birds.[54] During the evening time, many people visit this place and take a leisure stroll.[55]

AMC has initiated the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project with an objective of environmental improvement with provision of slum rehabilitation for poor living on the river banks.[56]

Civic administration

Torrent Power thermal power station at Sabarmati, Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad city is the administrative headquarters of Ahmedabad district, administered by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC). The AMC was established in July 1950 under the Bombay Provincial Corporation Act of 1949. The AMC commissioner is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer appointed by the state government who reserves the administrative executive powers, whereas the corporation is headed by the Mayor. The city residents elect the 192 municipal councillors through a popular vote, and the elected councillors select the deputy mayor and mayor of the city. The administrative responsibilities of the AMC are: water and sewerage services, primary education, health services, fire services, public transport and city's infrastructure.[28]

The city's suburban areas are administered by the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA). The city is represented by two elected members of parliament in the Lok Sabha (lower house of Indian Parliament) and 19 members of the Legislative Assembly at the Gujarat Vidhan Sabha. In the 2010 Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation elections, the BJP won 148 seats, 38 seats went to the Congress, and three seats went to independent candidates.[57]

The Gujarat High Court is located in the Ahmedabad, making the city the judicial capital of Gujarat.[58] Law enforcement and public safety is maintained by the Ahmedabad City Police, headed by the Police Commissioner, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer.[59] Health services are primarily provided at Ahmedabad civil hospital, the largest civil hospital in Asia.[60] Electricity in the city is generated and distributed by Torrent Power Limited, owned and operated by the Ahmedabad Electricity Company, which was previously a state-run corporation.[61] Ahmedabad is one of the few cities in India, where the power sector is privatised.[62]

The city is divided into five zones constituting 64 wards. Ahmedabad District is divided into a number of talukas (administrative divisions) including Ahmedabad taluka Barwala, Dholka, Dhandhuka, Detroj, Sanand, Bavla, Ranpur, Mandal, Viramgam and Daskroi.[63]

Economy

Main article: Economy of Ahmedabad

The gross domestic product of Ahmedabad was estimated at $64 billion in 2014.[64][65][66] The RBI ranked Ahmedabad as the Sevan largest deposit centre and seventh largest credit centre nationwide as of June 2012.[67] In the 19th century, the textile and garments industry received strong capital investment. On 30 May 1861 Ranchhodlal Chhotalal founded the first Indian textile mill, the Ahmedabad Spinning and Weaving Company Limited,[68] followed by the establishment of a series of textile mills such as the Calico Mills, Bagicha Mills and Arvind Mills. By 1905 there were about 33 textile mills in the city.[69] The textile industry further expanded rapidly during the First World War, and benefited from the influence of Mahatma Gandhi's Swadeshi movement, which promoted the purchase of Indian-made goods.[70] Ahmedabad was known as the "Manchester of the East", due to its textile industry.[17] The city is the largest supplier of denim and one of the largest exporters of gemstones and jewellery in India.[26] The automobile industry is also important to the city; after Tata's Nano project, Ford and Suzuki are planning to establish plants near Ahmedabad while the groundbreaking ceremony for Peugeot has already been performed.[71][72][73]

The Ahmedabad Stock Exchange, located in the Ambavadi area of the city, is India's second oldest stock exchange.[74] Two of the biggest pharmaceutical companies of India—Zydus Cadila and Torrent Pharmaceuticals — are based in the city. The Nirma group of industries, which runs a large number of detergent and chemical industrial units, has its corporate headquarters in the city. The city also houses the corporate headquarters of the Adani Group, a multinational trading and infrastructure development company.[75] The Sardar Sarovar Project of dams and canals has improved the supply of potable water and electricity for the city.[76] The information technology industry has developed significantly in Ahmedabad, with companies such as Tata Consultancy Services opening offices in the city.[77] A NASSCOM survey in 2002 on the "Super Nine Indian Destinations" for IT-enabled services ranked Ahmedabad fifth among the top nine most competitive cities in the country.[27] The city's educational and industrial institutions have attracted students and young skilled workers from the rest of India.[78] Ahmedabad houses other major Indian corporates such as: Rasna, Wagh Bakri, Nirma, Cadila Pharmaceuticals, Intas Pharmaceuticals, Paras Pharmaceuticals. Ahmedabad is the second largest cotton textile centre in India after Mumbai and the largest in Gujarat.[79] Many cotton manufacturing units are presently running in and around Ahmedabad.[80][81][82][83][84] Textiles is one of the major industries of the city.[85] Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation had acquired land in Sanand taluka of Ahmedabad to set up three new industrial estates.[86]

Demographics

Population growth of Ahmedabad 
Census Pop.
1871 116,900
1901 185,900
1911 216,800 16.6%
1921 270,000 24.5%
1931 313,800 16.2%
1941 595,200 89.7%
1951 788,300 32.4%
1961 1,149,900 45.9%
1971 1,950,000 69.6%
1981 2,515,200 29.0%
1991 3,312,200 31.7%
2001 4,525,013 36.6%
2011 6,352,254 40.4%
sources:[5][87][88]

Ahmedabad is the fifth largest city and seventh largest metropolitan area in India.[89][90][91] According to the 2011 census the population of Ahmedabad metropolitan was 63,52,254.[5] Ahmedabad has a literacy rate of 89.62%; 93.96% of the men and 84.81% of the women are literate.[5] Ahmedabad's sex ratio in 2011 was 897 women per 1000 men.[5] According to the census for the Ninth Plan, there are 30,737 rural families living in Ahmedabad. Of those, 5.41% (1663 families) live below the poverty line.[92] Approximately 440,000 people live in slums within the city.[93] Ahmedabad is home to a large population of Vanias (i.e., traders), belonging to the Vaishnava sect of Hinduism and various sects of Jainism. Most of the residents of Ahmedabad are native Gujaratis. Over 7% of the population is Muslim, numbering over 300,000 in the 2001 census.[94] In addition, the city is home to some 2000 Parsis and some 125 members of the Bene Israel Jewish community.[95] There is also one synagogue in the city.[96][97] In 2008, there were 2273 registered non-resident Indians living in Ahmedabad.[98]

In 2010, Forbes magazine rated Ahmedabad as the fastest-growing city in India, and listed it as third fastest-growing in the world after the Chinese cities of Chengdu and Chongqing.[99] In 2011, it was rated India's best mega city to live in by leading market research firm IMRB.[100] According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report of 2003, Ahmedabad has the lowest crime rate of the 35 Indian cities with a population of more than one million.[101] In December 2011 market research firm IMRB declared Ahmedabad the best mega-city to live in, when compared to India's other mega-cities.[102] Slightly less than half of all real estate in Ahmedabad is owned by "community organisations" (i.e. cooperatives), and according to Prof. Vrajlal Sapovadia of the B.K. School of Business Management, "the spatial growth of the city is to [an] extent [a] contribution of these organisations".[103] Ahmedabad Cantonment provides residential zones for Indian Army officials.[104]

Culture

Main article: Culture of Ahmedabad
Navaratri celebrations in Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad observes a wide range of festivals. Popular celebrations and observances include Uttarayan, an annual kite-flying day on 14 and 15 January. Nine nights of Navratri are celebrated with people performing Garba, the most popular folk dance of Gujarat, at venues across the city. The festival of lights, Deepavali, is celebrated with the lighting of lamps in every house, decorating the floors with rangoli, and the lighting of firecrackers. Other religious festivals such as Holi, Ganesh Chaturthi, Gudi Padwa, Eid ul-Fitr and Christmas are also celebrated. 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 important events.[105][106]

One of the most popular forms of meal in Ahmedabad is a typical Gujarati thali which was first served commercially by Chandvilas Hotel in 1900.[107] It consists of roti, dal, rice and shaak (cooked vegetables, sometimes with curry), with accompaniments of pickles and roasted papads. Beverages include buttermilk and tea; sweet dishes include laddoo, mango, and vedhmi. Dhoklas, theplas and dhebras are also very popular dishes in Ahmedabad.[108] There are many restaurants, which serve a wide array of Indian and international cuisines. Most of the food outlets in the city serve only vegetarian food, as a strong tradition of vegetarianism is maintained by the city's Jain and Hindu communities because of their religious beliefs.[109] The first all-vegetarian Pizza Hut in the world opened in Ahmedabad.[110] KFC has a separate staff uniform for serving vegetarian items and prepares vegetarian food in a separate kitchen,[111][112] as does McDonald's.[113][114] Ahmedabad has a quite a few restaurants serving typical Mughlai non-vegetarian food in older areas like Bhatiyar Gali, Kalupur and Jamalpur.[115]

Manek Chowk is an open square near the centre of the city that functions as a vegetable market in the morning and a jewellery market in the afternoon. However, it is better known for its food stalls in the evening, which sell various local street food. It is named after the Hindu saint Baba Maneknath.[116] Parts of Ahmedabad are known for their folk art. The artisans of Rangeela pol make tie-dyed bandhinis, while the cobbler shops of Madhupura sell traditional mojdi (also known as; mojri) footwear. Idols of Ganesha and other religious icons are made in huge numbers in the Gulbai Tekra area. The shops at the Law Garden sell mirror work handicraft.[49]

Three main literary institutions were established in Ahmedabad for the promotion of Gujarati literature: Gujarat Vidhya Sabha, Gujarati Sahitya Parishad and Gujarat Sahitya Sabha. Saptak School of Music festival is held in the first week of the new year. This event was inaugurated by Ravi Shankar.[117][118]

The Sanskar Kendra, one of the several buildings in Ahmedabad designed by Le Corbusier, is a city museum depicting the history, art, culture and architecture of Ahmedabad. The Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalaya and the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Memorial have permanent displays of photographs, documents and other articles relating to Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel. The Calico Museum of Textiles has a large collection of Indian and international fabrics, garments and textiles.[119] The Hazrat Pir Mohammad Shah Library has a collection of rare original manuscripts in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Sindhi and Turkish.[120] There is Vechaar Utensils Museum which have utensils of stainless steel, glass, brass, copper, bronze, zinc and German silver.[121][122]

Shreyas Foundation have four different museums on same campus. Shreyas Folk Museum(Lokayatan Museum) have art forms and artefacts from various communities of Gujarat. Kalpana Mangaldas Children's Museum have collection of toys, puppets, dance and drama costumes, coins and a repository of recorded music from traditional shows from all over the world. Kahani houses photographs of different fairs and festivals of Gujarat. Sangeeta Vadyakhand is a gallary of musical instruments from India and other Countries.[123][124][125]

L D Institute of Indology houses about 76,000 hand written Jain manuscripts with 500 illustrated versions and 45,000 printed books, making it the largest collection of Jain scripts, Indian sculptures, terracottas, miniature paintings, cloth paintings, painted scrolls, bronzes, woodwork, Indian coins, textiles and decorative art, paintings of Rabindranath Tagore and art of Nepal and Tibet.[126] N C Mehta Gallery of Miniature Paintings has a collection of ornate miniature paintings and manuscripts collected from all over India.[127]

Transport

Rickshaws and scooters navigate the packed roads in front of the Teen Darwaja

Ahmedabad is one of six operating divisions within the Western Railway zone.[128] Railway lines connect the city to towns in Gujarat and major Indian cities. Ahmedabad railway station, locally known as Kalupur station, is the city's main terminus; there are 11 other stations, including Maninagar.[129] The Government of Gujarat and Ahmedabad Mahanagar Sevasadan have initiated a feasibility study into the possibility of a mass-transit metro system for the cities of Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. The state government will set up a INR2 billion company for the execution of the project. The company is likely to be named the Metro Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA).[130] National Highway 8, linking Delhi to Mumbai, passes though Ahmedabad and connects it with Gandhinagar, Delhi and Mumbai. The National Highway 8C also links Ahmedabad to Gandhinagar. It is connected to Vadodara through National Expressway 1, a 94 km (58 mi) long expressway with only two exits. This expressway is part of the Golden Quadrilateral project.[131] In 2001, Ahmedabad was ranked as the most polluted city in India, out of 85 cities, by the Central Pollution Control Board. The Gujarat Pollution Control Board gave auto rickshaw drivers an incentive of INR10,000 to convert all 37,733 auto rickshaws in Ahmedabad to cleaner burning compressed natural gas to reduce pollution. As a result, in 2008, Ahmedabad was ranked as 50th most polluted city in India.[132] Ahmedabad has a Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS), maintained by the Ahmedabad Janmarg Limited (AJL). Ahmedabad BRTS was given the Sustainable Transport Award in 2010 by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy for reducing carbon emissions and improving residents' access.[133] The first phase connecting RTO to Pirana was inaugurated by Chief Minister Narendra Modi on 14 October 2009[134][135] and the second half of the first phase connecting Chandranagar to Pushpa Kunj gate at Kankaria was inaugurated on 25 December 2009.[136] It is extended from Shivranjani to Iskcon Temple on 15 September 2012.[137] On 28 September 2012 it also include the sketch from Soni ni Chali to Odhav.[138] Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service (also known as AMTS), maintained by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, runs the public bus service in the city of Ahmedabad.[139] At present, AMTS has 750 buses serving the city.[139] Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, 15 km (9.3 mi) from the city centre, provides both domestic and international flights.[140] It is the busiest airport in Gujarat, and the eighth busiest in India with an average of 250 aircraft movements a day.[141] The Fedara International Airport is also a proposed international airport near Fedara. This airport will be the largest airport in India with a total area of 7,500 hectares.[142]

Education

Louis Kahn Plaza, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad had a literacy rate of 79.89% in 2001 which rose to 89.62 percent in 2011. Out of this, male and female literacy are 93.96 and 84.81 percent as of 2011 census.[143] Schools in Ahmedabad are run either by the municipal corporation, or privately by entities, trusts and corporations. The majority of schools are affiliated with the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board, although some are affiliated with the Central Board for Secondary Education, Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, International Baccalaureate and National Institute of Open School. A large number of colleges in the city are affiliated with Gujarat University; Gujarat Technological University and other deemed universities in Ahmedabad include the Center for Environmental Planning and Technology University, Nirma University of Science & Technology and the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University.[144] The Gujarat Vidyapith was established in 1920 by Mahatma Gandhi without a charter from the British Raj and became a deemed university in 1963.[145]

Other educational institutions in Ahmedabad include the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, the Gujarat National Law University, the Adani Institute of Infrastructure Management, the National Institute of Design, the Pandit Deendayal Petroleum University, the Mudra Institute of Communications, the Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India, B.J. Medical College, NHL Municipal Medical College, Ahmedabad Management Association, the Ahmedabad Management Association and the L.D. College of Engineering, Vishwakarma Government Engineering College, Many national academic and scientific institutions, such as the Physical Research Laboratory and the Indian Space Research Organisation were established in the 1960s, largely through the efforts of astrophysicist and industrialist Vikram Sarabhai.[146]

Media

Broadcasting tower of the Ahmedabad Doordarshan

Newspapers in Ahmedabad include the Hindi dailies Herald Young Leader and Metro Herald, and English dailies such as The Times of India, Indian Express, DNA, The Economic Times, The Financial Express, and Ahmedabad Mirror.[147] Newspapers in other languages (Gujarati and Hindi) include Divya Bhaskar, Gujarat Samachar, Sandesh, Rajasthan Patrika, Sambhaav, Aankhodekhi and Metro.[147] The city is home to the historic Navajivan Publishing House, which was founded in 1919 by Mahatma Gandhi.[148]

The state-owned All India Radio Ahmedabad is broadcast both on the medium wave and FM bands (96.7 MHz) in the city.[149] It competes with five private local FM stations: Radio City (91.1 MHz), Red FM (93.5 MHz), My fm (94.3 MHz), Radio One (95.0 MHz), Radio Mirchi (98.3 MHz). Gyan Vani (104.5 MHz) is an educational FM radio station run under media co-operation model.[150] In March 2012 Gujarat University started campus radio service on 90.8 MHz which was first kind of it in state and fifth in India.[151]

The state-owned television broadcaster Doordarshan provides free terrestrial channels, while two multi system operatorsInCablenet and Siti Cable—provide a mix of Gujarati, Hindi, English, and other regional channels via cable.[152] Telephone services are provided by landline and mobile operators such as BSNL, Reliance CDMA & Reliance GSM, Airtel, Uninor, Docomo, Videocon, Aircel, Vodafone, Idea, MTS India and Tata Indicom.[153]

Sports

Sardar Patel (Gujarat) Stadium, a cricket stadium with 54,000 capacity, in Motera, Ahmedabad

Cricket is one of the popular sports in the city.[154] Sardar Patel Stadium (also known as Motera Stadium), built in 1982, hosts both one day internationals and test matches. It has a seating capacity of 54,000.[155] It hosted the 1987, 1996 and 2011 Cricket World Cups.[156] Ahmedabad also has a second cricket stadium at the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation's Sports Club of Gujarat which is the home ground of the Gujarat cricket team that plays in the Ranji Trophy tournament.[155]

Other popular sports are field hockey, badminton, tennis, squash and golf. Ahmedabad currently has three golf courses.[157] Mithakhali Multi Sports Complex is being developed by the AMC to promote various indoor sports.[158] Recently Ahmedabad hosted national level games for roller skating and table tennis.[159] Kart racing is gaining popularity in the city, with the introduction of a 380 meter long track based on Formula One concepts.[160][161]

Sabarmati Marathon is organised every year in December–January which have different categories like full and half marathon, 7 km dream run, 5 km run for visually challenged and 5 km wheelchair run.[162] In 2011, more than 8000 persons including 73 foreigners took part in marathon.[163] In 2007, Ahmedabad hosted the 51st national level shooting games.[164]

Geet Sethi, a five-time winner of the World Professional Billiards Championship and a recipient of India's highest sporting award, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, was raised in Ahmedabad.[165]

See also

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Further reading

  • Muktirajsinhji Chauhan and Kamalika Bose. History of Interior Design in India Vol 1 : Ahmedabad (2007) ISBN 81-904096-0-3
  • Kenneth L. Gillion (1968). Ahmedabad: A Study in Indian Urban History. University of California Press. 
  • Altekar, Anant Sadashiv. A history of important ancient towns and cities in Gujarat and Kathiawad (from the earliest times down to the Moslem conquest). ASIN B0008B2NGA. 
  • Crook, Nigel (1993). India's Industrial Cities: Essays in Economy and Demography. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-563172-2. 
  • Rajan, K. V. Soundra (1989). Ahmadabad. Archaeological Survey of India. 
  • Forrest, George William. Cities of India. Adamant Media Corporation. ISBN 0-543-93823-9. 
  • Gandhi, R (1990). Patel: A Life. Navajivan Press, Ahmedabad. ASIN B0006EYQ0A. 
  • Michell, George (2003). Ahmadabad. Art Media Resources. ISBN 81-85026-03-3. 
  • Spodek, Howard (2011). Ahmedabad: Shock City of Twentieth-Century India. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-35587-4. 

External links