Ahmedabad

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Clockwise from topː Gandhi Smarak Sangrahalay at Sabarmati Ashram, Ahmedabad Railway Station, CEPT University, Kankaria Lake and the Kirti Stambh at Hutheesing Temple.

Ahmedabad is the largest city and former capital of the Indian state of Gujarat. It is located on the banks of the Sabarmati River, 30 km (19 mi) from the state capital Gandhinagar. It is also ranked third in Forbes' list of fastest growing cities of the decade and also the fifth largest city and seventh largest metropolitan area of India.

Quotes[edit]

  • The Sabarmati Ashram, which was founded in 1918 on the west bank of the Sabarmati River, was the second home for Mahatma Gandhi. This was his headquarters while he fought for his ideals of Indian independence. It was from here that he devised his plan for the final struggle for India’s freedom. His cottage, Hriday Kunj, is still fairly intact and is now a small museum that contains some of his personal items such as his round eyeglasses, wooden slippers, books, and letters. They still make handicrafts at the ashrama.
    • Knapp Stephen, Spiritual India Handbook (2011)
  • Ahmedabad was named as one of the three Indian cities best positioned to prosper and grow in this new age of urbanization.
Leading institution of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad.
  • What beauty and excellence can the founder of the city seen in this wretched city with its dust-laden air, its hot winds, its dry river-bed, its brackish nasty water and its thron covered suburbs.
  • During nine months of Jehangir;s stay in Ahmadabad [in 1608] his favourite wife Nur Jahan governor of the city
    • Colonel Briggs, in Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency: Ahmedabad, p. 255
  • The plan of the old city, comprises numerous pols [residential complexes], self contained neighborhoods, sheltering large numbers of people, traversed by narrow streets, usually terminating in squares with community wells and chabutaras for feeding birds.
  • Until the beginning of the twentieth century most of Ahmedabad’s population resided within the Fort Walls [on the eastern bank of the Sabaramati River. The opening of the first Ahmedabad textile mill in 1861 and of the railway line between Ahmedabad and Bombay [now Mumbai] three years was a harbinger of the city’s rapid expansion. The developing textile industry generated waves of migration into the city and extensive growth of its population and territory.
Panoramic view of Ahmedabad
  • Socially, economically and in its structural and spatial design, the city had gradually been divided into three parts. From the end of 1960s, Ahmedabad became the story of three cities.
    • B.K. Roy Burman, in Social profile, in Communalism, Caste and Hindu Nationalism: The Violence in Gujarat, p. 32
  • The walled city, with its twelve gates and numerous mosques, temples and towers, was founded in 1411 by Ahmad Shah on the eastern bank of the Sabarmati River. Despite its dilapidated condition, the Indian Islamic architecture and the houses decorated with wood carvings attest to its affluent status.
    • Anjana Desai, in Environmental Perceptions, in Communalism, Caste and Hindu Nationalism: The Violence in Gujarat, p. 33
The Sabarmati Riverfront Development project brings together global wisdom and best practices to revive the river as a public sanctuary for the people of Ahmedabad...The Riverfront upgrades 18 precincts located adjacent to the riverfront land, revitalising the heart of Ahmedabad and leading the city's future growth.
  • The first to move beyond the walls with the growth of the city’s population were the wealthy mill-owners. They built bungalows in the northern suburb of Shahibag. From the early 1920s, wealthy members of upper-caste groups began moving to the western side of the river, where they constructed housing societies. These small cooperative apartment buildings, alongside buildings, became the new residential pattern in the area.
    • Kenneth L. Gillion, in “Ahmedabad” in Communalism, Caste and Hindu Nationalism: The Violence in Gujarat, p. 34
  • The Sabarmati Riverfront Development project brings together global wisdom and best practices to revive the river as a public sanctuary for the people of Ahmedabad...The Riverfront upgrades 18 precincts located adjacent to the riverfront land, revitalising the heart of Ahmedabad and leading the city's future growth.
    • Sabarmati Riverfront, in A Unique Identity, Sabarmati Riverfront Development Corporation Limited.
Mahatma Gandhi: This is the right place for our activities to carry on the search for Truth and develop Fearlessness- for on one side, are the iron bolts of the foreigners, and on the other, thunderbolts.
  • This is the right place for our activities to carry on the search for Truth and develop Fearlessness- for on one side, are the iron bolts of the foreigners, and on the other, thunderbolts of Mother Nature.
  • The British ruled the city from 1818 and they made a military cantonment here in 1824. In 1864, Ahmedabad was connected to Bombay (now Mumbai) by rail which made Ahmedabad the leading hub for trade and manufacturing. After Independence, Ahmedabad was declared a provincial town of Bombay and it became the capital city of Gujarat on 1 May 1960.
  • Amedahad being inhabited also by a great number of heathens, there are Pagods, or Idol-Temples it it. That which was called the Pagod of Santidas was the chief, before King Auranzeb converted it into a Mosque. When he performed that ceremony, he caused a cow to be killed in the place, knowing very well, that after such an action, the Gentiles according to their Law, could worship no more therein. All round the temple there is a cloyster furnished with lovely Cells, beautified with Figures of Marble in relief, representing naked Women sitting after the Oriental fashion. The inside Roof of the Mosque is pretty enough, and the Walls are full of the Figures of Men and Beasts ; but Auranzeb, who hath always made a show of an affected Devotion, which at length raised him to the Throne, caused the Noses of all these Figures which added a great deal of Magnificence to that Mosque, to be beat off.
    • Description of the temple built by Shantidas Jhaveri. Indian Records Series Indian Travels Of Thevenot And Careri [1] Cited in Harsh Narain, The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute: Focus on Muslim Sources, Appendix VI
  • Ahmadabad is one of the largest towns in India, and there is a considerable trade in silken stuffs, gold and silver tapestries, and others mixed with silk ; saltpetre, sugar, ginger, both candied and plain, tamarinds, mirabolans, and indigo cakes, which are made at three leagues from Ahmadabad, at a large town called Suarkei.There was formerly a pagoda in this place, which the Musalinans seized and converted into a mosque. Before entering it you traverse three great courts paved with marble, and surrounded by galleries, but you are not allowed to place foot in the third without removing your shoes. The exterior of the mosque is ornamented with mosaic, the greater part of which consists of agates of different colours, obtained from the mountains of Cambay, only two days’ journey thence.
    • Description of the temple built by Shantidas Jhaveri. Travels In India Vol.-i by Tavernier Jean-baptiste [2] Cited in Harsh Narain, The Ayodhya Temple Mosque Dispute: Focus on Muslim Sources, Appendix VI
  • “One day at Ahmadabad it was reported that many of the infidel and superstitious sect of the Seoras (Jains) of Gujarat had made several very great and splendid temples, and having placed in them their false gods, had managed to secure a large degree of respect for themselves and that the women who went for worship in those temples were polluted by them and other people… The Emperor Jahangir ordered them banished from the country, and their temples to be, demolished. Their idol was thrown down on the uppermost step of the mosque, that it might be trodden upon by those who came to say their daily prayers there. By this order of the Emperor, the infidels were exceedingly disgraced, and Islam exalted…”
    • Ahmadabad (Gujarat) Intikhab-i-Jahangir Shabi Elliot and Dowson, History of India as told by its own historians, Vol. VI, p. 451.
  • During the Subedari of religious-minded, noble prince, vestiges of the Temple of Chintaman situated on the side of Saraspur built by Satidas jeweller, were removed under the Prince's order and a masjid was erected on its remains. It was named 'Quwwat-ul-Islam.
    • Aurangzeb. Ahmadabad (Gujarat) . Mirat-i-Ahmadi by Ali Muhammad Khan, in Mirat-i-Ahmdi, translated into English by M.F. Lokhandwala, Baroda, 1965, P. 194
  • In Ahmadabad and other parganas of Gujarat, in the days before my accession, temples were destroyed by my order. They have been repaired and idol worship has been resumed. Carry out the former orders.
    • Aurangzeb. Farman dated 20 November 1665 recorded in Mirat-i-Ahmadi, p. 275; translated by Jadunath Sarkar in History of Aurangzib: Mainly Based on Persian Sources - Vol. III, p. 185; Ayodhya Revisited by Kunal Kishore, p. 575; The Crescent in India: A Study in Medieval History by Shripad Rama Sharma, p. 554; Hindu Temples, what Happened to Them: The Islamic Evidence, by Arun Shourie & Sita Ram Goel, p. 33

Historic city of Ahmadabad[edit]

UNESCO Historic city of Ahmadabad

...... After AD. 1411 came to be erected the oldest extant fortification of the city, viz., the square Bhadra towers, which with massive form included the royal citadel on an area of about 16 hectares.
  • Ahmadabad's walled city has a history of last six centuries. It has a unique settlement which has acquired significant importance for its patterns and homogeneity of community living which is characteristic of its economic reliance on trade and commerce since centuries.
  • The foundations of the city of Ahmadabad were laid by Ahmad Shah with benedictions of his spiritual preceptor, Shaikh Ahmad Khattu Ganj Bakhsh of Sarkhej... After AD. 1411 came to be erected the oldest extant fortification of the city, viz., the square Bhadra towers, which with massive form included the royal citadel on an area of about 16 hectares.
  • Its wealth of wooden architecture of settlements is also a great heritage for which the city is well known since centuries and is considered a storehouse of integrated crafts which extended from block making for textile printing to some of the finest expressions in traditional houses and temple building arts...Its economic enterprise sustaining the city and state, its wisdom in financial expertise and its guild tradition for community co-existence, leading to a world class status in textiles in 19th century.
  • India's most import struggle for independence also originated here when Mahatma Gandhi made this city his home in his formative period. His associations within the historic city first and then at a wealthy merchant's house' Kocharab are preserved in his memory Sabarmati Ashram here which he conceived as a model for Indian way life on the banks of Sabarmati river is a global pilgrimage place. This was the place he wanted to develop as an ideal set up for demonstrating the Indian way of life. He left from here to start the famous Dandi March which really marked the struggle for Independence Movement in India.

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