Ahmedabad is the largest, most populous city in the Indian state of Gujarat. The city is considered as the economic and industrial hub with a vibrant business district and a rising center of education, IT, and scientific industries. Divided into two halves by the Sabarmati River, the city offers different moods on either side. From the hustle-bustle of the old city to the silent retreat of Sabarmati Ashram, the city has various shades. Ahmedabad entertains a thriving cultural tradition as it celebrates diverse traditions of different ethnic and religious communities. In 2017, the historic city of Ahmedabad was tagged as the UNESCO World Heritage City. As popular as Ahmedabad is global, there are still some unknown facts about the city.
1. Formerly known as ‘Karnavati’
Ahmedabad has been occupied since the 11th century and was previously known as ‘Ashaval’. The Chalukya ruler of Patan waged a successful war against the Bhil king and established the city known as ‘Karnavati’. Later, in the early 15th century, the city came under the rule of Ahmed Shah as he laid the foundation of a new walled city. It was consequently named ‘Ahmedabad’ after four sages in the region with the name Ahmed.
2. The previous Capital of Gujarat
Ahmedabad was the capital city of Gujarat. Later, in 1970, the capital was moved to Gandhinagar, its twin city.
3. Manchester of the East
In the late 19th century, the first Indian Textile was founded by Ranchhodlal Chotalal, Ahmedabad Spinning and Weaving Company Limited, followed by the establishment of popular textile mills like Calico Mills, Bagicha Mills, and more. The textile industry grew rapidly during the First World War and benefited more from the influence of Mahatma Gandhi’s Swadeshi Movement. This movement promoted the purchase of Indian-made goods.
4. City of Mills
The picturesque city of Gujarat is also a business person’s paradise. With numerous mills right through the course of history, Ahmedabad provides optimum support for a flourishing industry and economy. It is the home to popular mills like Arvind Mills, Reliance Textiles, etc.
5. Inspiration of SBI’s Logo
One of the largest banks in the world, the State Bank of India’s logo is designed with inspiration from the Kankaria Lake in Ahmedabad, one of the largest lakes in the city. SBI’s logo conveys that it’ll serve all citizens of the country with unity and hospitality. It is the depiction of Kankaria Lake when viewed from a height.
6. The Educational hub
An unnoticed fact about Ahmedabad is that it is the only city in India having three eminent institutes: IIM, globally famed for its entrepreneur production, an IIT for technological enthusiasts, and a NID for the nascent designers. It is a paradise for educational enthusiasts.
7. The History of IIM
Ahmedabad is the second city after Calcutta to build an IIM. The popular project was designed by Architect Louis Kahn in 1961. It is considered one of the leading business schools in India and Asia- the Pacific region. Led by a group of illustrious individuals, its logo is derived from the carved stone lattice work of an admired historic mosque dating back to the 16th century ‘Sidi Sayyed ni Jali’ located in the heart of Ahmedabad. It represents the ‘Tree of Life.
8. Ahmedabad Stock Exchange Market
The Ahmedabad stock exchange is the country’s second-oldest stock exchange, following the renowned Bombay stock exchange. It was established in 1875 but exited the stock market business in 2018. Its logo displayed the auspicious symbol of Hinduism, the Swastika, the symbol of wealth and prosperity. This heritage building is a fine example of Colonial architecture.
9. Shaking Minarets
One of the iconic monuments located in the city of Ahmedabad is the Shaking Minarets, also known as Jhulta Minar. It has always been in the limelight credited to its unique construction. With intricately carved balconies, it was observed that gentle shaking of either minaret resulted in the vibration of the other one despite being separate. The mechanism is unknown yet, but the layered construction is assumed to be a factor for the shaking.
10. Pols: Housing in the Walled City
A unique thing about the old city of Ahmedabad is its housing. A cluster of houses sharing the same wall accommodating different traditions and cultures. It is a closely-knit area containing various communities. Pols were constructed as a security measure when communal riots elevated in the 18th century as they had secret entrances only known to the residents. This housing also proved to be very efficient in terms of the climate of the city. A very rich and rare heritage of the city that has been bestowed to the residents, these homes have intricate carvings and courtyards, which was an interesting evolution in urban living space.
Ahmedabad, undoubtedly, is one of the most developed cities of the country, with fascinating architecture and culture. It is also listed as the world’s one of the fastest-growing cities economically and forms one of the metropolitan cities of the nation. Owing to its diverse sightseeing spaces, architecture, mouth-watering delicacies, and cultural traditions, it qualifies as a great tourism site as well.
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- Wikipedia Contributors (2019). Ahmedabad. [online] Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ahmedabad.
- Santosh (2016). 10 Interesting Facts About Ahmedabad. [online] World Blaze. Available at: https://www.worldblaze.in/10-facts-about-ahmedabad/ [Accessed 18 Mar. 2022].