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Ahmedabad : Overview
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Area Size :  205 Sq. Km.   Population :  5.2 Millions.  
Popular Languages :  Gujarati, Hindi, English  
Vastrapurlake > Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad is a city in India, which is the largest city in the state of Gujarat, with a population of approximately 52 lakhs (5.2 million).Located on the banks of the River Sabarmati, the city is the administrative centre of Ahmedabad district and was the capital of Gujarat from 1960 to 1970; the capital was shifted to Gandhinagar thenafter. In colloquial Gujarati, it is commonly called Amdavad.

Ahmedabad was founded in 1411 by Sultan Ahmed Shah to serve as the capital of the Gujarat Sultanate. The city is named after its founder. Under British rule, a military cantonment was established and the city infrastructure was modernised and expanded. Although incorporated into the Bombay Presidency during the British rule in India, Ahmedabad remained the most important city in the Gujarat region. The city established itself as the home of a booming textile industry, which earned it the nickname "the Manchester of the East."The city was at the forefront of the Indian independence movement in the first half of the 20th century.It was the centre of many campaigns of civil disobedience to promote workers' rights, civil rights and political independence.

With the creation of the state of Gujarat in 1960, Ahmedabad gained prominence as commercial capital of the state.Once characterised by dusty roads and bungalows, the city is witnessing a major construction boom and population increase. A rising centre of education, information technology and scientific industries, Ahmedabad remains the cultural and commercial heart of Gujarat and much of western India.

History:

Archaeological evidence suggests that the area around Ahmedabad has been inhabited since the 11th century, when it was known as Ashapalli or Ashaval.[6] At that time, Karandev I, the Solanki ruler of Anhilwara (modern Patan), waged a successful war against the Bhil king of Ashaval,and established a city called Karnavati located at the present time area of Maninagar close to the river Sabarmati. Solanki rule lasted until the 13th century, when Gujarat came under the control of the Vaghela dynasty of Dholka and Karnavati was conquered by the Sultanate of Delhi. In 1411, the rule of the Muzaffarid dynasty was established in Gujarat. According to legend, Sultan Ahmed Shah, while camping on the banks of the River Sabarmati, saw a hare chasing a dog. Impressed by this act of bravery, the Sultan, who had been looking for a place to build his new capital, decided to locate the capital at this forest area close by to Karnavati right on the river bank and christened it Ahmedabad. The incident is popularly described in a one liner saying "Jab kutte pe sassa aaya, tab Badshah ne shaher basaya" (When the hare chased the Dog, (seeing that act of bravery) then the Emperor built the City)

In 1487, Mahmud Begada, the grandson of Ahmed Shah, fortified the city with an outer wall 10 km (6 miles) in circumference and consisting of twelve gates, 189 bastions and over 6,000 battlements.Ahmedabad was ruled 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 to 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. During a drought, the Deccan Famine of 1630-32 affected the city, as did famines in 1650 and 1686.Ahmedabad remained the provincial headquarter of the Mughals until 1758, when Mughals surrendered the city to the Marathas.During Maratha governance, the city lost some of its past glory, and was at the center of contention between two Maratha clans—The Peshwa of Poona and the Gaekwad of Baroda.The British East India Company took over the city in 1818 as a part of the conquest of India. A military cantonment was established in 1824 and a municipal government in 1858. In 1864, a railway link between Ahmedabad and Mumbai (then Bombay) was established by the Bombay, Baroda, and Central India Railway (BB&CI), making Ahmedabad an important junction in the traffic and trade between northern and southern India. Large numbers of people migrated from rural areas to work in textile mills, establishing a robust industry.
The Sabarmati Ashram, home of Mahatma Gandhi

The Indian independence movement developed strong roots in the city when, in 1915, 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 — that would become centers of intense nationalist activities. 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 famous Dandi Salt March. The city administration and economic institutions were rendered functionless by the large masses of people who took to the streets in peaceful protests in the early 1930s, and again in 1942 during the Quit India movement. Following independence and the partition of India in 1947, the city was scarred by intense communal violence that broke out between Hindus and Muslims.

Ahmedabad became the capital of the new state of Gujarat after the bifurcation of the State of Bombay on 1 May 1960. During that period, a large number of educational and research institutions were founded in the city, making it a major center of higher education, science and technology. Ahmedabad's economic base was diversified with the establishment of heavy and chemical industries in its vicinity around the same period. But the growth in the next two decades was punctuated by political events in and around the city. In 1974, Ahmedabad occupied the centre stage in national politics with the launch of the Nav Nirman agitation — a protest against a 20% hike in the hostel food fees at the L.D. College of Engineering that snowballed into a mass agitation against general corruption to remove Chimanbhai Patel, then-chief minister of Gujarat. 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.On 26 January 2001 a devastating earthquake struck the city, centred near Bhuj, measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale. As many as 50 multistory buildings collapsed, killing 752 people and devastating the city's infrastructure.The following year, communal riots between Hindus and Muslims spread to Ahmedabad, paralysing the city for more than a month. The crisis resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,044 people across the state.The displacement of thousands of Muslims led to the erection of refugee camps around the city. On 26 July 2008 a series of seventeen bomb blasts rocked the city, killing and injuring several people.


In recent years, the effects of liberalization of the Indian economy has energized the city's economy towards tertiary sector activities like commerce, communication, construction activities.The city has witnessed the establishment of scientific and service industries, the expansion of the information technology sector, and significant improvements in transportation and communications. Ahmedabad's population is growing, which has resulted in a construction and housing boom.

 

 

Ahmedabad is basically a hot place that enjoys three main seasons, namely summers (March to June), winters (November-February) and monsoon (July-September). During the summer season, the temperature on a hot sunny day ranges between 44 and 47 degree Celsius. Due to high temperature, it is not preferable to visit the place during summers. To know about the Ahmedabad travel peak season, read on…

Monsoon season comes like a pleasant surprise after scorching summers. When it's the time for monsoons, the city offers varied lip smacking snacks like Boiled or Roasted Corns, which are available even in the road side stalls. Most of the Hindu festivals like Rakshabandhan fall during the monsoon season. Thus, for many people, the ideal time to visit Ahmedabad is during monsoons.
 
The best time to visit Ahmedabad is during the winter season. The minimum temperature is about 5 degree Celsius and the maximum temperature is usually 20 degrees Celsius. It is an entirely different experience to check out open-air restaurants and road-side stalls during winters, as the weather is just apt for enjoying the beauty of nature. So, when you are planning a trip to Ahmedabad, prefer going during the period between October and March.

 

How to reach Ahmedabad by Air: Ahmedabad airport is 10 km north of the city and has both the domestic and international terminal.

How to Reach Ahmedabad by Rail: Ahmedbad has direct train services to major cities in India.

How to Reach Ahmedabad by Road: Ahmedabad has good highways connecting it to all major places in Gujarat and other states. Interstate buses of different states of India provide services to and from Ahmedabad.

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