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Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad ( also known as Amdavad ) is the largest city and former capital of the Indian state of Gujarat. The city is an administrative centre of Ahmedabad district as well as the judicial capital of Gujarat as the Gujarat High Court is in Ahmedabad.[1] It was founded on 26 February 1411 by Sultan Ahmed Shah to serve as the capital of the Gujarat Sultanate, and was named after him.[2] With a city population of more than 5.5 million and an extended population of 6.3 million it is the fifth largest city and seventh largest metropolitan area of India.[3][4] Ahmedabad is located on the banks of the River Sabarmati, from the state capital Gandhinagar.

Though 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 the Manchester of the East.[5][6] The city was at the forefront of the Indian independence movement in the first half of the 20th century and centre of many campaigns of civil disobedience to promote workers' rights, civil rights, and political independence.[7]

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.[8] In December 2011 market research firm IMRB declared Ahmedabad the best mega-city to live in, when compared to India's other mega-cities.[9]

Contents


Etymology

According to the legend, Sultan Ahmed Shah, while camping on the banks of the Sabarmati River, saw a hare chasing a dog. The Sultan got impressed by the act of bravery and, decided to locate the capital at the forest area close by to Karnavati on the river bank.[2] He named the capital after his name as Ahmedabad. The sultanate laid the foundation of the city at 1.20PM on Thursday the second day of jilkad A.H.(1411 A.D.)[2]

The incident is popularly described in the saying; Seeing the hare chasing the dog, the Emperor built the City (; translated as: Jab kutte pe sassa aaya, tab Badshah ne shaher basay)

History

Map of Ahmedabad, depicted in a miniature style painting on a cloth, circa 19th century
Map of Ahmedabad, depicted in a miniature style painting on a cloth, circa 19th century
1573-The Battle Between the Mughal Army and Muhammad Husain Mirza near Ahmadabad-Akbarnama

Early History

Archaeological evidence suggests that the area around Ahmedabad has been inhabited since the 11th century, when it was known as Ashaval (or Ashapalli).[10] At that time, Karandev I, the Solanki ruler of Anhilwara (modern Patan), waged a successful war against the Bhil king of Ashaval,[11] and established a city called Karnavati located at 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.[2]

Mugal rule

In 1487, Mahmud Begada, the grandson of Ahmed Shah, fortified the city with an outer wall 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 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. The Deccan Famine of 1630 32 affected the city, as did famines in 1650 and 1686.[14] Ahmedabad remained the provincial headquarter of the Mughals until 1758, when Mughals surrendered the city to the Marathas.[15]

British rule

During Maratha governance, the city lost some of its past importance, and was at the center of contention between two Maratha clans The Peshwa of Poona and the Gaekwad of Baroda.[16] On 18 February 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 as a part of the Third Anglo-Maratha War.[2]

A military cantonment was established in 1824 and a municipal government in 1858.[2] 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.[2]

The Sabarmati Ashram, home of Mahatma Gandhi
The Sabarmati Ashram, home of Mahatma Gandhi
The Indian independence movement developed 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 which would become centres of nationalist activities.[2] 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 administration and economic institutions were rendered inoperative in the early 1930s by the large masses 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 intense communal violence that broke out between Hindus and Muslims.

Modern era

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 major center of higher education, science and technology.[17] Ahmedabad's economic base was diversified with the establishment of heavy and chemical industry during the same period. 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.[18] 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.[19] 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.[20] The following year, Gurajat violence between Hindus and Muslims spread to Ahmedabad, paralysing the city for more than two months. The crisis resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,044 people across the state.[21] 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.[22]

The effects of liberalisation of the Indian economy has energised the city's economy towards tertiary sector activities like commerce, communication and construction activities.[6] Ahmedabad's population is growing, which has resulted in increase of construction and housing.[23]

Geography

Nehru Bridge is one of the nine bridges on the river Sabarmati that connect the two physically separated eastern and western regions.
Nehru Bridge is one of the nine bridges on the river Sabarmati that connect the two physically separated eastern and western regions.
Ahmedabad is located at in western India at an elevation of 53 metres (174 ft) from sea level. The city sits on the banks of the River Sabarmati, in north-central Gujarat. It covers an area of .

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 Lake and Vastrapur Lake. Kankaria lake, in the neighbourhood of Maninagar, is an artificial lake developed by the Sultan of Delhi, Qutb-ud-din Aybak, in 1451.[24] 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)[25]

Vastrapur Lake
Vastrapur Lake
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 General Post Office, and few 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 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.[26]

Climate

Ahmedabad has a hot semi-arid climate (K ppen 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 , and the average minimum is . From November to February, the average maximum temperature is , the average minimum is , 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 , 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 and the lowest is .[27] On 21 May 2010, the mercury touched , which was the highest temperature recorded in Ahmedabad in forty years.

Cityscape

Jama Masjid, Ahmedabad
Jama Masjid, Ahmedabad
Mosque of Sidi Sayed Jaali]]

Architecture

Architectural history of Ahmedabad include development of Mosques, lakes, monuments, etc. The Sultanate Ahmed Shah fused Hindu craftsmanship with Persian architecture, giving rise to the Indo-Saracenic style. Many mosques in the city were built in this fashion.[28] Sidi Saiyyed Mosque is one of the most famous mosques in Gujarat. The mosque was built in the last year of the Sultanate of Gujarat. It is entirely arcuated and is famous for its ten stone latticework windows (jalis) on the side and rear arches. The buildings called "Haveli" have unique carvings and can be seen in ancient pol (narrow streets) in Ahmedabad.[29]

After independence, modern buildings appeared in Ahmedabad. Notable architects given commissions in the city included Louis Kahn, who designed the Indian Institute of Management; Le Corbusier, who designed the Shodhan and Sarabhai Villas, the Sanskar Kendra and the Mill Owner's Association; Frank Lloyd Wright who designed the administrative building of Calico Mills and the Calico Dome.[30][31] 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, the Doshi-Hussain Gufa and the School of Architecture. Charles Correa, who became a partner of Doshi's, designed the Gandhi Ashram and Achyut Kanvinde, the Indian Textile Industries Research Association.[32][33] Christopher Charles Benninger's first work, the Alliance Francaise, is located in the Ellis Bridge area.[34] Anant Raje designed major additions to Louis Kahn's Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad campus, namely the Ravi Mathai Auditorium and KLMD.[35]

The man-made Lake Kankaria, built in the year 1451 A.D, is one of the biggest lakes in Ahmedabad.[36] In earlier days, it used to be known by the name Qutub Hoj or Hauj-e-Kutub.[37] It has an approximate circumference of 1.4 miles (2.3 km) and 34 sides, and is located in the southern part of the city in Maninagar.[37]

Gardens and parks

Parimal Garden in Ellis bridge area of Ahmedabad
Parimal Garden in Ellis bridge area of Ahmedabad
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 very close to it. Other main gardens in the city are Parimal Garden, Usmanpura Garden, Prahlad Nagar Garden and Lal Darwaja Garden.[38] Ahmedabad's Kamla Nehru Zoological Park houses a number of endangered species such as flamingoes, caracal, Asiatic wolf and chinkara.[39] 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.[40]

Civic administration

AMC has undertaken Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project with an objective of environmental improvement with provision of slum rehabilitation for poor.<!-- cite web --><!-- cite web -->
AMC has undertaken Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project with an objective of environmental improvement with provision of slum rehabilitation for poor.[41][42]
Ahmedabad is administered by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC). Some of the regions surrounding the city are administered by the Ahmedabad Urban Development Authority (AUDA). The AMC was established in July 1950 under the Bombay Provincial Corporation Act, 1949. For administrative purposes, the city is divided into 43 wards.[43] Citizens elect corporators during civic elections. At present the corporation consists of 129 corporators elected from 43 wards. These 129 corporators elect a mayor and deputy mayor for a term of two and a half years.[6][44][45] The mayor is responsible for the day-to-day running of the municipal school board, the city bus service, the municipal hospital, and the city library.[6] Executive powers are vested in the municipal commissioner, who is an IAS officer appointed by the Gujarat state government. The city serves as the headquarters of Ahmedabad district and as the seat of the Gujarat High Court. The Ahmedabad city police is headed by a Police Commissioner, an Indian Police Service officer.[46]

View of Sabarmati Riverfront May 2012, Ahmedabad The Ahmedabad civil hospital is the largest hospital in Asia.[47] Electricity in the city is generated and distributed by Torrent Power Limited owned and operated Ahmedabad Electricity Company, which was previously a state-run corporation.[48] Ahmedabad is one of the few cities in India, where the power sector is privatised.

The city elects two members to the Indian Lok Sabha, 19 to the Gujarat Vidhan Sabha. Two main political parties have won a significant number of seats in elections the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress (INC). Of the 19 Gujarat Lok Sabha seats, 13 were won by the BJP and 6 by the Congress Party during the legislative elections in 2007.[49] In the 2010 Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation elections, the BJP won 148 seats, 38 seats went to the Congress, and 3 seats went to an independent candidate.[50]

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. [51]

Economy

A mall in Ahmedabad. Retail Industry is one of the largest employers in the city. The gross domestic product of Ahmedabad was estimated at $59 billion in 2010.[52]

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,[53] 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.[54] 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.[55] Ahmedabad was known as the "Manchester of the East", for its textile industry.[7] The city is the largest supplier of denim and one of the largest exporters of gemstones and jewellery in India.[6]

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.[56][57][58]

The Ahmedabad Stock Exchange is located in the Ambavadi area of the city and is Ahmedabad's oldest and only Stock Exchange. Ahmedabad is a center for Chemical and Pharmaceutical industries. 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 Government has started a program to attract more foreign investments. Many foreign companies have set up their sales offices and production facilities in Ahmedabad, including: Bosch Rexroth, Stork, Rollepaal, and Johnson Pumps of Sweden.[59][60][61] The city also houses the corporate headquarters of the Adani Group, a multinational trading and infrastructure development company.

The Sardar Sarovar Project of dams and canals has improved the supply of potable water and electricity for the city.[62] In recent years, the Gujarat government has increased investment in the modernisation of the city's infrastructure, providing for the construction of larger roads and improvements to water supply, electricity and communications. The information technology industry has developed significantly in Ahmedabad, with companies such as Tata Consultancy Services opening offices in the city.[63] 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.[23]

A diverse labour force of migrant workers from different parts of Gujarat and neighbouring states is integral to the economy of the city. These workers provide household labour and services for the city's large middle class. The majority of the working-age citizens of Ahmedabad are traders and business people. This has led to the creation of major mercantile corporations and Artisan guilds that are a key influence on the economic life of Gujarat. The city's educational and industrial institutions have attracted students and young skilled workers from the rest of India.[64]

Demographics

Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Ahmedabad]] As per the 2001 Indian census, the area under Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation has a population of 3,520,085.[65] The population of the Ahmedabad urban agglomeration (which includes the region governed by AUDA) was 4,525,013. Ahmedabad has a literacy rate of 79.89%, which is the second highest in Gujarat (after Gandhinagar with 87.11%); 87.81% of the men and 71.12% of the women are literate.[66] 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.[67] Approximately 440,000 people live in slums within the city.[68] 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 12% of the population is Muslim, numbering over 600,000 in the 2001 census. [69]

According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report of 2003, Ahmedabad has the lowest crime ratio of 35 Indian cities with a population of more than one million.[70] The city's main jail is Sabarmati Central Jail.[71] In addition, the city is home to some 2000 Parsis and some 300 members of the Bene Israel Jews community. There is also one synagogue in the city.[72][73] There are 2273 registered non-resident Indians from Ahmedabad (2008).[74] Slightly less than half of all real estate in Ahmedabad is owned by "community organisations" (i.e. cooperatives), and according to the World Bank "the spatial growth of the city is to the extent contribution of these organisations".[75] Ahmedabad Cantonment also provides residential zones for Indian Army officials.[76]

Culture

Festivals

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.[77][78]

Cuisine

chapatis]]. The most popular form of meal in Ahmedabad is a typical Gujarati thali, consisting of rotli, dal, rice and shaak (cooked vegetables, sometimes with curry), with accompaniments of pickles and roasted papads. Other beverages include buttermilk and tea; sweet dishes include laddoo, mango etc. 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 believes of not having non-veg food. The first all-vegetarian Pizza Hut in the world opened in Ahmedabad.[79]

Manek Chowk is an popular open square near the center of the city that functions as a vegetable market in the morning and a jewellery market in the afternoon. However, it is more famous for its food stalls in the evening, which sell various local street food.

Ahmedabad has a number of restaurants serving typical Mughlai non-vegetarian food in older areas like Bhatiyar Gali, Kalupur and Jamalpur.[80] The old city has bakeries known for making nankhatais and naan. In the new city, one can also find the North American restaurants like McDonald's, Subway and KFC.[81][82][83], all of whom have to cater to the vegetarian demands of Ahmedabad. KFC having a separate staff uniform for serving vegetarian items and also vegetarian food prepared in a separate kitchen from the meat.[84] McDonalds has done the same with separate kitchen and separate storing areas for meat away from the vegetarian food. The utensils used for cooking and serving and cooking counters are also strictly separate. It also has an extensive vegetarian menu.[85]

Art and literature

Doshi]] Gufa, an underground art gallery in Ahmedabad Parts of Ahmedabad are known for their folk art. The Paldi area is famous for shops selling works of embroidery from the Kutch and Saurashtra regions. 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 are famous for their mirror work handicraft.[38]

Many Gujarati intellectuals migrated to Ahmedabad due to its prosperity. 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 Pandit Ravi Shankar[86]

The Sanskar Kendra, one of the many 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. Ahmedabad maintains a strong popular literary tradition in large public libraries maintained by the literary societies, research and government institutions and colleges. The Hazrat Pir Mohammad Shah Library has a collection of rare original manuscripts in Arabic, Persian, Urdu, Sindhi and Turkish.[87]

Sports

Sardar Patel (Gujarat) Stadium]], a cricket stadium with 54,000 capacity, in Motera, Ahmedabad Cricket is the most popular sport in the city. Sardar Patel Stadium, built in 1982, hosts both One Day Internationals and test matches. It has a seating capacity of 54,000.[88] It hosted the 1987, 1996 and 2011 Cricket World Cups.[89] 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 Ranji Trophy tournament.[88] The city is represented by the Ahmedabad Rockets in the Indian Cricket League.

Other popular sports are field hockey, badminton, tennis, squash and golf. Ahmedabad currently has three golf courses.[90] Mithakhali Multi Sports Complex is being developed by the AMC to promote various indoor sports.[91]

Young people congregate in the evenings to play cricket and football at numerous public and neighbourhood grounds. Recently Ahmedabad hosted national level games for roller skating and table tennis.[92] Kart racing is gaining popularity in the city, with the introduction of a 380 meter long track based on Formula One concepts.[93][94] In 2007, Ahmedabad hosted the 51st national level shooting games.[95]

Notable sportspeople

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, is from Ahmedabad. Parthiv Patel, a Cricketers who have been members of the Indian cricket team for a number of times and currently plays for Deccan Chargers is also from Ahmedabad.[96] Tejas Bakre, a chess grandmaster, is also from Ahmedabad.[97][98]

Transport

Air

200px The Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport is located from the city centre. It serves both domestic and international flights to and from Ahmedabad and the neighbouring cities of Surendranagar, Mehsana, and Nadiad. The airport connects the city with destinations across India and the world (Abu Dhabi, Doha, Jeddah, Dubai, Bangkok, Frankfurt, Kabul, Kuwait, London, Muscat, Newark, Chicago, Singapore, Sharjah, Dammam, Riyadh, Hongkong, Paris, Shanghai).

The airport is located from the Ahmedabad Railway Station. It is named after statesman and former Deputy Prime Minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. The airport is spread over an area of with the runway measuring .

It is the busiest airport in Gujarat, and the eighth busiest in India with an average of 250 aircraft movements a day. In 2008 the airport served 5,372,259 passengers.[99] It is expected to handle six million passengers in 2010 and nine million in 2012, including both domestic and international passengers. Nearly all domestic airlines serve Ahmedabad, as do several international ones. A new international terminal coast of 291  crore was built to handle increased international air traffic.[100]

The Fedara International Airport is a proposed international airport near Fedara in Gujarat state in India.[101] This airport will be the largest airport in India with a total area of 7,500 hectares.[101] Earlier 1,700 hectares land was proposed near Pachham - Vilanda - Pipli stretch of Dandhuka taluka by the Gujarat state government.[101]

Rail

170px Ahmedabad is one of the six operating divisions of the Western Railway.[102] Railway lines connect the city to all towns in Gujarat and other major Indian cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Pune, Indore, Bhopal, Lucknow, Jaipur, Jabalpur, Jamshedpur, Dhanbad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Thiruvananthapuram, Hyderabad, Nagpur etc. The Ahmedabad Railway Station, locally known as Kalupur Station is the city's main terminus; Ahmedabad's other stations are Maninagar, Vatva, Gandhigram, Asarva, Chandlodia, Kali gam, Vastrapur, Sabarmati, Sarkhej, Naroda, Aamli.[103]

Mass Rapid Transit

Gujarat Government and Ahmedabad Mahanagar Sevasadan have initiated a feasibility study into the possibility of a mass-transit metro system for the cities of Ahmendabad and Gandhinagar. The state government will set up a Rs 200 crore company for the execution of the project. The company is likely to be named the Metro Link Express for Gandhinagar and Ahmedabad (MEGA).[104]

Road

A flyover on the Sarkhej Gandhinagar Highway . National Highway 8, linking Delhi to Mumbai, passes though Ahmedabad and connects it with Gandhinagar, Delhi and Mumbai. The National Highway 8C links Ahmedabad to Gandhinagar. It is connected to Vadodara through National Expressway 1, a long expressghway with only two exits. This expressway is part of the Golden Quadrilateral project.[105]

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 10,000 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.[106]

Bus Transit

Ahmedabad BRTS at night Ahmedabad BRTS (also known as BRTS) is a Bus rapid transit system for the city, maintained by the Ahmedabad Janmarg Limited (AJL). Ahmedabad BRTS was given the Sustainable Transport Award in the year 2010 by Institute for Transportation and Development Policy for reducing carbon emissions and improving residents' access.[107] The first phase connecting RTO to Pirana was inaugurated by Chief Minister Narendra Modi on 14 October 2009[108][109][110] and the second half of the first phase connecting Chandranagar to Pushpa Kunj gate at Kankaria was inaugurated on 25 December 2009.[111]

Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service (also known as AMTS) maintained by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, runs the public bus service in the city of Ahmedabad.[112] At present, AMTS has 750 buses servicing the city.[112]

Education

Louis Kahn Plaza, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad
Louis Kahn Plaza, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad
The Gujarat University clock tower in Ahmedabad
The Gujarat University clock tower in Ahmedabad
Schools in Ahmedabad are run either by the municipal corporation, or privately by entities, trusts and corporations. Most schools are affiliated with the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board. A few schools are affiliated to the Central Board for Secondary Education, Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, International Baccalaureate and National Institute of Open School. Among them prominent ones are H.B.Kapadia, Delhi Public School, AIS etc. A large number of colleges in the city are affiliated with Gujarat University. Other deemed universities in Ahmedabad include the Nirma University of Science & Technology and the Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University.[113] The Gujarat Vidyapith was established in 1920 by Mahatma Gandhi without a charter from the British Raj and became a deemed university in 1963.[114] The Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (also known as IIMA), was ranked as the top business school in India according to the Business Today.[115] The IIM-A toped the list of top B-schools in the country in 2007.[116] IIM-A is regarded as one of the toughest MBA programmes in the world by Business Today B-School Rankings in 2007-08, 2008-2009.[117]

Other educational institutions in Ahmedabad include the Indian Institute of Management, 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, the Center for Environmental Planning and Technology and the L.D. College of Engineering.

Many national academic and scientific institutions, such as the Physical Research Laboratory, the Indian Space Research Organisation, were established in the 1960s, largely through the efforts of astrophysicist and industrialist Vikram Sarabhai.[118]

Media

Broadcasting tower of the Ahmedabad Doordarshan, one of the prominent landmarks in Ahmedabad
Broadcasting tower of the Ahmedabad Doordarshan, one of the prominent landmarks in Ahmedabad
Newspapers in Ahmedabad include Hindi dailies as Herald Young Leader, Metro Herald, and English dailies such as The Times of India, Indian Express, DNA, The Economic Times and The Financial Express, AM.[119] Newspapers in other languages (Gujarati and Hindi) include Divya Bhaskar, Gujarat Samachar, Sandesh, Rajasthan Patrika, Sambhaav and Metro.[119] The city is home to the historic Navajivan Publishing House founded in 1919 by Mahatma Gandhi.[120]

The state-owned All India Radio Ahmedabad is broadcast both on the medium wave and FM bands in the city.[121] It competes with six private local FM stations Radio Mirchi (98.3 MHz), Red FM (93.5 MHz), Radio City (91.1 MHz), My fm (94.3 MHz), Radio One (95.0 MHz), Gyan Vaani (104.5 MHz) and S FM (93.51 MHz). Satellite radio was launched in the city by WorldSpace in 2005.

The state-owned television broadcaster Doordarshan provides free terrestrial channels, while two multi system operators InCablenet and Siti Cable provide a mix of Gujarati, Hindi, English, and other regional channels via cable. Direct broadcast satellite is yet to gain popularity in Ahmedabad. A network of fibreoptic cables connects most of the city. Telephone services are provided by landline and mobile operators such as BSNL, Reliance CDMA & Reliance GSM, Airtel, Uninor, Docomo, Videocon, Aircel, Vodafone, Idea and Tata Indicom. Broadband Internet services are provided in most parts of the city by the telecom companies. Many DTH (Direct to home) satellite cable providers also provide services here. The providers include Tata Sky, Videocon D2H, Airtel TV, Reliance Digital, Dish TV and Sun TV.

Sister cities

City Country
Astrakhan, Astrakhan Oblast
Columbus, Ohio
Jersey City, New Jersey [122]
Ulsan

See also

  • Ahmedabad district
  • Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation
  • List of most populous cities in India

References

Further reading

  • Muktirajsinhji Chauhan and Kamalika Bose. History of Interior Design in India Vol 1 : Ahmedabad (2007) ISBN 81-904096-0-3

External links

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