The history of Ahmedabad is wrapped around its monuments and in its crispy cuisines. Right from the moment this land was noticed, a magnetic drive pulled two of the most powerful dynasties to clash for their rights, enduring some serious political stress on the state. However, in the present day, Ahmedabad is splendour in trade, exclusively in cotton, crowned as 'The Manchester of India'. The colourful city has beheld some extreme environments in its former years. Dynamic cultures, economic balance, the rise of trade, clash for the rule, and much more could be the chapters of its biography, but for Ahmedabad, it will always be a cocoon before the first flight. So, let's recall the time when this section of Gujarat was awakened and relive the eventful history of Ahmedabad:
1. Origin of Ahmedabad
The legend says it was the beginning 15th century. Gujarat was the territory of the Muslim Muzaffarid dynasty. One day Sultan Ahmad Shah was wandering around river Sabarmati and came across an implausible moment. A little hare was chasing a vicious dog; usually, it's the other way around. Fascinated over his encounter; he called upon his spiritual advisor and demanded an explanation. The advisor quoted it as a miracle of this enchanted land that generates such inimitable behaviour amongst the animals and the human inhabitants. Stunned by his words, the Sultan commanded, to his capital be built on this very land, which was named Ahmadabad.
2. The Claim of Solankis
Scavenging by the archaeologists revealed some magnificent facts about the history of Ahmedabad. Around the 10th century, the place was called Ashapalli ruled by the Bhil kings. It was the next century when the Bhil rule received a challenge to the throne. The challenge was the Solanki King Karandev. The battle was inevitable to which Solanki's were the vanquishers. Their reign lasted up until the 13th century when the Vaghela dethroned Solanki's.
Vaghelas won only to lose to Sultan Ahmed Shah who seated as the Sultan and renamed the city.
3. Footprints of the Sultanate
Sultan Ahmed Shah was the ruler under the Sultanate Empire of Gujarat. Muhammad Begada was his grandson, who took charge and raised a perimeter wall to secure the city. The outer wall was 6 kilometres long with 12 gates installed in it. However, fate had other plans for the city, and Muhammad Begada was named the last ruling Sultan of Ahmedabad.
4. The Mughals Invasion
The Sultanate rule was crushed aside by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1573. The Manchester of India had not been called so if it wasn't for the Mughal governance. Under their rule, trade was paramount, and the textile industry was getting acknowledged. The city even exported overseas under the rule of Jahangir, the son of Akbar. It's an irony though, what Jahangir titled as Gardabad- The city of Dust, and mocked it as a Garbage ground, at the end he spent a significant part of his life in the same city. His presence fabricated the idea of what stands today as the Moti Shahi Mahal in Ahmedabad.
Again, fate blow on its dice, but the throw was not in favour of Mughals.
5. The Mighty Maratha
The Maratha was a huge empire, an archenemy to Mughals, and an indispensable part of the history of Ahmedabad. It was the only force standing in the way of Mughals to obtain a complete dominance in India. Raghunath Rao and Damaji Gaekwad were the 2 Maratha rulers who snatched Ahmedabad out from the Mughal chains and fashioned it as their terrain. Unfortunately, the alien rule proved out to be much better than this home order. The internal disputes amongst the Marathas went to the south and resulted in an all-out battle which bought an apocalyptic reign in the city. Nearly, the entire city was destroyed in this mutiny. However, the major attractions survived. The influence of Marathi Culture is visible in the historical lineage of Ahmedabad till now.
6. The British Era of Wine and Roses
1818 was the year when the British took command of Ahmedabad. The order was established, a government was built, and soldiers were appointed, summary they were reconstructing Ahmedabad. The amended city was elevated when the iron bars were mounted to its grounds. The railway line opened up huge possibilities to endless opportunities, making the city's textile available worldwide.
Still, every empire rises to fall.
7. An essence of Independence
Ahmedabad nurtured the art of Satyagraha and taught it to the rest of India. It also cultivated some serious leaders and we know one of them as the Father to our country-Mahatma Gandhi! The legendary Salt March was initiated from this zone. With so much on its palate, it would be profound to quote the city a monumental freedom fighter itself! Ahmedabad played its part flawlessly and torched the fire of Independence in every state.
After Independence, the city was named as a temporary part of Bombay. On May 1, 1960, Ahmedabad was entitled as the part of Gujarat and serve as the honourable Capital to the state. While it was the largest in the state, Gandhinagar was picked to be the new successor for Capital ship of Gujarat.
Currently, Ahmedabad serves as a major tourist attraction and excels in many sectors. It is one of the UNESCO's World Heritage Site. A tourist travels, take pictures, taste the excellent food and buy some souvenirs. But what cannot be seen are the things a great city has endured to reach its optimum, a city like Ahmedabad and its variegated history.