Ahmedabad: Manchester of India

Ahmedabad also referred to as the 'Manchester of India' is a major industrial region of India. The city is located on the banks of River Sabarmati and boasts of its marvellous architecture, rich history and authentic culture. Ahmedabad is also the home to the prominent freedom fighters namely Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel. It is a seamless blend of the old and the new. The older part of the city is enclosed by a wall and that is the reason why Ahmedabad is also called the walled city. The Indo Saracenic architecture style with intricate work attracts visitors from far and near. Ahmedabad is the fifth largest city in the country with a top rank in education. It has also gained a reputation for housing the cotton textile industry that supplies finished goods within the country and also exports overseas. 

So, when you are in the textile capital of the nation, a visit to the Calico Textile Museum is a must. It is also considered as one of the best textile museums across the globe. Calico Textile Museum displays textiles and clothes dating back to the 15th century and showcases the artistic skills of the Indian artists. When it comes to the culture of Ahmedabad, the people are very lively and enthusiastic. They love celebrating every occasion with a lot of zeal. During the festivity, the city is illuminated with lights all around. The people are not only full of enthusiasm but they have immense respect for their culture and traditions. If you ever visit Ahmedabad, you can see everyone dressed in colourful attires that will leave you awe-inspired.

History of Ahmedabad

Ahmedabad has a lot of historical significance. The city has lots to offer, starting from the indigenous textiles to marvellous places. No wonder, this city will leave its visitors mesmerized. The history of Ahmedabad is dated back to the 11th century when the surrounding area was called 'Ashapalli' or 'Ashaval'. The city was ruled by several rulers of that era. There was a king named Karna, who belonged to the Chalukya dynasty. He occupied the entire city, named it Karnavati and laid its foundation on the banks of Sabarmati River. The Chalukyas ruled the city for a brief period of time and finally, it went on to the hands of the 'Vaghela Dynasty'.

City Walls of Ahmedabad
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In the year 1411, Karnavati was occupied by Sultan Ahmed Shah, grandson of Muzaffar Shah I. He established a new city as the capital on the eastern region of the Sabarmati River and named it Ahmedabad. Finally, Ahmedabad was captured by the Mughal King, Akbar in the year 1573. During the reign of Akbar, Ahmedabad became the hub of trade and commerce mainly textiles. It was overflowing with tranquil lakes, magnificent buildings and beautiful mosques that added to the charm of the city. Ahmedabad was also the provincial capital of the Mughal dynasty until 1758 when they lost to the Marathas.

After the Third Anglo Maratha War, the British took over Ahmedabad from the Marathas in the year 1818. During British rule, Ahmedabad gained a lot of importance. There was also a railway link established between Ahmedabad and Bombay. As a result, it became the home of the well-known cotton textile centre in the nation.

History of Ahmedabad, Gujrat
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Various movements concerning Indian Independence grew the roots in Ahmedabad. As a result, two ashrams were established namely Sabarmati Ashram and Kochrab Ashram. Following partition and independence in the year 1947, Ahmedabad also faced several communal riots between the two communities, the Hindus and the Muslims. In the year 1960, after independence, Ahmedabad became the capital city of Gujrat with half a million population. It is also a major hub of education, textile and chemical.

Comparison Between the Two Cities, Manchester and Ahmedabad

The city of Manchester is well known for its cotton mills around the globe. The temperate climate of the region is ideal for cotton thread spinning. Also, the city is located on the banks of the River Mersey which makes it easier to dry the cotton threads. Similarly, Sabarmati River helps in easy drying of the cotton threads in Ahmedabad. Also, the climate in Ahmedabad favours growing as well as spinning cotton threads.

Why is Ahmedabad Known as 'The Manchester of India'

Are you still wondering why Ahmedabad is known as 'The Manchester of India' Here are the reasons that will explain you better.

1. Strategic Location

Ahmedabad is strategically located in a cotton producing region. This means raw cotton is in abundance and is always available to the mills. In addition, there is easy availability of skilled as well as unskilled labours from nearby areas. Finally, there are rich businessmen in Gujrat, who offered the money for setting up the textile industry here. As Ahmedabad is well connected to the major cities of the country, it is easy to transport the finished goods to every other part of the globe. Ahmedabad is also backed by sufficient power supply. As a result, it developed as the major cotton-producing state in India as well as the world.

River Sabarmati, Ahmedabad
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2. The First Mill Was Established in 1861

The first cotton textile mill, known as the Shahpur Mill came into existence in the year 1861. After its huge success, other businessmen felt inspired to invest in textile mills in Ahmedabad. By the end of the 20th century, there were thirty-three mills set up in the city. Soon after, the city of Ahmedabad was supplying cotton textiles to different parts of the country. For the very first time, two of the leading Indian industrialists, Ambalal Sarabhai and Kasturbhai Lalbhai called Ahmedabad the 'Manchester of India'.

Cotton Textiles, Gujrat
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In the current era, Ahmedabad is a leading manufacturer of cotton textiles. It also houses the oldest textile mill in the country that manufactures various kind of garments. Denim clothes that are manufactured here are often used by high-end brands across the globe. The high quality of the textiles manufactured in Ahmedabad has given it the reputation of 'Manchester of India'

This post was published by Atreyee Dutta

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