Ahmedabad Knowledge Guide


The area around Ahmedabad has been inhabited since the 11th century, when it was known as Ashaval . At that time, Karna, the Chaulukya ruler of Anhilwara (modern Patan), waged a successful war against the Bhil king of Ashaval, and established a city called Karnavati on the banks of the Sabarmati. Solanki rule lasted until the 13th century, when Gujarat came under the control of the Vaghela dynasty of Dholka. Gujarat subsequently came under the control of the Delhi Sultanate in the 14th century. However, by the earlier 15th century, the local Rajput Muslim governor Zafar Khan Muzaffar established his independence from the Delhi Sultanate and crowned himself Sultan of Gujarat as Muzaffar Shah I, thereby founding the Muzaffarid dynasty. This area finally came under the control of his grandson Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1411 A.D. who while at the banks of Sabarmati liked the forested area for a new capital city and laid the foundation of a new walled city near Karnavati and named it Ahmedabad after the four saints in the area by the name Ahmed. According to other sources, he named it after himself. Ahmed Shah I laid the foundation of the city on 26 February 1411 (at 1.20 pm, Thursday, the second day of Dhu al-Qi'dah, Hijri year 813) at Manek Burj. He chose it as the new capital on 4 March 1411. In 1487, Mahmud Begada, the grandson of Ahmed Shah, fortified the city with an outer wall 10 km (6.2 mi) in circumference and consisting of twelve gates, 189 bastions and over 6,000 battlements. In 1535 Humayun briefly occupied Ahmedabad after capturing Champaner when the ruler of Gujarat, Bahadur Shah, fled to Diu. 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 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. Ahmedabad remained the provincial headquarters of the Mughals until 1758, when they surrendered the city to the Marathas.During the period of Maratha Empire governance, the city became the centre of a conflict between the Peshwa of Poona and the Gaekwad of Baroda. In 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 during the Third Anglo-Maratha War. A military cantonment was established in 1824 and a municipal government in 1858. Incorporated into the Bombay Presidency during British rule, Ahmedabad became one of the most important cities in the Gujarat region. In 1864, a railway link between Ahmedabad and Mumbai (then Bombay) was established by the Bombay, Baroda, and Central India Railway (BB&CI), enabling traffic and trade between northern and southern India via the city. Over time, the city established itself as the home of a developing textile industry, which earned it the nickname "Manchester of the East". The Indian independence movement developed roots in the city when 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. 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's administration and economic institutions were rendered inoperative in the early 1930s by the large numbers 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 the intense communal violence that broke out between Hindus and Muslims in 1947, Ahmedabad was the focus for settlement by Hindu migrants from Pakistan, who expanded the city's population and transformed its demographics and economy. By 1960, Ahmedabad had become a metropolis with a population of slightly under half a million people, with classical and colonial European-style buildings lining the city's thoroughfares. It was chosen as the capital of Gujarat state after the partition 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 centre for higher education, science and technology. Ahmedabad's economic base became more diverse with the establishment of heavy and chemical industry during the same period. Many countries sought to emulate India's economic planning strategy and one of them, South Korea, copied the city's second "Five-Year Plan". In the late 1970s, the capital shifted to the newly built, well-planned city of Gandhinagar. This marked the start of a long period of decline in the city, marked by a lack of development. The 1974 Nav Nirman agitation – a protest against a 20% hike in the hostel food fees at the L.D. College of Engineering in Ahmedabad – snowballed into a movement 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. The city suffered some of the impact of the 2001 Gujarat earthquake; up to 50 multi-storey buildings collapsed, killing 752 people and causing much damage. The following year, a three-day period of violence between Hindus and Muslims in the western Indian state of Gujarat, known as the 2002 Gujarat riots, spread to Ahmedabad; refugee camps were set up around the city.The 2008 Ahmedabad bombings, a series of seventeen bomb blasts, killed and injured several people. Militant group Harkat-ul-Jihad claimed responsibility for the attacks.



Ahmedabad had a literacy rate of 79.89% in 2001 which rose to 89.62 percent in 2011. As of 2011, literacy rate among male and female were 93.96 and 84.81 percent respectively.Among the several universities in Ahmedabad, Gujarat University is the largest and claims to be the oldest; although the Gujarat Vidyapith was established in 1920 by Mahatma Gandhi – it received no charter from the British Raj, becoming a deemed university only in 1963. A large number of colleges in the city are affiliated with Gujarat University. Gujarat Technological University, CEPT University, Nirma University, and Ahmedabad University all date from this century. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Open University has over 100,000 students enrolled on its distance learning courses.Ahmedabad is also home to the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, which was ranked first among management institutes in the country by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in 2018.Established in 1947 by the scientist Vikram Sarabhai, the oldest of the research institutes in Ahmedabad, the Physical Research Laboratory is active in space science, astronomy, high-energy physics and many other areas of research. The Darpana Academy of Performing Arts, established in 1949 by Mrinalini Sarabhai, was listed by UNESCO as an institution active in the "Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage".Schools in Ahmedabad are run either by the municipal corporation, or privately by entities, trusts and corporations. The majority of schools are affiliated with the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education Board, although some are affiliated with the Central Board for Secondary Education, Council for the Indian School Certificate Examinations, International Baccalaureate and National Institute of Open School.


Newspapers in Ahmedabad include English dailies such as The Times of India, Indian Express, DNA, The Economic Times, The Financial Express, Ahmedabad Mirror and Metro. Newspapers in other languages include Divya Bhaskar, Gujarat Samachar, Sandesh, Rajasthan Patrika, Sambhaav, and Aankhodekhi. The city is home to the historic Navajivan Publishing House, which was founded in 1919 by Mahatma Gandhi.The state-owned All India Radio Ahmedabad is broadcast both on the medium wave and FM bands (96.7 MHz) in the city. It competes with five private local FM stations: Radio City (91.1 MHz), Red FM (93.5 MHz), My fm (94.3 MHz), Radio One (95.0 MHz), Radio Mirchi (98.3 MHz) and Mirchi Love (104 MHz). Gyan Vani (104.5 MHz) is an educational FM radio station run under media co-operation model. In March 2012 Gujarat University started campus radio service on 90.8 MHz which was first kind of it in state and fifth in India.The state-owned television broadcaster Doordarshan provides free terrestrial channels, while two multi system operators—InCablenet and Siti Cable and GTPL—provide a mix of Gujarati, Hindi, English, and other regional channels via cable. Telephone services are provided by landline and mobile operators such as Jio, BSNL Mobile, Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Tata Docomo.