Ahmedabad City Information
Located in western India, at 53 metres (174 ft) above sea level on the banks of the Sabarmati river, Ahmedabad is situated in north-central Gujarat. With a population of about 8 million, it is said to be the sixth largest city of India and came to be known as the financial capital of the state of Gujarat, under the leadership of then chief minister Shri Narendra Modi. In conversational Gujarati language, the city is popularly called ‘Amdavad’.
Ahmedabad, the former capital of Gujarat is 30 kms away from the current state capital of Gandhinagar, its twin city. With its hot, semi-arid climate and marginally lesser rain during the monsoons, the climate in Ahmedabad is mostly very dry. However, 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. In fact, it is always recommended that you avoid the summer months between April to June due to extreme hotness which can cause sunstrokes and dehydration. June to September is also not the best time due to uncertainty of rains. However, the ideal time to visit Ahmedabad is during the winter months of October to March because the climate is pleasant, comfortable and perfect for all the tourist activities.
Ahmedabad is divided by the Sabarmati river into 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 closely clustered buildings, and numerous places of worship. A Pol (pronounced as pole) is a housing cluster which consists of many families of a particular group, linked by caste, profession, or religion. 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 and Sarkhej-Gandhinagar Highway. Here also lies the famous Gandhi Ashram which displays the spiritual leader’s living quarters and artifacts.
Except for the small hills of Thaltej-Jodhpur Tekra, the city is almost flat. Three lakes lie within the city’s limits—Kankaria, Vastrapur and Chandola.
Ahmedabad is a very dynamic and happening city. Once known as the city of mills or the Manchester of India due to its exquisite mill culture, Ahmedabad is now flooded with malls, multiplexes, premiere institutes and all forms of development. Due to its ever increasing population and a construction boom, it has developed as a centre of learning, science, information technology etc. It has been selected as one of the hundred Indian cities to be developed as a smart city under Government of India’s flagship ‘Smart Cities Mission’. The city has extended its boundaries on all sides and recently got the status of a mega city.
People of Ahmedabad are very lively and make the most of every moment of their lives. They believe in a simple lifestyle, but when it is time for festivity, the whole city gets excited and celebrates the festive occasion with great enthusiasm. These fun loving people have a lot of respect for the traditions and customs of their community. Amdavadis proudly boast of it as the safest city in the world, the main reason being…. it is a dry state. As a result, there are fewer incidents of drunkenness and hence women feel safe here and are confident to move around alone at night. Common languages of Ahmedabad are Gujarati, Hindi and English. In informal groups, the people of Ahmedabad usually converse in their native language, i.e. Gujarati.
Amdavadis love their gujarati thali consisting of roti (Chapati), dal, rice and shaak (cooked vegetables, sometimes with curry), with accompaniments of pickles, roasted papads, buttermilk and sweet dishes. Even people of other communities enjoy the thali along with other favourites like dal-dhokli, chevdoh, dhokla, khandvi, undhiyo, Khaman, bhusu, fafda, dhokli, papdi, and sev mamra. Their food has a different kind of sweet flavor which is prevalent in almost all the food items. Though many restaurants serve a wide choice of Indian and international cuisines, most of the food outlets serve only vegetarian food due to a strong tradition of vegetarianism which is maintained by the city’s Jain and Hindu communities.
In fact, the first all-vegetarian Pizza Hut in the world opened in Ahmedabad. KFC has a separate staff uniform for serving vegetarian items and prepares vegetarian food in a separate kitchen. So does McDonald’s. However, Ahmedabad does have quite a few restaurants serving typical Mughlai non-vegetarian food in older areas like Bhatiyar Gali, Kalupur and Jamalpur.
Popular festivals observed by the people of Ahmedabad are Uttarayan, ( annual kite-flying ), Navratri and Deepavali. The annual Rath Yatra procession and procession of Tajia during the Muslim holy month of Muharram are also important events.
Today, the city of Ahmedabad is one of India’s most important seats of learning and is well known for it’s high quality of education. A few of the renowned institutions located in this city are: Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A); National Institute of Design (NID); Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT); Entrepreneurship Development Institute, India (EDII); Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology (DA-IICT) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
Among various reasons for the development of commerce and industry in this city, one main cause is the inborn business mentality of an Amdavadi whose main goal is to earn money above all, in every activity they undertake. They worship the goddess of wealth – Laxmidevi as well as ‘Kuber’, the lord of wealth.
Some of the most interesting attractions in Ahmedabad are Kamla Nehru Zoo, Chacha Nehru Bal Vatika, One Tree Hill Garden, Matsya Bhavan, Law Garden, Victoria Garden, the amusement park at Kankaria lake and the tethered Helium Balloon Ride, now available for the first time in India at the football ground, Kankaria. Tourists can enjoy the experience of viewing the city from 300 feet height.
Ahmedabad is well-connected with the rest of the country via large air, rail and road networks. All major domestic airlines fly to and from the city, connecting it to other important cities of the country. It also has an international airport with connections to various cities in the Gulf, Asia, Europe and the USA.
Picture Credits : Navratri – Quora