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Ahmedabad City of Gujarat State
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Population:3,600,000
Telephone Area Code: 079

Gujarat's principal city is Ahmedabad (also known as Amdavad) and is one of the major  industrial cities in India. Although it retains little evidence of the Raj, it has been called the `Manchester of the East' due to its many textile industries and its smokestacks. Ahmedabad is also very noisy and incredibly polluted; Relief Rd (Tilak Rd) gets the author's votes as one of the most polluted, congested and thoroughly chaotic strips of barely controlled mayhem in the country. It's a real rat race and only on Sunday mornings is there any respite.  Visitors in the hot season should bear in mind the derisive title given to Ahmedabad by the Moghul emperor, Jehangir: Gardabad, the City of Dust. Nevertheless, this comparatively little-visited city has a number of attractions for travellers, and is one of the best places to study the blend of Hindu and lslamic architectural styles known as the Indo-Saracenic. The new capital of Gujarat, Gandhinagar,is 32km from Ahmedabad.

History
Over the centuries Ahmedabad has had a, number of periods of grandeur, each followed by decline. It was founded in l411 by Ahmed Shah (from whom the city takes its name) and in the I7th century was thought to be one of the finest cities in lndia. In 1615, In the noted English ambassador, Sir Thomas Roe, judged it to be 'a goodly city, as large as London' but in the l8th century, it went through a period of decline. Its industrial strength once again raised the city up, and from 1915, it become famous as the site of Gandhi's ashram and the place where he launched his celebrated march against the Salt Law. 

Local Transport
Ahmedabad is well on way to displacing Lagos at the world's craziest city as far as traffic is concerned. Venturing  out in an auto-rickshaw is certainly a nerve shattering experience. most drivers are willing to use the meter, but at the end of the journey may ask for something utterly ridiculous. Ask to see the fare adjustment card; however, this is entirely in Gujarati, so you'll need to leam the Gujarati numbers to make any sense of it. the local bus stand is known as Lal Darwaja, and is on the east side of the river, between Nehru and Ellis bridges. The routes, destinations and fares are all posted in Gujarati.

Things to Buy
On Ashram Rd, just to the south of the tourist office, is the Gujarat state crafts ernporium, Called Gurjari.

For hand-printed fabrics and other textiles, the Self-Employed Women's Association or SEWA has two retail outlets: shop 21/22, Goyal Towers, near Jahnvi Restaurant, University Rd, on the western side of the Sabarmati, and at the eastern end of EllisBridge, opposite the Victoria Gardens. The headquarters is adjacent to the latter, and visitors are welcome.

Don't miss to visit the evening market at Law Garden, where you will find a wide range of embroidered and colourfull fabrics. But get ready to do some rigorous bargaining, you can start with half the price quoted by the vendor.

Ahmedabad, predominetly being an textile capital has lots of good garment showrooms. Try showrooms at C.G.Road, Dhalgarwada and Ratanpole.

This site is dedicated to our friend Younus M, who passed away on 28th Sept 00, and left on us an indelible memories ! - Team GujaratPlus.com

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