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.
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
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
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
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.