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By Achyut Yagnik

based in 1411 via Sultan Ahmed Shah at the banks of the river Sabarmati, Ahmedabad is this day India's 7th greatest urban and likewise one of many subcontinent's few medieval towns which is still wealthy and critical. quickly after it was once confirmed, the royal urban of Ahmedabad grew to become the economic and cultural capital of Gujarat. whilst the Mughal Empire annexed Gujarat in 1572, Ahmedabad misplaced its political pre-eminence, yet endured to flourish as a very good buying and selling centre connecting the silk direction with the spice direction. in brief lower than the Marathas within the eighteenth century, Ahmedabad skilled a dimming of its fortunes, yet with the start of British keep an eye on from the early 19th century town reasserted its mercantile ethos, at the same time it all started wondering age-old social hierarchies. the outlet of the 1st fabric mill in 1861 used to be a turning aspect and by way of the tip of the century Ahmedabad used to be often called the Manchester of the East. whilst Gandhi again to India from South Africa in 1915, searching for a spot the place he might determine 'an establishment for the complete of India', it used to be Ahmedabad he selected. With the constructing of his Sabarmati Ashram, the good production centre additionally grew to become a centre for brand spanking new awakening. It grew to become the political hub of India, radiating the message of freedom fight in accordance with fact and non-violence. After Independence, it emerged as one of many fastest-growing towns of India and within the Sixties Ahmedabadis pioneered associations of upper schooling and learn in new fields corresponding to house sciences, administration, layout and structure. but, in the course of the centuries, Ahmedabad's prosperity has been punctuated through common failures and social discord, from famines and earthquakes to caste and non secular violence. Ahmedabadis have attempted to reply to those, attempting to meld monetary development with a brand new tradition of social concord. Coinciding with the 600th anniversary of the founding of Ahmedabad, this huge brush background highlights socio-economic styles that emphasize Indo-Islamic and Indo-European synthesis and continuity, bringing the point of interest again to the pluralistic historical past of this medieval urban. Evocative profiles of Ahmedabadi retailers, industrialists, poets and saints besides descriptions and illustrations of the city's artwork and structure carry alive town and its citizens.

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