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Ahmedabad Travel Guide:

Ahmedabad is the largest city in Gujarat, India. It is the seventh largest city and seventh largest metropolitan area of India, with a city population of approximately 4.05 million and metropolitan population of 6.2 million.In 2010, the Forbes magazine rated Ahmedabad as the fastest growing city in India, and third in the world after two Chinese cities — Chengdu and Chongqing. Ahmedabad is located on the banks of the River Sabarmati, 32 km from the state capital Gandhinagar. The city is the administrative centre of Ahmedabad district and was the capital of Gujarat from 1960 to 1970; the capital was shifted to Gandhinagar thereafter. In the middle of 1990s it was the fifth largest city in India. In colloquial Gujarati, the city is commonly called Amdavad.
Ahmedabad was founded on February 26, 1411 by Sultan Ahmed Shah to serve as the capital of the Gujarat Sultanate, and was named after him. Under the British rule, a military cantonment was established and the city infrastructure was modernized and expanded. Though incorporated into the Bombay Presidency during British rule, Ahmedabad remained the most important city in the Gujarat region. The city established itself as the home of a booming textile industry, which earned it the nickname the "Manchester of the East." The city was at the forefront of the Indian independence movement in the first half of the 20th century. It was the centre of many campaigns of civil disobedience to promote workers' rights, civil rights, and political independence.
With the creation of the state of Gujarat in 1960, Ahmedabad gained prominence as commercial capital of the state. The city is witnessing a major construction boom and population increase. A rising centre of education, information technology and scientific industries, Ahmedabad remains the cultural and commercial heart of Gujarat and much of western India.

Archaeological evidence suggests that the area around Ahmedabad has been inhabited since the 11th century, when it was known as Ashapalli or Ashaval. At that time, Karandev I, the Solanki ruler of Anhilwara (modern Patan), waged a successful war against the Bhil king of Ashaval, and established a city called Karnavati located at the present time area of Maninagar close to the river Sabarmati. Solanki rule lasted until the 13th century, when Gujarat came under the control of the Vaghela dynasty of Dholka and Karnavati was conquered by the Sultanate of Delhi. In 1411, the rule of the Muzaffarid dynasty was established in Gujarat. According to legend, Sultan Ahmed Shah, while camping on the banks of the River Sabarmati, saw a hare chasing a dog. Impressed by this act of bravery, the Sultan, who had been looking for a place to build his new capital, decided to locate the capital at this forest area close by to Karnavati right on the river bank and christened it Ahmedabad. The incident is popularly described in a one liner saying "Jab kutte pe sassa aaya, tab Badshah ne shaher basaya". Translation: Seeing the hare chasing the dog, the Emperor built the City.

Gardens and parks
here is a wide spectrum of gardens in Ahmedabad that exhilarate the gleam and appeal of the city. The AMC owns and maintains 76 parks and gardens and 96 traffic islands. There are 9 gardens that are more than 5 acres (20,000 m2) in area. Ahmedabad has already been honored internationally by 'Green City Commendation Award' as a result of devoted service provided by the Government officials to ensure proper maintenance of the gardens in Ahmedabad.
The 3 most popular and most visited gardens in the city are Victoria Garden, Bal Vatika and Law Garden. Located at the southern verge of the Bhadra Fort, Victoria Garden is a one of the most popular places in the city for people who desire to unwind and chill out. The Victoria Garden contains a statue of Queen Victoria, which is a masterpiece in itself. Bal Vatika is a children's park situated on the grounds of Kankaria Lake. Its close proximity to Kankaria lakefront makes it a wonderful spot to observe nature's splendor. The Kankaria lake got new look in 2008. Bal Vatika also houses an Amusement Park and a Water Park for kids. Law Garden got its name from the College of Law that is situated very close to it. It serves as a hub for those 'shopaholics', as scintillating pieces of handicrafts and a wide variety of Gujarati attires are sold here. Other main gardens in the city are Parimal Garden, Prahlad nagar Garden, Lal Darwaja Garden

Ahmedabad enjoys a thriving cultural tradition, being the centre of Gujarati cultural activities and diverse traditions of different ethnic and religious communities. Popular celebrations and observances include Uttarayan—an annual kite-flying day on 14 and 15 January. The nine nights of Navratri are celebrated with people performing Garba—the folk dance of Gujarat—at venues across the city. The festival of lights—Deepavali is celebrated with the lighting of lamps in every house, the decorating the floors with the rangoli and the bursting of firecrackers. Other festivals such as Holi, Ganesh Chaturthi, Gudi Padwa, Eid ul-Fitr and Christmas are celebrated with enthusiasm. The annual Rath Yatra procession on the Ashadh-sud-bij date of the Hindu calendar and the procession of Tajia during the Muslim holy month of Muharram are integral parts of the city's culture.

National Highway 8, linking Delhi to Mumbai, passes though Ahmedabad connecting it with Gandhinagar, Delhi and Mumbai. The National Highway 8C links Ahmedabad to Gandhinagar. It is connected to Vadodara through National Expressway 1, a 94 km (58 mi) long highway with only two exits. This expressway is part of the Golden Quadrilateral project.
Ahmedabad's main traffic arteries are the Ashram Road, C. G. Road, Relief Road and SG Highway. The SG Highway or Sarkhej-Gandhinagar Highway is also known as Ahmedabad's growth symbol. Transportation For Gandhinagar is available for 24 hours from SG highway. Auto rickshaws, Share Autos and buses are the most popular forms of public transport. The Ahmedabad Municipal Transport Service (AMTS) runs the local bus service in the city. In 2005, AMTS began a drive to convert all of its petrol and diesel engine buses to run on compressed natural gas engines to reduce the effects of air pollution. AMTS runs 750 buses.[70] Bicycles and motorcycles are a popular medium of transport with the city's young people and students.
In 2001, Ahmedabad was ranked as the topmost polluted city in India, out of 85 cities, by the Central Pollution Control Board. The Gujarat Pollution Control Board gave auto rickshaw drivers an incentive of Rs. 10,000 to convert all 37,733 auto rickshaws in Ahmedabad to cleaner burning compressed natural gas to reduce pollution. As a result, in 2008, Ahmedabad was ranked as 50th most polluted city in India.