Ahmedabad, one of the major industrial centres in India, has often been called the' Manchester of the East'. The city is the major entry point to the west coast state of Gujarat, famous for its Asiatic lions in the Gir forest; the Temple of Somnath; Lothal, the site of a Harappan or Indus Valley civilisation; Jain temples at Palitana; and a distinct regional cuisine. The state offers many fairs and festivals in its numerous temple towns and is a major centre for hand-crafted textiles in the country. Excursions include the Sun temple of Modhera, built in the 11th century; Nalsarovar, a 116sq. km. lake and home for vast flocks of indigenous and migratory birds. The city is an interesting place to wander around, with narrow bazaar streets, crowded and colourful, and houses having ornately carved wooden fronts. The Calico Museum of Textiles has a display of modern and antique textiles, including rare tapestries, wall hangings, costumes and old weaving machines. Sabarmati Ashram, about 6km. from the city, was Mahatma Gandhi's headquarters during the long struggle of Indian independence.
Ahmedabad was built by Sultan Ahmed Shah to serve as his capital in 1411 A .D. While returning from one of his campaigns the young Sultan Ahmed Shah impressed with the scenic surroundings and climate of the town of Ashawal undertook the building of his new capital with a fort and twelve gates and named it Ahmedabad. While you can only see the ramparts of the 600 year old Bhadra fort, almost all the twelve gates with the exception of one have withstood the ravages of time and man.