Ahmadabad or Ahmedabad (both: äˌmədəbädˈ) [key], city (1991 pop. 3,312,216), Gujarat state, NW India, on the Sabarmati River. India's largest inland industrial center, Ahmadabad is noted for its cotton mills. It is also a transportation hub and a commercial center.

Founded in 1412 by Ahmad Shah, the city fell to Akbar in 1573 and enjoyed great prosperity under the Mughal empire. The British opened a trading post there in 1619; by the early 19th cent. they controlled the city. After the city opened its first cotton mills in the mid-19th cent., it grew into one of the major centers of cotton production in India. Mohandas Gandhi lived for a while in Ahmadabad. It was the temporary capital of the Gujarat state, from 1960 until 1970, when the capital was moved to Gandhinagar.

The cultural center of Gujarat, Ahmadabad has many outstanding mosques and tombs. It is also sacred to the Jains, who have more than 100 temples there. The Jama Masjid, an ancient Hindu temple converted (15th cent.) to a mosque, is one of the city's most beautiful buildings. Gujarat Univ. (1950) is in the city.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Indian Political Geography