Located on the Sabarmati River, Ahmadabad was founded in 1411/814 AH by the Muslim Sultan Ahmad Shah, the ruler of Gujarat. Newly proclaimed, the ruler felt vulnerable in the capital of Anahilvada-Patan, and moved his court to Ashaval, a Hindu settlement that supported him, and which he renamed Ahmadabad, after himself.
The new capital of Gujarat developed rapidly with the palace as the nucleus, encircled by a commercial districts. The Bhadra Fort represents the footprint of the original city. The nobility settled outside the city limit, forming their individual settlements. These settlements, known as puras, were named after their respective founders with the suffix of 'ganj' attached, like Nurganj or Muradganj.
Ahmadabad became a part of the Mughal Empire in 1572/980 AH under Emperor Akbar. In 1817/1232 AH, the British took over and the East India Company made it the military and administrative center of Gujarat. No longer the capital of Gujarat in post-Independence India, Ahmadabad is still a principal city with a thriving cotton industry earning it the title of 'Textile City'. Architecturally, the city boasts some of the most interesting examples of fifteenth century Gujarati style. The Jami Masjid and the Mausoleum of Ahmad Shah are an adaptation of indigenous Hindu and Jain architecture; the Siddi Saiyad's Mosque is famous for its exquisite yellow stone latticework, the Rani Sipri's mosque is an elegant dedication to Sultan Mahmud Begara's Hindu wife.
Modern Ahmadabad is spreading west of the Sabarmati River. This portion of the city plays host to the work of two famous architects, Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn. Sanskar Kendra, Mill Owners' Association building and the private residences of Sarabhai and Shodhan were designed by Le Corbusier, while the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) by Louis Kahn is one of the top college for business studies.
Davies, Philip. The Penguin Guide to the Monuments of India - Volume 2: Islamic, Rajput, European. London: The Penguin Group, 1989.
R.N. Mehta and Rasesh Jamindar. "Urban Context." In Ahmadabad, edited by George Michell and Snehal Shah, 1. Bombay: Marg Publications, 1998.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: India London: Dorling Kindersley Limited, 2002.
Recipient of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 1992.
The Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India (EDII) was established in 1983 to augment the country's supply of entrepreneurs through education and training. In 1985 EDII held a national competition to design a new campus of its own, won by the young architect Bimal Patel who is unrelated to EDII Director Patel. The campus consists of residential facilities, classrooms, offices and a library, organised within seven buildings linked by two axes. An auditorium, to be built in the future, will complete the master plan. Because Ahmedabad was founded in 1411 by Muslims who endowed the city with a splendid mix of mosques, mausolea, courtyard houses, labyrinths of public thoroughfares and alleys, private cul-de-sacs and gates, Patel's design for the campus was strongly influenced by his wish to establish a connection with this rich accumulation of India's past. The architect's organisational principles, as well as his use of a very limited palette of building materials - exposed brick, stone and wood with a minimal application of reinforced concrete, steel trusses and corrugated aluminium sheet - directly reflect their traditional Islamic sources. The jury commended Patel "for his confident use of formal elements growing out of the Indo-Islamic architectural heritage. A series of geometrically structured courtyards and loggias are the primary organising framework. The variation of open, closed and transitional spaces provides light and shade, and creates an inviting environment for work, interaction and repose."