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A Ahmedabad that blends old with new

607-year-old city balances heritage in old parts with green cover in new

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A view of Sabarmati river along with Dargah of Baba Lului published in 1932; The more developed part of Ahmedabad
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On the 607th foundation day of Ahmedabad, many scholars find it as a city within city. According to famous historian Rizwan Kadri, there is a city within city. "When I am going to walled city, I say at my home that Shaher ma Jau chhu (I am going to city). People refer "city" to the walled part," said Kadri.

"Not only for the near by village people, walled city has been referred as 'Shaher' (city) by citizens which makes it a city within city," added Kadri.

According to Ashish Trambadia, conservation architect, the one city has a unique blend of community based structure and modern structures on the other side of city. "When we talk about Ahmedabad, old and new there are two distinct features of it.

The old part of the city has a community based structure. It is bound by the community," said Trambadia.

"In the recent developed areas, which came up during the pre and post independence era, gave birth to new and modern infrastructure. While the old part of the city has intact wooden carving and lime work based structures," added Trambadia.

There is a glory of past in both the part of Ahmedabad. According to Kalpit Bachech a senior photographer in city, both the city has plus and minus points of it.

"The walled part has no green cover, large grounds or the gardens. While the newly develop areas are spacious, has more trees and grounds. Still the city planners in earlier times were more advanced that the recent once," said Bachech.

"Never ever, the walled part of city has faced road cave-in, drainage problem or water logging while the newly added area are full of these problems. The new area gives space to park vehicles, footpath etc, while old city is very much congested with very limited parking space and footpath," said Bachech.

According to retired professor of history Dr Mehboob Desai, there is a vast difference between both the parts when we talk about the structures. "The structures constructed during the Sultanate era. The structures shows art, culture and communal harmony. While in the newly developed area all these are lacking."

MENTION IN BOOKS

  • Mirat – i – Sikandari stated that other cities were bigger than Ahmedabad but none could be compared with Ahmedabad in construction and look.
     
  • Italian traveller Lisbon Barbosa wrote that in the 16th century a pile of Ahmedabad’s clothes was the price of a slave’s freedom in Africa.

MODERN  TOUCH

  • Unlike the old city’s heritage touch this part of city displays modern day infrastructure. The minicipal limit of the city has grown due to more houses in this part.
     
  • This part of city is well-planned like any other metro. It has ample of green space which has been lacking in the old part of the city.
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