Why Is Ahmedabad Known As The Manchester of India?
History of Ahmedabad
The story starts in 1780 with the British entering into the domestic politics of the Marathwada region current day Ahmedabad. A lot of conflicts had been taking place among the Maratha chiefs during those days and the British took advantage of the situation.
To get better out of this situation the Britishers started the First Anglo-Maratha War and took over Ahmedabad. Located on the banks of the River Sabarmati, they wished on making it a port to reduce the traffic from Bombay.
Their foothold in Ahmedabad was short-lived as they soon lost control over Ahmedabad. But this did not move them much and they kept their enthusiasm intact by winning the Third Anglo-Maratha War, the British again won control over Ahmedabad in 1818.
This is when the city became the aptest destination for setting up cotton mills because of the availability of black soil and throughout the year – sunshine. Also, plenty of capital with merchants with cheap labour was the right concoction for multiple cotton mills and cotton clothing stores in Ahmedabad.
City of Manchester
The city of Manchester is well known for its cotton mills around the globe. The temperate climate of the region is ideal for cotton thread spinning. Also, the city is located on the banks of the River Mersey which makes it easier to dry the cotton threads.
Similarly, in Ahmedabad, the Sabarmati River helps in the drying of cotton threads. Also, the climate in Ahmedabad favours growing as well as spinning cotton threads.
This paved the way for an abundance of raw cotton for mills. The rich merchants invested in building the mills and the skilled and unskilled labourers were available in abundance. Since the city is well connected to the major cities of the country, finished cotton goods were easily transported across other cities of India.
The first cotton textile mill, known as the Shahpur Mill came into existence in the year 1861 and it flourished successfully. After its huge success, other businessmen were inspired to invest in textile mills across the city. By the end of the 1990s, there were around thirty-three mills set up in the city. Soon after, the city of Ahmedabad was supplying cotton textiles to different parts of the country.
Manchester of India
The first time, two of the leading Indian industrialists called Ahmedabad the ‘Manchester of India’ were Ambalal Sarabhai and Kasturbhai Lalbhai. Manchester in the UK just like Ahmedabad is situated on the banks of river Mersey, the geographical conditions of Manchester equally produce high-quality cotton, thus the name.
Ahmedabad’s geographical location produces high-quality cotton, cotton mills and stores and connectivity with other major cities makes the city Manchester of India.
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