The city of Ahmedabad in the Gujarat state is famously known as the “Manchester City of India”.
This name was given to this city by a popular textile center in the Manchester of Great Britain, adhering to the striking similarities of Ahmedabad’s prospering cotton textile industries with the ones in Manchester.
During the 18th century when Great Britain’s Industrial Revolution took the world by storm, the industry which flourished the most was the cotton textile industry. Manchester was one such city that became the most famous and major textile manufacturing center in the world. Just like Ahmedabad is located on the Sabarmati River banks, Manchester is located on the bank of the Mershey river. Both the cities utilize these rivers’ water in the tinting of the cotton threads.
Ahmedabad is well-known for producing the best cotton cloth in the world. The good quality cotton-made products in this city have a good demand all over India. The city has a good climatic condition which is apt for the spinning of fine threads. It has a good and skilled labor force working in the handloom industries and also has a good source of cheap labor from the nearby villages. All these factors also contributed to making the Ahmedabad city famous for its handloom spinning and weaving, giving it the name “Manchester City of India”.
Why Ahmedabad is called the “Manchester City of India”?
The story behind giving Ahmedabad the nickname of the “Manchester City of India” started in 1780 with the British entering into the domestic politics of the Marathwada region. A lot of conflicts were taking place among the Maratha chiefs and the British took advantage of the situation. They plunged themselves into the situation by fighting the First Anglo-Maratha War. After a series of events, the British finally took over Ahmedabad, located on the banks of the Sabarmati River. They contemplated on making this state a port and reduce the freight traffic from Bombay.
This dream of the British 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. The city became a perfect destination for setting up cotton mills due to the availability of black soil, sunshine all throughout the year, plenty of money with the merchants, and the cheap labor. In view of earning great profits and filling their treasuries, they set up a railway line in 1864 which linked Ahmedabad with Bombay, which is a major port in India. This railway line solved the traffic and other problems while doing trade.
Thus, all these economic, geographical, and political situations led to the naming of Ahmedabad as the Manchester City of India. Since then, the city has been engaged in the production of colourful cotton fabrics having high demand not just in India, but also abroad.