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By Prakhar Patidar
Ahmedabad, the capital city of Gujarat, is the only other heritage city of India apart from Jaipur to grab a spot on the UNESCO list of world heritage. It was the first city of India to be included in the list. Set on both sides of the Sabarmati River, Ahmedabad is the largest city in Gujarat.
Ahmedabad is a beautiful cocktail of ancient architecture and masterful urban planning. On the eastern side of the river is the old town that boasts mosques and buildings that were built hundreds of years ago. The neighborhood is marked by pols that signify the ancient system of community-based housing. In the olden times, the city was also guarded by a wall on all sides with 12 points of entry. Today, only these gates remain standing. The foundation of the city was laid in the 11th century by the Solanki dynasty.
Till 1411, the city was ruled by king Karandev I, the Solanki ruler, and was called Karnavati. After it was conquered by Sultan Ahmad Shah, the name was changed to Ahmedabad. It is under Ahmad Shah's rule Ahmedabad adopted a unique artistic style that took inspiration from earlier Indian traditions of art and that of Persian architecture.
The result of this was the development of a unique Indo-Saracenic style that is evident in the architecture from that era. The city expanded and enjoyed the status of being the royal capital for 162 years till the Independent Sultanate of Gujarat was sustained. There was a decline in the city's prosperity under the Mughal rule due to weak kingship. In the 18th century, the city came under the wing of the Maratha kingdom, ruled under the joint jurisdiction of the Peshwas and the Gaekwads.
On the western side is the urban part of the city speedily moving towards metropolitan developments. Because of a highly active port and flourishing textile industry, Ahmedabad also earned the title of 'Manchester of East. During the freedom struggle, the city attained newfound importance as the center point of all Gandhian activities.
Karnavati later named Ahmedabad, has seen the rise and fall of various democracies and has been the heart of India's freedom struggle. From this rich history, the city has weaved for itself a beautiful cultural fabric that vouches for Ahmedabad's heritage status.
Keywords: Ahmedabad, Gujarat, history, heritage cities
The Sher Bahadur Deuba government on Thursday recommended veteran diplomat Shanker Sharma as the next ambassador to India.
Sharma earlier served as Vice Chairman of the National Planning Commission and Nepal's Ambassador to the United States of America from 2009 to 2013.
The post in the New Delhi embassy of Nepal fell vacant recently after Deuba recalled the ambassadors from 12 countries including India. The outgoing ambassador, Nilamber Acharya has already returned to Kathmandu.
Sharma has extensive experience in government, international institutions, and economic research. Before joining the National Planning Commission as a member in 1997, he worked as a Senior Economic Advisor, Ministry of Finance, Nepal; a Senior Economist in the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore; and a Fellow in the East-West Center, Hawaii. He also served as a Professor of Economics in the Centre for Economic Development and Administration, Tribhuvan University.
He worked regionally and globally for many organizations, such as the UNESCAP, World Bank, and ASEAN. Sharma is close confident of Prime Minister Deuba. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: India-Nepal relations, Nepal Ambassador, economic research.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday announced that 2022 will be celebrated as the friendship year for India and ASEAN countries as both have completed 30 years of partnership.
The event will coincide with India's celebrations of the 75th year of Independence from the colonial regime, he added.
While participating in the 18th edition of the India-ASEAN Summit, Modi said, "India is committed to deepening its relations with the next presidency, Cambodia and country-coordinator Singapore."
"History is witness to the fact that India and ASEAN have had relations for thousands of years. India-ASEAN relations are reflected in everything, including in our shared values, traditions, languages, scriptures, architecture, culture, food," the Prime Minister noted.
Speaking about the Covid pandemic which engulfed the whole world, he further said that the Covid period was also a test of India-ASEAN friendship. "Our mutual ties in the Covid time will keep strengthening our corporations in future and form a base for goodwill between our people," Modi added.
He further said that the unity and centrality of ASEAN have always been a priority for India and history has witnessed the fact that "we have had ties since thousands of years," he said.
The Prime Minister also said that India's Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) and ASEAN's Outlook for the Indo-Pacific are the framework for their shared vision and mutual cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
During the Summit, the head of the member states will review the progress of India and ASEAN Strategic Partnerships which was signed in 2012. They will also review the progress achieved in the sectors like Covid-19, health, trade and investment, connectivity, education among others, the officials of India's Ministry of External Affairs said. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: India, and ASEAN partnership, COVID-19, India, and ASEAN, India, and history, Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative.
Light, airy, and silky, Chanderi silk is to the standards of Indian royals. Some believe it resembles muslin because of its texture, but recently, it has been incorporated with silk threads which adds an additional sheen.
Madhya Pradesh's Chanderi town is where the silk fabric was born. Handwoven sarees were famous here, as it was the primary textile centre in between the 7th and 2nd century BC. Because of its transparency, lightness, and rich look, royals began to patronize this fabric. From the 11th century AD, Chanderi silk became well-known across the country.
The Chanderi weave is a heritage. Long lines of weavers passed this skill to their children, and it is not disclosed to anyone else. It is too delicate to be woven on power looms as the threads are spun until they are as fine as a 300 count. A special root named Kolikanda is used to extract the cotton wool for the silk. These days, gold and silver are embroidered into it. Motifs were created with metal dust.
A weaver working on a Chanderi loom Image credit: Wikimedia commons
Unlike other fabrics, Chanderi silk fibres do not go through a degumming process. They are not crafted to evade breakage and tear easily under high pressure. This is one of the reasons they are so light. It is often called 'woven air' for its breezy, soft texture.These days, the use of cost-effective raw materials spoils the natural beauty of the weave. One of the ways to identify a pure Chanderi saree is from its soft hues. This silk is usually dyed in pastel colours. The motifs are always handwoven and covered in copper dust. The machine weave tends to unwind with time and is not preferred. Original Chanderi can be differentiated from the fake by its glossy shine.
Keywords: Chanderi silk, Royals Silk sarees, Chanderi weave is a heritage.