Books

Ahmadabad (1411-1817): Environmental Facets of A Medieval Urban Centre

Original_book-ahmadabad
Book: Ahmadabad (1411-1817): Environmental Facets of A Medieval Urban Centre Order   
Author: Dr. Shaukat Ullah Khan
Edition: First, 2007
Pages: 365 
Publishers: Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi.
Distributors: Genuine Publications & Media Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi

This is a substantially improved and enlarged version of the author’s research-project titled ‘Environmental Legacy of India — A Case Study of a Medieval Urban Centre: Ahmadabad’. It surveys the major physical and aphysical aspects of urban environment from the time of the foundation of Ahmedabad up to the termination of Maratha rule. It explains the rise and growth, decay and decadence of the quality of living with reference to urban standards in terms of both physical qualities as it existed and the reality as perceived by contemporaries. The work pays special attention to the elements of change and continuity in the urban environment: aspects of planning, space utilisation, architectural milieu, state and status of houses, infrastructure, language and learning, the people and their emotional bonds with the city, interface between man and nature, and so on. It brings into focus the flora and fauna, and the nature and role of stewardship.

The book demolishes certain historiographical stereotypes created by communal writings. It gives lie to the view that Indian towns were not urban by urban standards. Ahmadabad presented an example in the socio-economic techniques of progress and the art of togetherness. It is a wholesome and documented study incorporating fresh evidence. It brings forth environmental perceptions and contributions of generations of a bygone era which remains neglected.

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This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 November 2010 on page no. 27

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