There are many stories and evidences that portray what compelled Ahmed Shah to establish this mammoth city around the shores of river Sabarmati. Some of these have traveled the extent of centuries to prove that not a single person was ever involved in the foundation of this political, economical and industrial capital of the state.
The place where city stands today has been ruled by many great emperors in the past but only one story describes how this place transformed into a legend. The story says that Sultan Ahmed Shah was travelling from Patan with his army in 1411 for acquiring his triumphant over various dynasties when one day he suddenly came across a very strange scenario. He saw a hare chasing a dog along the river Sabarmati. The courage of the hare filled him with so much wonder that the Sultan decided to build Ahmedabad here. He was told by a Sufi Saint named Shaikh Ahmed Khattu Alias Ganj Baksh that the land where the sultan witnessed this heroism and enthusiasm of animal contains in itself a pinch of uniqueness. The saint lived in Sarkhej. Another tale says Ahmed Shah married Teja, the daughter of the Bhil of Ashaval. In today’s Ahmedabad, Astodia is the place where Ashaval used to be. Ahmed Shah and Teja settled down in Ahmedabad. And the city became the capital of his empire.
… And how this courage inspired King to move ahead regardless of the barriers that come in the way?
As we all know that hurdles are a part of every big race. Similar was faced by Sultan Ahmed Shah while getting the city build up. On the banks of the Sabarmati lived Maneknath Baba, another saint. Maneknath Baba used to weave a mat during day and open the threads of that mat during night until one day when he observed that the quilt he had been weaving is magical and as soon as he opens the threads of the quilt the walls of city fall. To display his power to the Sultan he put himself in a bottle and using his wit, The sultan sealed its openings.
Literal evidences say that this saint was the only one who helped King plan out the architecture of the the walls of Ahmed Khattu that changed the layout of the city forever.
The saint is believed to be buried alive or took a samadhi on the island of river sabarmai under Fernandez Bridge and it is also believed that because of Maneknath Baba’s power, textile mills in Ahmedabad became very successful. Later, Ahmedabad came to be known as ‘Manchester of the East’. Manchester is a city in England and is famous for its big and rich textile mils. Maneknath Baba’s samadhi in Manek Chowk is looked after by his descendants, Chandan Nath and Rajesh Nath. They say that Ahmed Shah and Maneknath were friends.