Ahmedabad is a city to behold. With a population of around six million people, it's the fifth largest in India and, according to Forbes, one of the fastest growing cities in the world. As the administrative capital of the Ahmedabad district and the judicial capital of the Gujarat, this is a confident city that's growing fast in reputation. As well as being politically important, the city has an old nickname, 'The Manchester of India'. It's a clue to the traditionally strong textile economy here, which today is being slowly supplanted by a thriving car industry. Expats living in Ahmedabad have plenty of history to explore, too. Ahmedabad Stock Exchange is the second oldest in India and the Sabarmati Aashram, beside the River Sabarmati, is the former home of Mahatma Gandhi. The exquisite carved stone windows of Sidi Saiyyed Mosque are definitely worth a visit. With so much happening at once, living in Ahmedabad is a stimulating experience for the most international of expatriates.
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As is true of any Indian city, moving to Ahmedabad is an intense experience. There is so much to adapt to overnight that it might feel a bit overwhelming at first – there's the heat, the colors, the miasma of incense and cookery smells, a constant cacophony of traffic and plenty else besides. Settling in, you can find invaluable advice on how to adapt to all the change on the InterNations website and in the Expat Magazine. Articles for expats and commentary from other members are reassuring in a city where, for even the most global minds, newcomers can be overwhelmed. Having said that, there are plenty of expatriates in Ahmedabad, and when you get used to the intensity of India you might catch yourself struggling to remember what life was like before it. But in the meantime, InterNations' online discussion groups and forums have plenty of trustworthy tips and stories from other expats to keep you motivated. They'll probably be a welcome diversion from the bustle outside.
Working in the Manchester of India is a great experience. The heat is the first big thing you'll have to adapt to – the city is hot and humid. You can find international food if you're looking for it, but for the culinary expat there is an exciting local food scene to get to grips with. The InterNations discussion groups have some great content on food and drink for expats, and from the sweet masala chai served everywhere to heavy, spicy breakfasts, Ahmedabad does food and drink in a big way. It's hard not to be beguiled by it all, but many expats also like to get in touch with the international community and InterNations gives you a platform to do this. Using forums or private communications, it shouldn't be long before you're meeting up with other expats and, in a city as intense as Ahmedabad, you'll definitely have plenty to talk about.