Gandhinagar is the capital of Gujarat State, India. It is one of the three planned cities of India. Located on the banks of the River Sabarmati, the city is the administrative centre of Gandhinagar District.
In 1960, the Indian state of Bombay was split into two states — Maharashtra and Gujarat. Ahmedabad was selected to be the first capital of Gujarat. It was proposed that a new capital city be constructed for the state on the lines of the other two planned cities of India — Chandigarh and Bhubaneshwar. Initial plans were to commission the renowned American architect Louis Kahn to build the city to rival Le Corbusier's Chandigarh. But the plans were canceled due to pressure to make the new city an Indian enterprise.
So the charge of making the new city was given to Indian architects H. K. Mewada and Prakash M. Apte. Both had worked as apprentices during the construction of Chandigarh. The new city was constructed as per their plan and was named Gandhinagar after Mahatma Gandhi, a Gujarati himself. The capital was shifted from Ahmedabad to Gandhinagar
The new city is spread on the banks of the Sabarmati river. The main city is designed on the west bank of the river on 42.9 km˛ of land. The site is gently sloping, from north-east to south-west. Fine landscape lies along the west bank of the river Sabarmati.
Gandhinagar is perhaps the only new capital of a state in India that was designed and planned by Indian Town Planners H.K. Mewada and Prakash M. Apte, then in service with the State Government. It is considered the ‘greenest’ new town in the world. Gandhinagar comprises thirty sectors. It is a highly structured city and has a highly ordered street grid - comprising blocks that are divided by two types of streets, similar to U.S. avenues and streets. Gandhinagar has "letter roads" (K, KH, G, GH, CH, CHH & JA) and "number roads" (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7). The letter roads run parallel across the city perpendicular to the number roads. The number and letter roads intersect each other forming a grid; each block or square in the grid is given a sector number. Each intersection is marked by signal names such as CH1, CH2, CH3 or JA1,JA2.
On September 26, 2002, two gunmen ( moslem - muslim jehadi )who were trained by one of Pakistani Government`s terrorist training camp , entered the Hindu Akshardham temple in Gandhinagar and started firing indiscriminately at worshipers. After a 13-hour siege, National Security Guard commandos gunned them down. Nearly a hundred Hindu devotees were left wounded and thirty were killed, including eleven women and children. Letters found in the pockets of the attackers revealed that they belonged to the moslem jihadi group - Tehrik-e-Kasas.