Ahmedabad is located at 23°02′N 72°35′E / 23.03°N 72.58°E / 23.03; 72.58 in western India at an elevation of 53 metres (174 ft) from sea level on the banks of the Sabarmati river, in north-central Gujarat. It covers an area of 464 km2 (179 sq mi).
The Sabarmati frequently dries up in the summer, leaving only a small stream of water, and the city is located in a sandy and dry area. The steady expansion of the Rann of Kutch threatens to increase desertification around the city area and much of the state. Except for the small hills of Thaltej-Jodhpur Tekra, the city is almost flat. Two lakes are within the city's limits—Kankaria Lake and Vastrapur Lake. Kankaria lake, in the neighbourhood of Maninagar, is an artificial lake developed by the Sultan of Delhi, Qutb-ud-din Aybak, in 1451. According to the Bureau of Indian Standards, the town falls under seismic zone-III, in a scale of I to V (in order of increasing vulnerability to earthquakes) Ahmedabad is divided by the Sabarmati into two physically distinct eastern and western regions. The eastern bank of the river houses the old city, which includes the central town of Bhadra. This part of Ahmedabad is characterised by packed bazaars, the pol system of close clustered buildings, and numerous places of worship. It houses the main railway station, the General Post Office, and few buildings of the Muzaffarid and British eras. The colonial period saw the expansion of the city to the western side of Sabarmati, facilitated by the construction of Ellis Bridge in 1875 and later the modern Nehru Bridge. The western part of the city houses educational institutions, modern buildings, residential areas, shopping malls, multiplexes and new business districts centred around roads such as Ashram Road, C. G. Road & Sarkhej-Gandhinagar Highway.
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