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Ahmedabad is the largest city in the state of Gujarat and was ruled by Mughals for about 340 years and then by The Marathas & The British. Since each dynasty has created its own in-depth style of expressing its religious love and aesthetic taste by building monuments, mosques gardens and much more so does the Ahmedabad has created. Ahmedabad has become the principal center in Gujarat where the monuments, mosques, gardens gave birth to a variety of different forms in the Islamic Architecture. The approach evolved for Islamic building is the combination of two equally powerful architectural traditional, namely Hindu and Jain.
The Jami Masjid at Ahmedabad is one of the most beautiful structures in the world as it has a 210 feet wide and 90 feet deep chamber to prayer and has 260 columns with a huge court opening before it. Tombs of Queens, Haibat Khan’s Mosque, The Tin Darwaza are some other buildings which are beautifully designed. The stone tracery window in Siddi Sayyadi Mosque is an unequaled example of decorative architectural work. Rani Sipri Mosque, a small mosque built in the year 1514, is one the finest building in the city with beautifully crafted characters. Ahmed Shah Mosque was built in the year 1414 by Ahmed Shah has stones inscribed in the Persian language with ill designed arches and squat minarets are the first attempt to build in the Islamic style. Other buildings include Sidi Bashir Mosque which was constructed by a slave of Sultan Ahmed Shah; Sidhi Bashir in the year 1452 is known for its unique construction of 3 storey shaking minartes but was badly damaged during the battle between Marathas and Javanmardhkhan babi. The Tomb of Queens also known as Rani-ka-Hujra is an eight marble tomb structure in which the center tomb is of Bibi Mughli, wife of Muhammad Shah II, adjacent is another black stone tomb inlaid with mother of pearls, possibly the grave of the sister of Bibi Mughli. In addition to these building and monuments the Dargah of Shah Alam is the center of all monuments. It took around 10 years to complete as it is designed on a casket pattern, with a hall outer to it enclosed by trellis screens and divided by twenty-eight pillars and the inner portion is crowned by a dome which rises over the grave.
Other than these there are other mosques and monuments like Wells Dada hari which was built in the year 1499 is a great place, Mosque of Haibat Khan was built in 1425, Mosque of Dastur Khan which was built in the year 1486 and much more. Since the Ahmedabad city has been under the power of the Shahi dynasty most of the monuments reflect Islamic architecture and have some history related to its construction. Thus the Islamic architecture in Ahmedabad is known for their richest architecture combined with regional changes.
Ahmedabad, a city in western India and capital of Gujarat lies on the bank of river Sabarmati and can be reached by air, road or rail. Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel Airport At Ahmedabad bring visitors from all over the world and is 1826 Kms from Chennai, 915 Kms from Delhi, 545 Kms from Mumbai and 1924 Kms from Kolkata. As Ahmedabad is considered as a very hot place so the ideal time to visit this place is during winters (November-February) because the minimum temperature here is about 5 degree Celsius and the maximum is 20 degree Celsius.
If planning to visit some historic places then please go through the list of Islamic architectures in Ahmedabad.
During 1541 AD various Mughal sultans used to rule on small local sultans. These Mughal sultans used to rely on Hindu Political and were also liberal towards Indian practices. The Muslims in Gujarat used to respect the Hindu families and gave them equal rights. They get their princess married to Hindu rulers. However, these Muslims consider the Rajput princess as an inferior partner. This tradition is reflected on the monument of Ahmedabad known as Rani Sipri Mosque.
Rani Sipri Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Ahmedabad and is named after a Hindu queen, Rani Sipri because her dead body was buried under this mosque. The mosque was commissioned when her husband, Mahmud Begada who was once sultan killed their son for some crime. It is located in the southeast part of Ahmedabad and was built in 1541 AD by Rani Sipri. It is also known as Rani Asni’s Mosque. People used to call this mosque by the name Masjid- e- Nagina which means jewels of a mosque because of its jali carvings on the walls.
It is a fine example of the highly decorative monument in Ahmedabad that exhibits the great combination of Hindu and Islamic style of architecture and art as it contains beautiful minarets carved by craftsmen. It is considered superior to other monuments because of its planning and clean structural style and arrangement.
Rani Sipri Mosque is a historical monument of the 16th century which is 20 Feet wide, 50 feet high and 54 feet long. Many tourists are attracted towards it because of its elegant, splendid and graceful curvatures. The interior of the domed shaped mosque is intricate with carved stones decoration and the jalis which are beautifully crafted with paintings of flowing trees and plants.
The walls are covered with inscriptions from the Quran and the pillars and ceilings are embellishing with a 3D Decoration of Hindu and Jain arts and architecture. The mosque also provides a large space for its worshippers with a separate space for the women folks known as Jenana. The mosque has beautiful Hindu characters with perforated screens.
Its balconies are grand like haveli and fine minarets are purely ornamental and solid. Like other historical buildings of the 16th century, this mosque is also covered with excellent curvatures and different filigree work. The overall graceful design of this religious structure is adorable and worth to praise, making this one of the gems of Gujarat Islamic Structure and the most beautiful attraction of Ahmedabad.
Ahmed Shah Mosque was constructed in the year 1414 AD by the founder of Ahmedabad city, Sultan Ahmed Shah. Thus the mosque gets its name from its founder. This religious place for Muslim is also known as Jaali Wali Masjid which means mosques with grills. Like all other mosques, this mosque to gets a lot of devotees on Friday as it is a special day for Muslims. Lying on the left side of the famous monument Bhadra Fort this mosque is very old and appealing place to visit in Ahmedabad. It is also known as Chhoti Jumna Mosque. Ahmed Shah Mosque has a pre unique Mughal architecture which influences Persian style of building and stones.
Ahmed Shah Mosque is the Monument of National Importance which is fully developed in Islamic architecture. From Airport of Ahmedabad, the run is 9 km to reach this mosque and its takes around 25 minutes to reach and from the railway station, the total distance that needs to travel is around 12 km which takes around 30 minutes of your time. The monument was the private chapel for the royal family of king Ahmed. In this era, a traditional instrument was used which is known as Naubat. It was used to announce the sunset and sunrise times and also the time of gate closing of the fort during the nights. In Ahmedabad, there was an earthquake in 1819 which had destroyed its two minarets that were located in the upper portion.
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The basic raw material used to construct this mosque is yellow sandstone which is beautifully carved with artist look. The mosque covers 700 square meter area and has 15 domes. It also consists of four gateways with 152 pillars. The courtyard of the mosque has a mound which is known as Ganj Shahid. From the three sides of courtyards, one can see huge walkways while on the fourth side there is prayer room which faces towards the east. The Mehrabs or prayer rooms have been designed using the marbles of white and black color and contain 4 domes which have designs of lotuses and bells. The arcades are filled with holy relics from Arabs which adds a charm to this place. Also, the Qibla or the prayer walls are marked with excellent carvings and decorations made from stone and other items.
The mosque also contains a separate room for women to prayer known as Zenana. The main attraction of Ahmed Shah Mosque includes the eight beautifully decorated stone windows which light the interior of the mosque. In the mosque, the north porch leads to a Princesses’ Gallery in which Hindu thoughts and some of their temples are used in this mosque. In the north side of the Ahmed Shah Mosque tombs, the body of Ahmed shah, his sons, and his grandson is buried. The bodies of many wives of the emperor are also buried at the place which is not too far from the tomb.
Rani Rupmati was the wife of sultan Qutubuddin but after his death, she got married to his brother Mahmud Begada who built this mosque during the reign of Ahmed Shah I in the years 1430-1440 and named this mosque after the beautiful princess of Dhar and his wife Rani Rupmati. As sultan was a Muslim and Rani Rupmati was a Hindu so this mosque is a great combination of both traditional architectural style and an example of the talented and hardworking craftsmanship of Gujarat.
It is situated on the northern side of the Ahmedabad city, near to the Sidi Saiyyed Mosque which is located near Lal Darwaza at GOP and takes 22 minutes to cover the 11 Km distance from Airport. From the railway station, this mosque is only 6 Km away and takes around 15 minutes of your time.
The monument contains several parts which appear simple than others and in a way all these parts represent some stories and beliefs followed by the king and the queen during that medieval period. This mosque also serves as a beautiful break between Rani Sipri Mosque and Achut Kuki’s. But due to the earthquake in Ahmedabad in the year 1818 the mosque lost one of its minarets which have decreased the beauty of this famous monument.
Sidi Bashir who was the slave of Sultan Ahmed shah had constructed the shaking minarets Sidi Bashir mosque. It is situated around 1.5 km away from Ahmedabad railway station. The mosque is known as shaking minarets because of its unique design in which if one pillar shakes then the other one also shakes. The mosque is also known as Jhulta Minar. There is a conflicting part which says that the mosque was built by Malik Sarang who was a quite Nobel in a court of Muhammad Begada. Sidi Bashir Mosque construction was completed in the year 1452. The mosque is 600 years old and can still bear the shaking without collapsing.
The reason behind the shaking of the towers is still a mystery. However, some assume that the shaking is due to vibrations which are amplified in the form of air tunnels between the two towers through the base of the tower thus allowing the other tower to shake as well. Grindlay Robert Melville- one of the famous artist once said- “the most amazing circumstance attached to this is the vibration which is produced in the minarets, or towers, rising from the Centre of the building, by a slight exertion of force at the arch in the upper gallery”. One of the Englishmen tried to demolish the mosque to resolve the mystery behind the swaying of the towers. The interesting thing about the mosque is that it can withstand the pressure of fast-moving trains that pass from the nearby distance.
The minarets are 21 meters high and have around three stories with carved balconies. The mosque is made up of sandstone which is a brittle material. This design is adopted to avoid the changes of its collapse during earthquakes. The interesting thing about the minarets is that it doesn’t cause any vibrations in the connecting passage. The design and carving on the towers are so clear and intricate that it has gain the attraction of the tourist. The material and style which is used to prepare this mosque are inspired from Mahmud Begada’s reign. The minarets were built in the ancient times by the skilled and talented craftsmen of Mughals.
In the 18th century, there was a war that destroyed the mosque completely but the only part that is remaining till date is minarets which are around 100 feet tall. To reach the top of the tower one has to climb up the 78 spiral stairs which are quite narrow that means one has to climb behind another. The balcony had a virtual ledge which is around 2 feet high and for support, there is a small wall which bounds the ledge. One can shake the minarets with a small door which is located at the top. To avoid any causes currently the doors have been locked and entry has been prohibited. As Mosque simply means “place of prostration” once can feel the essence of it in this mosque. To visit this mosque one has to take the permission from the archaeological department of India.
Tombs of Ahmed Shah’s Queens or Mughalai Bibi’s Tomb is located on the east of Ahmed Shah Tomb near Manek Chowk in Ahmedabad which the busiest market full of clothes and accessories for women. It was built by Sultan Ahmed Shah in the 15th century. Rani-no-Hajiro is considered as a dome of graves and served as the resting place for the queens in ancient 'times. It contains eight marble tombs of Ahmed Shah Queen’s along with other sultanate rulers. The story behind the chowk is very interesting. The dome is surrounded by an open gallery. It is the true semi-circular structure in which windows are decorated with Islamic architecture.
The chowk came into existence when Ahmed Shah started building the fort. Baba Maneknath who was a sage tried to destroy it by an interlacing mat. He was then called by the emperor and was asked to show up his powers though entering into the kettle. He entered and the king caught him and buried him there. Currently, the place is maintained by the family of caretakers who ensure that the place remains pure and untainted. The opening time of the tomb is 11:30 AM in the morning and 4:00 PM onwards in the evening. The distance from Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel airport to Rani no Hajiro tomb is around 9.6 km and from railway station it is around 12.5 Kms.
This tomb is an open enclosure which is 36.58 meters and is high above the ground. In Rani-no-Hajiro chowk there are three beautiful tombs which are constructed using white marble. The First and the head tomb belong to Mughalai Bibi, second tomb belongs to the wife of Hazrat Shah Alam’s and the third tomb belongs to the begum of Hazarat Sayedali-Miradatar. These tombs are finely carved with Persian inscription in minute relief. There is one more tomb which is made up of black marble which belongs to the Murki Bibi who was the wife of Shah e Alam. It is decorated with mother of pearl ornamental which is smooth in a substance which forms the inner layer of the shell.
The tombs of the queens are magnificently carved with stones and the walls are surrounded by these graves. In this tomb the art of brocade concept is used which was used in the old and was introduces during the Ahmed Shah period. The graves of the queen are covered with handmade zari clothes which add a grace to the tomb. The interesting thing about the tomb is that before the request of shah’ queen the style of the tomb was like a dome that will cover the grave but as desired by the queen the tomb has a design of open-air courtyard with uncharacteristic construction. The burial place is kept locked to maintain the cleanliness and tranquillity of the area. The tracery stone and carving design is a great example of Hindu, Islamic and Jain culture.
It is considered that burial places have some religious importance among Muslims and some of them are now on the top list of a tourist destination because of their pleasant location and beautiful architecture. One of them among these destinations is Ahmed Shah tomb popularly known as Badshah-no-hajiro. It is a famous ancient mosque in Ahmedabad where women are not allowed to enter the tomb and men have to cover their heads with some piece of cloth while entering this mosque. It is situated near to Jama Mosque and Manek Chowk and was built in the year 1446 during the reign of Muhammad Shah. This mosque has tombs of the founder of Ahmedabad City, Ahmed Shah I in the center accompanied by his son Muhammad Shah to the left, and his grandson Qutud-Din Shah to the right. It also has tombs of his other grandsons named as Jalal Khan and Sultan Ahmed II.
During Ahmed Shah period a traditional instrument known as Naubat was played to make an announcement of the arrival and departure of the king, beginning of the wars, and on special occasions like birth, marriages etc. which is still played near the tomb of Ahmed Shah in his remembrance. Thus Raja -no-hajiro is a place where male members of royal families are buried and it still comes under the category of a most visited mosque in Ahmedabad.
The king’s mausoleum is a square shape building with large central domes and pillars on each side. It also consists of smaller domes with four chambers at all four corners which have beautiful stone screens or jalis which add an attraction to this mosque. One can see the tomb of Ahmed Shah’ queen which in the main road from this tomb. Just above the entrance of Ahmed Shah tomb, there is a Naubat Khana where the three sons of Banubhai namely Chherubhai, Nanabhai and Amirbhai play the music which is of 15 minutes. This tradition is from the time when the city was established.
The windows of the tomb are perforated with carvings which give it charm and grace. It is also based on the architecture styles of Islamic characters. Muhammad shah – one of the Mughal emperors had funded for this tomb to make it beautiful and attractive. To visit this place one has to cover a distance of 12 Km from Ahmedabad airport and around 6 km from the railway station of Ahmedabad. Artistic craftsmanship domes, and latticed windows give it an exquisite look to the tomb. It is believed that the tomb has the most beautiful architecture marvel thus has become the main point of tourist attraction in the Ahmedabad city.
Syed Sirajuddin Muhammad, the son of Hazrath Syed Burhanuddin Qutub e Alam was given the title of Shah e Alam which means The king of the world. He was a leading Muslim religious teacher residing in Ahmedabad, India during the Mughal empire. One day while bathing an interesting miracle was happened where Shah e Alam hit his feet to an unexpected object. He commented that he didn’t know whether the object was wood, stone or iron. Unaccountably, that object turned into a mixture of three materials and he becomes a respected saint. Thus this miracle has completely changed shah Alam life. He died in 1475 AD on 20 Jumada al akhira 880 Hijri.
Shah Alam Roza or Rasulabad Dargah is a monument or tomb built by Taj Kham Narpali in the memory of the great Muslim saint, Shah-e-Alam. It is located in shah Alam area of Ahmedabad, India and is around 15kms from Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel International airport. It is suggested that the best time to visit this Roja is on Friday afternoon because it is believed that the great saint used to have an open discussion every week after Juma namaz on various religious and non-religious aspects and also there is a change in atmosphere because of qwalli performance by two ustads who declare themselves as the successors from the time of Shah Alam.
At the east end of the Roja in the center, the tomb is located. Shah Alam Roja has around 12 Pillars which are situated on a square plan. In the center of the roof, there is a dome which is surrounded by corridors along with 24 small domes. It is believed that in the early 17th century, the brother of Nur Jahan has ornamented the dome with precious stones including gold. The design of the entrance on all the sides is of arched shaped. Each wall of the mosque has an entrance in the center. There are three arched shaped windows on the other side of the entrance which are carved with stone windows.
The floor of the mosques is made up of black and white marble. On the west, there is the main entrance which has small domes out from the wall. The door of the mosque is made up of brass work and the frame. The shews between the frames and stone pillars are made up of white marble which is beautifully pierced and carved. With the help of pierced stone, the tomb’s inner walls are enclosed. The outer wall consists of designs of varied stones. The architecture type of the Shah Alam Roza is based on both mosque and tomb. The pleasing architecture outline and its skillful domes are much constructed in the form of Islamic style which is found in most of the parts of India.
In the ancient time during the period of Ahmed Shah (1410-1443 AD), Sarkhej no Rojo is a small village with a population consisting of Indigo dyers and Hindu weavers. Later it related to Shaikh Ahmed Khattu Ganj Baksh who was a Sufi saint and an advisor of sultan Ahmed Shah. He lived till he was 111 years of age and died in the year 1445. Upon his death, Mohammed Shah ordered to build a mosque and tomb in his honor known as Sarkhej no Rojo which is located 10 Kms southeast of Ahmedabad and is 15kms away from Ahmedabad airport and will take around 19 minutes of your journey. It is opposite to Ganj Baksh’s tomb in the village of Makarba and is also known as Acropolis of Ahmedabad.
The construction of tomb and mosque was completed by Ahmed Shah inheritor, Qutb’ud-Din Ahmed Shah in 1451 AD and later in the 15th century the complex was completed by Sultan Mahmud Begada by constructing a tank in the center, a number of canopies and small mosques. He also constructed a tomb for himself and his family opposite to tomb, where his son Muzaffar II and his wife Queen Rajbai were buried. Further additions to Sarkhej no Rojo were made in 1584 AD. Thus it is a place where three different worlds exist, namely social, religious and royal. Sarkhej no Rojo is one of the best places to visit for those who have an interest in history and architecture as it is considered as one of the largest Dargah in Gujarat.
The architecture of Sarkhej Rojo is built by two persion brothers namely Azam and Muazzam Khan. The bodies of these great artists are buried in the tomb near Vasna in Ahmedabad. It is originally spread over 72 acres and is surrounded by gardens from all the sides. When tourist enters from the eastern side on the north bank of Sarkhej Lake, one can see the building. It is the largest monument in Gujarat. The architecture is made up of stone trellis work. The tomb is beautifully made with a metal screen which is open. On its left, there are two mausoleums which are connected to the porch. Basically, the garden was constructed to in respect of the Sultan Mahmud Begada. The architecture style is composed of Indo- Saracenic which means it the fusion of Islamic stylistic, Hindu and Jain features and influences from Persia.
Mahmud Begada and his son Sultan Muzaffar II have their tomb in the east. The west tomb is of Muzaffar’s queen whose name is Rajbai. The monument describes the qualities of human being which are composed of both jism and run which means spirit. The architecture style is the combination of both Hindu and Muslim. The pillars and brackets follow the Islamic genre. However, the Hindu designs are followed in Motifs and ornamentation. Ganj Bakhsh mausoleum courtyard covers more than an acre of ground but still is smaller than Jama Mosque. This architecture has three distinctive worlds namely social, religion and royal. The Religious worlds constitute mosque, the social world is raised by tanks and pavilions and the royal world by places and tombs. The stone grills which are carved helps to create the tranquillity in the atmosphere thus helping the people who are a search of peace. In the morning when the sunlight falls on this mosque, it creates the beautiful impression. Some scenes of the film “Raees” which is recently done by Shahrukh Khan are being shot in Sarkhej Roza.
Daria Khan Tomb lies in the northern suburbs of Ahmedabad. The tomb was built in 1453 by Daria khan who was the minister and advisor of Mahmud Begada. The tomb is also known as Daria Khan Ghummat. Mahmud Begada was a prominent sultan of Gujarat and was the grandson of Ahmed Shah I. He founded the Muzaffarid Dynasty and also the city of Ahmedabad. It is a medieval brick tomb in Shahibaug. Dollar Daria Khan was a powerful statesman and general of Samma Dynasty.
Daria Khan was a slave of Diwan Lakhidar and his real name was Qabool Muhammad Syed. He was also titled as Mubarak Khan as he became the prime minister. He was the adopted son of Jam Nizamuddin. He died in the battle of Fatehpur when he got hurt by an arrow in his throat on 21st December 1521 AD. There are many assumptions which are made by some famous people for his death. Some say that he was captured and killed while some other says that he was called up by the Arghoons for some discussion and was murdered. During this period majority of the tombs were made of the yellow sandstone but only this tomb was made with bricks. It is also one of the main tourist attractions in Ahmedabad mainly for those who love buildings and the history behind them. To reach Daria khan tomb from Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel International Airport one has to cover a distance of approximately 7.5 Kms and from railway station around 7.3 Kms.
Daria Khan is the largest tomb in Gujarat which has nine feet thick walls all made of bricks. The concept of arch and domes for this tomb was inspired Islamic lands in the west of south Asia. The Tomb consists of sixteen smaller domes which are surrounded by a central dome. It has five entrances which are on each four sides of the tomb. The tomb has beautiful carving and decorations. The interesting thing about its architecture is that it differs in two ways. Firstly, It is built using bricks and secondly the arches and domes that are chosen by architects is true. These are chosen on the basis of the arcuate method. With this method, one can create a cavernous interior in which the cenotaph is housed with a surrounded arcaded veranda. The tomb has a magnificent corridor which is enclosed by small size domes and thus has become the point of prime attraction.
It is believed that as Daria Khan was also an emigrate from Persia where these methods of construction were followed. He wanted that his own tomb should build in a style that is homeland used to have. Even some experts had given an opinion that there is an Islamic Influence in the structures of the tomb. Because of its brick architecture, many tourists visits this place to feel the architectural brilliance. Currently, the tomb has turned sullied and wrecked. In its nearby locality, the construction of the residents is there. Even the notice has been issued by ASI but no action has been taken by state authorities. The tomb has shabby encroachment.