Ahmadabad, the commercial and cultural never centre of Gujarat is a fine blend of ancient heritage and vibrant present. Originally, a township named as Karnavati was founded by King karna Solanki in 1063 – 1093, on the banks of river Sabarmati. The present city was built by Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1411, on the ruins of Karnavati. Sir Thomas Roe, the British envoy to Hehangir’s court was so impressed by the glory of Ahmadabad that he referred it as “the handsomest town in Hindustan, perhaps in the world”. The city gained an important position in the field of textiles and was referred as the “Manchester of the East”. Today, this ‘Gateway to Gujarat’ teems with splendid monuments, mosques, pavilions and mausoleums.
Ahmadabad is one of the liveliest cities in Gujarat and the sixth largest city of India. Apart from being the capital of the state, it is also one of the major business cities of Gujarat. Although it is not very well-known as a 'tourist' place, it is certainly worth a visit.
Ahmadabad is located at 23.03°N and 72.58°E in western India at an elevation of 53m(174ft). The city sits on the banks of the river, Sabarmati.
The summers of Gujarat are usually very hot with temperatures rising up to 45°C and proper care should be taken to avoid getting the heat related ailments. Severe summer lasts for five months, stretching from April to September. Winters are also very chilly with temperatures dropping up to 5°C.
King Karandev I, the Solanki ruler, had waged a war against the Bhil king of Ashapall or Ashaval. After his victory, Karandev established the city called 'Karbavatu'. This Hindu kingdom of Karnavati retained its importance till the early 15th century when Gujarat fell to the Muslim Sultanate. In 1411, Sultan Ahmed Shah conquered Karnavati, and after his name, Karnavati was renamed as Ahmadabad.
The city was built in open and spacious plane to the east of Sabarmati. It comprised of the smaller known fort as Bhadra Fort. The city fort wall was enclosed containing 12 gates. The city of Ahmadabad went on expanding in every direction by the addition of new areas on both the sides of the river, and with well laid out beautiful buildings, lakes and mosques.
In 1753, combined armies of Raghunath Rao and Damaji Gaekwad took the fort, which resulted into the end of the Mughal rule in Ahmadabad. In 64 years, during the rule of Gaekwad and Peshwa, the city became worse. In 1818, the British took over the administration of Ahmadabad. During this period, Ahmadabad developed rapidly, municipality committee was founded, and a railway link was established.
Ahmadabad Tourism Information
This ten storey high temple is one of the architectural marvels of the century. Akshardham Temple is made out of 6000 tones of pink sandstones, placed intricately together. The most amazing part of this splendor is that not even a single iron rod was used to construct the temple. It's just the accurate placement of the stones that brought out this bewitching building. The temple is a work of 900 skilled craftsmen who created 93sculpted pillars, 40 windows carved from both sides, and a feast of forms and filigrees.
These two unique minarets at the Siddhi Bashir mosque are the most popular monuments of the city. The three storeyed minarets are girdled by carved stone balconies and are designed in a way that when one minaret is shaken the other one vibrates too.
This fine mosque set in the heart of the old city was built by Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1423.
Siddi Saiyed Mosque
The beautiful mosque built in Indo Saracenic style lies near the Lal Darwaza and is world renowned for its exquisite stone window tracery. This elegant mosque is noted for its twin windows of pierced stone, worked in style of a tree with palm leaves and curv tendrils. This is a superb and peerless example of delicate carving that transform stone into filigree. It was constructed by Sidi Saiyad, a slave of Ahmed Shah, and has beautiful carved stone windows depicting the intricate intertwining of the branches of a tree. Wooden models of these windows, a fine example of Indo-Sarcenic architecture are kept in the New York and Kensington museums too.
Rani Rupmati's Mosque
Rani Rupmati's mosque situated north of the city centre, is named after the Hindu wife of Sultan Mahmud Begado. The mosque was built between 1430 and 1440, and represents a harmonious synthesis of HIndu and Muslim styles. It has three domes supported by pillars with the central domes slightly elevated, which allows natural light into the mosque. The mosque lost its minarets in the earthquake of 1818.
Rani Sipris' Mosque
This small mosque is also known as the Masjid-e-Nagina, or jewel of a mosque, because of its extremely graceful and well-executed design. It is another beautiful specimen of the Hindu art in a Muslim monument.
The Roza of Sarkhej, situated in a suburb of Ahmadabad, contains the tomb of the Sultan Mahmud Begado. The adjoining tomb of Ahmed Khattu Gang Baksh, a Muslim saint, who helped Ahmed Shah to build the city of Ahmadabad, has a great central dome and a shrine with finely carved brass lattice work.
Tombs of Ahmed Shah
The tomb, Badshah-no Hajiro of Ahmed Shah; the founder of the city, situated just outside the east gate of the Jama Masjid, is square in shape with porticos on each side and has perforated stone windows. Women are not allowed into the central chamber. Opposite the Hajiro, across the main road is the Rani-no hHajiro where the queens of subsequent sultans were buried.
Ahmed Shah's Mosque
Dating from 1414, this was one of the earliest mosque in the city and was probably built on the site of a Hindu temple, using parts of that temple in its construction. It is located in the south-west of the Bhadra Fort. The front of the mosque is now a garden.
Rauza of Shah Alam
The exquisite tomb and mosque commemorates a Muslim saint Shah Alam. It was built by Asaf Khan, the brother of Mughal empress Nur Jehan.
The ornately carved Jain temple dedicated to Lord Dharmnath, the 15th tirthankar was built in 1848, by Shri Kesarisimha Hatheesing Shah. It has 52 small shrines around the specious courtyard.
Ahmadabad Tour Information
The foundation of the fort was laid in 1411. It had royal palaces and gardens and a chamber heer was converted into the Bhadra kali temple by the Marathas.
Gandhi Ashram (7km)
It was setup by Gandhiji in 1915, on the banks of river Sabarmati. This humble ashram became the beacon of freedom struggle. Hriday Kunj, the simple cottage of the Mahatma is now a national monument and houses a small museum. A sound and light spectacle based on Mahatma’s life is held here in the evenings.
The beautiful polygonal lake was built by Sultan Qutb-ud-Din in 1415. The lake has an island-garden with a summer palace known as Nagina Wadi.
Calico Textile Museum
This unique museum houses a rich and rare collection of antique textiles from 7th century onwards.
It is about 8 km from the city and is known for the elegant architectural complexes. The important buildings are tomb of Ahamed Khattu Ganj Baksh, the mosque, the tombs of Mehmud Shah Begada and his queen and the palace and pavilions, built around the tank of Sarkhej.
The Roza of Shah Alam
The Roza of Shah Alam is another monument built in memory of an equally important Muslim saint, Shah Alam. The Roza is supposed to have been built by the brother of the Mughal empress, Nur Jahan, the consort of Jahangir. The complex of the Roza is said to contain the footprints of the prophet, in marble.
Apart from the Muslim monuments, Ahmadabad contains a number of Hindu and Jain temples. The Jain shrine, known as the Huthising Temple, is one of them. This temple was constructed by Shri Kesarising Huthising in 1848 and is dedicated to Dharmanath, the 15th Jain Thithankara. The main temple is surrounded by 52 small temples.
Sidi Bashir's Mosque
One of the most popular monuments in Ahmadabad is the Sidi Bashir's mosque, outside the Sarangpur gate, known as the mosque with shaking minaret of the mosque has three storeys, girdled by carved stone balconies, balanced and delicate. The style is a complete innovation. The master craftsmen of the period managed to design them in such a way that they respond to vibration and is communicated to the other via a stone bridge joining both. The massive earthquake of 2001 had an impact on the monument.
Southeast of the city, this circular artificial lake, with an island summer palace was constructed in 1451 by Sultan Qutub-ud-Din. There is a huge zoo and children's park by the lake and the Ghatamendal pavilion in the centre houses an aquarium.
Bhadra Fort and Teen Darwaza
Bhadra Fort was built by the city's founder, Ahmed Shah, in 1411 and later named after the Goddess Bhadra, an incarnation of Kali. There were royal palaces and a garden inside the fort. It now houses government offices. To the east of the fort, stands the triple gateway or Teen Darwaza, from which the sultans used to watch processions from the palace to the Jama Masjid. The royal entrance is triple arched and richly carved.
This is situated 7km from the centre town, on the west bank of the Sabarmati River. It was from here, in 1930, that the Mahatma began his famous 'Dandi March' to the sea to protest against the Salt Tax imposed by the British. His ashram was founded in 1915 and still handicrafts, handmade paper and spinning wheels can be seen here. The Gandhi Ashram has a memorial centre, library and a Sound-and-Light (Son et Lumiere) spectacle to offer to its visitors. There's also a bookshop selling books by and about the Mahatma. The small house in the ashram where Mahatma Gandhi lived known as the 'Hridaya Kunj' is preserved as a national monument.
Shahi Bagh (the royal garden) now housing the State Governer, once formed part of an extensive garden. The garden with royal palaces and a wall surrounding them was constructed by the great builder, Shahjahan. The palace is also associated with the poet, Rabindranath Tagore who as a boy stayed here with his elder brother, before writing his famous storey, "The hungry stones" or Kshudhita Pashan.
'Kaapyo Chhey' the festival of Makar Sankranti or festival of kites or the 'Uttarayan; is celebrated in a grand style in Ahmadabad. The festival marks the end of winter and return of the sun to the northern hemisphere and hence, is named 'Uttarayan'. On this particular day, everybody in Ahmadabad begins the day through kite flying and continues in the night by driving lamps(Tukkal) attached to kites in the sky. The sky remains, dotted with colorful kites throughout the day.
Navatri or the festival of nine nights is devoted to Goddess Shakti. The festival also has has the famous folk dance of Gujarat known as 'Garba'. The festival continues for nine nights. Everybody takes part in it with great enthusiasm. Each night begins with ceremonial aarti and is followed by the Garba till late midnight. The Garba dance is carried out around the statue of Goddess Shakti. Garba is also played with Dandiyas in hand. During these nights, the whole city is beautifully decorated as a bride, and the nights appear to be shorter.
Ahmadabad Distance Guide
|Ahmadabad||Gandhi Nagar||32 Km|