March 23, 2015

Ahmedabad

Site Name: Ahmedabad
Site Type: City with lot of tourist and shopping options
Location:  Gujarat state, India
Highlights: One of the most important cities of Gujarat
Nearest Railway Station: Ahmedabad
Nearest Airport: Ahmedabad
How to reach: Well connected by road, rail and air
Hotel: A lot of options across the entire city
Restaurants: Varieties of options across the entire city

Ahmedabad is one of the most important cities of Gujarat state in India. It is the former capital city of the state. There are many tourist destinations including masjids and temples in this city. Let us explore about all the important destinations in Ahmedabad in this article.

In the beginning of the 15th century CE, the local governor of Gujarat, Zafar Khan Muzaffar declared himself independent from the Delhi Sultanate and founded Muzzaffarid dynasty. His grandson Sultan Ahmed Shah converted the forest area on the banks of the river Sabarmati into a new walled city in 1411 CE. 




Hutheesinh Jain Temple

Hutheesinh Jain Temple is the most popular Jain temple in Ahmedabad. This architecturally beautiful temple was built by Shet Hatheesinh, a wealthy trader and his wife Shethani Harkunvar in 1848 CE. The total cost was around INR Eight Lakhs during that period, which was a huge amount.

The main building of the temple is double storied. The main shrine has the big marble idol of Lord Dharmanath, the 15th Jain Tirthankara. There are 11 shrines in the main building. In addition, there are 52 sub-shrines dedicated to Jain Tirthankaras. The front portion of the temple is ornamented by a dome shaped structure.

Sabarmati Ashram

Sabarmati Ashram is the main attraction of Ahmedabad city. This Ashram located on the banks of the river Sabarmati was founded by Mahatma Gandhiji. He lived in this ashram for about 12 years. He led the famous Dandi march from this site. Today, the site has been converted into a museum which displays charkahs and other things related to Gandhiji. For the Gandhian followers, this peaceful site is more like a temple.

Sidi Saiyyed Mosque

Sidi Saiyyed Mosque is one of the most popular mosques in Ahmedabad. It was built in 1573 CE by Sidi Saiyyed, who served in the army of Muzaffar Shah III of the Gujarat Sultanate. The mosque is famous for beautifully carved latticework windows called as jalis. The jalis with the design of intertwined trees and foliage and a palm motif is very attractive and popular. 

The Shaking Minarets

Sidi Bashir mosque, which is located near Ahmedabad Railway Station, has the popular shaking minarets. The mosque was built in 1452 CE. There are two different versions on who built this mosque. As per one version, it was Sidi Bashir, the slave of Sultan Ahmed Shah. As per another version, it was Malik Sarang, a noble in the court of Muhammed Begada, the Sultan of Gujarat. 

The main building of the mosque does not exist today. Only the minarets and arched central gateway remain currently. The building got destroyed in the war between the Gujarat Sultans and Marathas in 1753 CE. 

Both the minarets are very tall and have carved balconies. A gentle shake in either minaret causes the other minaret also to vibrate after a few seconds. Importantly, the connecting passage remains free of vibration. This phenomenon was discovered in the 19th century by a British scholar. However, the actual reason for this still remains mystery. 

There is another mosque named Raj Bibi in Ahmedabad which has the shaking minarets. Unfortunately, one of the minarets was dimantled by the British. They were not successful in putting them back together.

Jama Masjid

Jama Masjid is one of the largest mosques in entire India. It was built by Ahmed Shah I in 1424 CE. This mosque is architecturally beautiful. The tombs of Ahmed Shah, his son and grandson along with the graves of the wives of Ahmed Shah are located near this masjid.

Happy travelling.


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