Built in 1424 by Bhamani ruler Ahmad Shah I (1411-1442), the Jami Masjid of Ahmedabad was probably the largest mosque constructed on the Indian subcontinent at the time. Conceived as a part of the emperor's grandiose urban vision, the mosque lies to the south of a royal processional way that travels eastward from the Maidan-i Shah and the triple gateway known as Teen Darwaza. To the east of the mosque are the tombs of Ahmed Shah, his son and grandson. A further adjacent enclosure, Rani Ka Hazira, houses the tomb of the Shah's queen and other royal ladies.
Built over many years, the mosque complex is centered on a vast paved courtyard that is about seventy-five meters long and sixty-six meters wide. The Mirat-i-Sikandari (1414-15) gives detailed measurements of the mosque. The courtyard is entered from three gateways, one at the center of each side. There is a long rectangular ablution tank in the center. It is wrapped by a colonnade on three sides, with the prayer hall occupying the western side.
The prayer hall is rectangular and covered with five domes. The domes are carried on two hundred and sixty columns, which divide the space into fifteen bays or, three rows of five square bays, each with a dome and decorated mihrab along a the qibla wall. Its courtyard façade has a stepped roofline, with a tall portal at its center. The north and south chambers, which are the lowest, open onto the courtyard through five pillared bays of unequal size. The taller central chamber is flanked by two shorter archways and is entered from the tall arched portal with a final bearing dome. Perforated stone screens are pierced into the pillars of the two framing bays. The portal is framed by two columns, which are the remains of two lofty minarets ("shaking minarets") whose shafts were destroyed by the earthquakes of 1819 and 1957. Their decoration is reminiscent of the details of Hindu and Jain temple of the Gujarat and Mandu area.
The central nave rises up to three stories in height and is overlooked by balconies from the central gallery enclosed by perforated screens. The inscription on the central mihrab commemorates the mosque's completion on January 4, 1424, ascribing it to Sultan Ahmad Shah I.
Davies, Philip. The Penguin Guide to the Monuments of India: Islamic, Rajput, European Vol. II. of The Penguin Guide to the Monuments of India. London: Penguin Books, 1989. 338-340.