Located on the Sabarmati River, Ahmadabad was founded in 1411/814 AH by the Muslim Sultan Ahmad Shah, the ruler of Gujarat. Newly proclaimed, the ruler felt vulnerable in the capital of Anahilvada-Patan, and moved his court to Ashaval, a Hindu settlement that supported him, and which he renamed Ahmadabad, after himself.
The new capital of Gujarat developed rapidly with the palace as the nucleus, encircled by a commercial districts. The Bhadra Fort represents the footprint of the original city. The nobility settled outside the city limit, forming their individual settlements. These settlements, known as puras, were named after their respective founders with the suffix of 'ganj' attached, like Nurganj or Muradganj.
Ahmadabad became a part of the Mughal Empire in 1572/980 AH under Emperor Akbar. In 1817/1232 AH, the British took over and the East India Company made it the military and administrative center of Gujarat. No longer the capital of Gujarat in post-Independence India, Ahmadabad is still a principal city with a thriving cotton industry earning it the title of 'Textile City'. Architecturally, the city boasts some of the most interesting examples of fifteenth century Gujarati style. The Jami Masjid and the Mausoleum of Ahmad Shah are an adaptation of indigenous Hindu and Jain architecture; the Siddi Saiyad's Mosque is famous for its exquisite yellow stone latticework, the Rani Sipri's mosque is an elegant dedication to Sultan Mahmud Begara's Hindu wife.
Modern Ahmadabad is spreading west of the Sabarmati River. This portion of the city plays host to the work of two famous architects, Le Corbusier and Louis Kahn. Sanskar Kendra, Mill Owners' Association building and the private residences of Sarabhai and Shodhan were designed by Le Corbusier, while the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) by Louis Kahn is one of the top college for business studies.
Davies, Philip. The Penguin Guide to the Monuments of India - Volume 2: Islamic, Rajput, European. London: The Penguin Group, 1989.
R.N. Mehta and Rasesh Jamindar. "Urban Context." In Ahmadabad, edited by George Michell and Snehal Shah, 1. Bombay: Marg Publications, 1998.
DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: India London: Dorling Kindersley Limited, 2002.
The mosque of Miyan Khan Chishti sits on the left bank of the Sabarmati River in the Shahibag (Shah-i Bagh) neighborhood of Ahmedabad. The mosque honors the memory of Miyan Khan Chishti, a member of the Sufi Chishtiyya order. Sources indicate that construction of the mosque took place in 1465.
The mosque is a rectangular containing a hypostyle prayer hall. Three large domed bays divide the hall into three sections: a central wing and two flanking wings. The eastern facade of the building reflects this internal division, with the central wing rising to a higher level than the two side wings. This central wing opens onto the east through a large archway flanked by two minarets in the form of tapering cylindrical shafts. The side wings open onto the eastern facade through a triple arch with the central arch being slightly larger than the two side arches.
Inside, the three large domes rest on groups of twelve pillars arranged in the form of a square. Smaller domes cover every other bay in the aisles surrounding the large domed bays. Thes smaller bays are formed by the pillars supporting the domes and engaged pillars along the qibla wall and side walls.
In the mid nineteenth century, the southern half of the qibla wall and the entire south side wall were rebuilt in brick when the mosque fell into the hands of a private owner. Only one of the original mihrabs remained at the time the building was surveyed at the turn of the twentieth century.