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.
Bibi Achut Kuki Masjid is a complex situated to the north of the old city center of Ahmedabad along the bank of the Sabarmati River. It is a large walled enclosure that comprises a mosque, a tomb, and the surrounding grounds. An inscription over the mihrab of the mosque dates its construction to the year 876 AH (1472 CE). It is named after the wife of a vizier of Sultan Mahmud Begra (Mahmud Shah I), who had the monument constructed in her honor.
The enclosure occupies a square plot of land had at one time ornate outer enclosure walls, which featured carved decoration. The mosque occupies the western portion of the enclosure, and is adjoined on the east by a large open court. The tomb structure is along the northern edge at the center.
The mosque is a rectangular building, closed on three sides and open to the east through three large arches. Framing the central arch on the eastern facade are two large and ornate minarets (discussed below). The arches on the facade lead onto three sections of the prayer hall. The height of the central section rises above that of the outer two. Each of these sections comprises a central domed bay supported by 12 pillars. The areas outside these pillars form ambulatories around the central domed spaces. Smaller domes cover some of the bays over the ambulatories. The dome over the central section of the mosque is ornately carved with concentric rings of ornament. The drum area is open to a clerestory balcony that allows light to stream into the central portion of the prayer hall. At the back of each gallery on the qibla (west) wall is a mihrab. Four windows pierce the qibla wall, and two on each of the side walls. The windows are decorated with jali (carved stone) work.
The minarets flanking the arched portal of the central section are cylindrical inform with tapering shafts. The shafts are divided into sections of varying lengths by ornate cornices. The surfaces of these sections are divided further into registers of vegetal and geometric ornament in a local style.
The tomb structure lies to the northeast of the mosque. It is a square pavilion with a central domed space. The interior is divided into a bay under the dome and a surrounding ambulatory by two sets pillars: the twelve inner pillars surround the central portion under the dome and support the dome itself.