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.
Bibiji Masjid is a historical mosque located in the Rajapur section of Ahmedabad, once a suburb to the southeast of the old walled city. An inscription dates the building to 1454 CE. The mosque is a rectangular in form, opening onto a large open space on its east side. The east facade is divided into five portions. The central portion is occupied by a monumental archway flanked by two minarets. Flanking this on either side is a smaller arched portal, and finally on either end of the facade is a triple-arched portal.
The interior of the prayer hall reflects the five-fold division of the exterior. The interior is one large pillared hall, marked by five large domed bays across the center of the space that align with the five entrance portals. Two aisles separate the domed bays from the portals, as well as from the qibla wall. One aisle separates the domed bays from one another and from the side walls. Every other bay on the qibla aisle and the aisle just behind the entrance portals is vaulted. The central section of the interior (behind the central portal), is elevated higher than the four side sections, and a second story gallery open to the exterior and accessed by stairwells in the minarets provides light for the prayer hall. A mihrab marks the qibla behind each of the five large domed bays, and beteween each mihrab and the end mihrabs and the side walls is a window. Three windows pierce the side walls and four open from the front wall.
Burgess, James. The Muhammadan Architecture of Ahmadabad. Part I - A.D. 1412 to 1520, 71. Archaeological Survey of Western India, Vol. 7. London: William Griggs & Sons, 1900.