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 Dargah or Masjid of Nanha Idrus is a complex including two tombs and a mosque located in the Gheekanta neighborhood in the center of the historic walled city of Ahmedabad. It lies across from the Old Collector's Office, near the intersection of Gheekanta Road and the Relief Road. In his 1905 survey of the Islamic architecture of Ahmedabad, James Burgess reported that the mosque had been known as Ali Khan Qazi Masjid, but it had become known as Nanha Idrus or Chhota Idrus, and that the two tombs on the grounds belonged to Nanha Idrus and Shah Ali Razzak. He also gives the date as during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, that is between 1658-1707/1068-1118 AH.1
The mosque had been reduced at the time of Burgess' survey to one half of its original size. It consisted of a square space divided into three aisles perpendicular to the qibla, each three bays deep, by two rows of three columns. Arches spanned the spaces between the columns. An ornate mihrab marked the qibla wall, and was flanked by two windows. Two further windows pierced the southern side wall. The west facade of the mosque, behind the qibla, had three ornate buttresses, marking what were originally three mihrabs (the only mihrab remaining in 1905 was the southernmost one).
The first of the two tombs, that commemorating Shah Ali Razzak, was a square pavilion roofed by nine small domes covering nine bays. In a photograph taken in 1984, the spaces between the outer pillars of this pavilion had been filled in.
The second tomb, Nanha Idrus' was a square pavilion raised on two sets of columns: an inner row of twelve arranged in a square and an outer row of twenty. The inner row supported a dome and were connected by carved marble screens (jali), forming a screened square domed tomb chamber. The outer row was left open, forming a veranda around the central chamber.
Burgess, James. The Muhammadan Architecture of Ahmadabad. Part II, 53. Archaeological Survey of Western India, Vol. 8. London: W. Griggs and Sons, 1905.