The walled city of Ahmedabad in India. It is located in western India on the banks of the River Sabarmati. The city served as political as well as economical capital of the region since its establishment. The earliest settlement can be recorded around the 12th century under Chaulukya dynasty rule. The present city was founded on 26 February 1411 and announced as the capital on 4 March 1411 by Ahmed Shah I of Gujarat Sultanate as a new capital. Under the rule of sultanate (1411–1511) the city prospered followed by decline (1511–1572) when the capital was transferred to Champaner. For next 135 years (1572-1707), the city renewed greatness under the early rulers of Mughal Empire. The city suffered due to political instability (1707-1817) under late Mughal rulers followed by joint rule between Maratha and Mughal. The city further suffered following joint Maratha rule. The city again progressed when politically stabilized when British East India Company established the rule in the city (1818-1857). The city further renewed growth when it gain political freedom by establishment of municipality and opening of railway under British crown rule (1857–1947). Following arrival of Mahatma Gandhi in 1915, the city became centre stage of Indian independence movement. Many activists like Sardar Patel served the municipality of the city before taking part in the movement. After independence, the city was a part of Bombay state. When Gujarat was carved out in 1960, it again became the capital of the state until establishment of Gandhinagar in 1965. Ahmedabad is also the cultural and economical centre of Gujarat and the seventh largest city of India.
It was inscribed as the World Heritage City by UNESCO in July 2017.
The earliest settlements were situated in south of current old city and on the bank of Sabarmati river. It was known as Ashaval or Ashapalli. In the eleventh century, Karna of Chaulukya dynasty ruling from Anhilwad Patan (1072-1094) made the town his capital and named it Karnavati (Karan’s town) or Shrinagar (prosperous city) and Rajnagar (king’s town).
Ahmed Shah I laid the foundation of Bhadra Fort starting from Manek Burj, the first bastion of the city in 1411 which was completed in 1413. He also established the first square of the city, Manek Chowk, both associated with the legend of Hindu saint Maneknath. His Gujarat Sultanate (1411-1573) ruled from the city until 1484. His grandson Mahmud Begada transferred capital from Ahmedabad to Muhammadabad from 1484 to 1535 but carried out second fortification of the city. Later Ahmedabad again became capital of sultanate until it fell to Mughals in 1573. During Mughal rule (1572-1707), Bhadra Fort served as the seat of Governor of Gujarat.
It was built by Ahmad Shah I in 1411. With its well carved royal palaces, mosques, gates and open spaces, it was renovated in 2014 by Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) as a cultural centre for the city.
Gates of Bhadra Fort
Bhadra fort had eight gates, three large, two in the east and one in the south-west corner; three middle-sized, two in the north and one in the south; and two small, in the west.
1. Lal Darwaza
2. Bhadra Gate
3. Ganesh Bari
4. Ram Gate
5. Baradari Gate
6. Teen Darwaza
7. Salapas Gate
Ganesh gate is now lost under Ellis Bridge. Lal Darwaza, opposite Sidi Saiyyed Mosque, is lost now but parts of wall is visible.
Gates of second fort
As the city expanded, the second fort was built by Ahmed Shah I as described in Mirat-i- Ahmadi. It was further fortified by Mahmud Begada in 1489. In the city walls of second fort, there were eighteen gates, fifteen large and three small. Of the fifteen, one was closed, and two were added later.
1. Shahpur gate : the doors of iron-plated timber, the gateway of three stone arches twenty feet high and fifteen broad with a roofed platform 32 X18. Now demolished.
2. Delhi gate : Formerly known as Idariyo Gate, the doors of iron-plated timber, the gateway of three stone arches fifteen feet broad and twenty-two high with a roofed platform 32×20 pierced for one gun. In 1878, on either side of the main gateway, two openings, each 8 feet wide and 16 high were added for foot passengers at a cost of £489.
3. Dariyapur gate : The doors of iron-plated timber, the gateway of three stone arches the largest twenty-two feet high with a roofed platform 30×11.
4. Kalupur gate : The doors of iron-plated timber, the gateway of three stone arches twenty-seven feet high with a roofed platform 32×16 and pierced for two guns.
5. Sarangpur gate : The doors of iron-plated timber, a gateway of three stone arches twenty-six feet high and fifteen broad and a roofed platform 33 X16, pierced for three guns.
6. Raipur gate : The doors of iron-plated timber, a gateway of three stone arches twenty-six feet high and nineteen broad and a roofed platform 32 x 20, pierced for three guns.
7. Astodiya gate : The doors of iron-plated timber, the gateway of three stone arches seventeen feet broad and twenty-five high with a platform 28×27, pierced for three guns. Now traffic island.
8. Mahuda gate : With a roofed platform 30×21 and twenty feet high. This gateway was ill-omened and was built up and never used. It is spoken of as the Shut, Bandh, gate, and is probably the
9. Dhedriah gate : Mentioned in the Mirat-i-Ahmadi. Lost but rebuilt later.
10. Jamalpur gate : A gateway of three stone arches twenty-two feet broad and twenty-seven high and a roofed platform 32 X 27, pierced for one gun.
11. Khan Jahan gate : An arched gateway, iron plated doors and an open platform 26×20 and twenty-two feet high. It was near this gate that in 1780 the British breached the wall and took the city by assault.
12. Raikhad gate : 2050 feet north of the Khan Jahan gate, has three stone arches and an iron-plated door. Access to river in the past.
13. Manek gate: North of Raikhad and about 158 feet south-east of Ganesh is the Manek gate which is small in size and has stone steps. Now lost.
14. Khanpur gate (23°1’48?N 72°34’37?E), the doors of iron-plated timber, the gateway of three stone arches twenty-four feet high by seventeen broad with a roofed platform 31 X20.
15. Prem Darwaja : Formerly Premabhai Gate, Saracenic in style, 16 feet broad and as many high, was built in 1864 at a cost of £914 (Rs. 9140).
16. Panchkuva Darwaja : At a cost of £1115 (Rs. 11,450), built in 1871 for easy access to the railway station. Three gateways of pointed arches, the central one 18 feet wide and 28 feet high; and each side gateway 7 feet wide and 19 high.
Two new gates added by British after the opening of railways connecting Bombay in 1864 to facilitate the movement of public.
Kharu gate was built near Karanj to give soldiers addition post. Halim ni Khidki was a small window gate in north. There were gates which gave entry into suburbs of Ahmedabad: Gomtipur gate and Shah-e-Alam gate of Shah-e-Alam’s Roza.
A Pol is a typical housing cluster of the old city. There are as many as 356 pols described in historical works. The form of housing cluster was established during the divided Mughal-Maratha rule (1738-1753) due to religious tension between Hindu and Muslims. Afterwards (1780-1832), when the city walls ceased to shelter from robbers, the pol gate and watch became necessary protection. Chabutro is a unique pole like structure for feeding birds which can be found in several Pols.
The Sidi Saiyyed Mosque more popularly known as “Sidi Saiyyid ki Jaali” (Sidi Saiyyed Ni Jaali), built in 1573, is one of the most famous mosques of Ahmedabad.
Sarkhej Roza is a mosque and tomb complex located in the village of Makarba. Sarkhej was once a prominent centre of Sufi culture in the country, where influential Sufi saint Shaikh Ahmed Ganj Baksh lived.
Hutheesing Temple is the best known Jain temple in Ahmedabad in Gujarat, India. It was constructed in 1848. The temple has a unique Manastambha (or column of honour) inspired by the Jain Manastambha and the Kirtistambha at Chittore in Rajasthan.
Adalaj Stepwell or Rudabai Stepwell is a stepwell located in the village of Adalaj, close to Ahmedabad city and in Gandhinagar district in the Indian state of Gujarat. It was built in 1498 by Rana Veer Singh of the Vaghela dynasty of Dandai Desh. It is an example of Indian architecture work.
Sabarmati Ashram is located in the Sabarmati suburb of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, adjoining the Ashram Road, on the banks of the River Sabarmati, four miles from the town hall. This was one of the residences of Mahatma Gandhi, who lived there for about twelve years along with his wife, Kasturba Gandhi. It was from his base here that Gandhi led the Dandi march also known as the Salt Satyagraha on 12 March 1930.