Monday 29 April 2019

Ghumakkad in Ahmadabad:The City of Sultan’s and Mahatma.

Ahmadabad is quite an interesting place to visit. The rich history, delicious food, amazingly beautiful handicrafts and lot of places to hangout, this city is not less than a metro city.Ahmadabad may be called city of Jali’s,city of thali’s and above all city of Mahatma Gandhi.

The real charm of Ahmadabad lies in the old city located on the eastern bank of the river Sabarmati. It’s here among the rumpled lanes which reminisce of an era gone by that you’ll discover the city’s true soul. Ahmadabad comes across an erratic combination of the old and new.It is the sixth largest city and seventh largest metropolitan area of India. 

Sabarmati Ashram

Our first stop was Sabarmati Ashram.I don’t remember the age and class ,when first I came to know the importance and role of “Mahatma Gandhi”in India’s struggle of Freedom fighting movement.

I was enveloped in tranquility of Sabarmati Ashram.The time spent  in the ashram and the museum, gave me a complete insight of the history, the struggle of our freedom fighters, the experiments of Gandhi ji and his life,even his experiments with Truth.

Here I found handsome count of visitors; among them were many foreign visitors too.My camera was carving for some beautiful photos of the Ashram.I clicked here some memorable shots.
 An important landmark of the ashram is Gandhi J's Cottage 'Hridaya Kunj', where some of his personal relics are displaced.

The charkha used by Gandhi to spin khadi and the writing table he used for writing letters are also a few of the priceless items kept and looked after here.

Sabarmati Ashram is the place where the father of our nation – Mahatma Gandhi resided from from 1915 to 1930 with his wife and started his Dandi March from here. Since the ashram is located very close to the Sabarmati River, it gives a good view of the river.
Over the years, the Ashram became home to the ideology that set India free. It aided countless other nations and people in their own battles against oppressive forces.
 Today, the Ashram serves as a source of inspiration, guidance, and stands as a monument to Gandhi’s life mission and a testimony to others who have fought a similar struggle.
 There is a beautifully curated museum, an archive of letters written by Gandhi j's , auditorium photo galleries and a library cum bookshop  in the campus.

We spent here one hour and purchased a biography of Mahatma Gandhi. (The Life and Death of Mahatma Gandhi by Robert Payne) in Hindi.

Bhatiyar Gali

Now it was about 1.30 P.M,tired and feeling less energy to roam further on roads of Ahmadabad hired an auto riksha for Bhatiyar Gali. You name it and this Gali will serve you the most authentic and sumptuous preparations.

Famous for its 600-year old tradition of mouth-watering non-vegetarian delicacies, Bhatiyar Gali is a Non-Veg paradise at the heart of the vegetarian city of Ahmadabad. Narrow streets, crowded stalls, roaring surroundings and the rhythmic beatings of Bhatiyar Gali; this pretty much sums up this hottest hubbub of Amdavad. Tava-Biryani, Bheja Masala, Chicken Angara, Kebabs, Kheema Samosas, Chaap Fry, Bhuna Ghost.
We were charged with new energy,after a lunch in Bhatiyar Gali. Close to this Bhatiyar gali is Teen Drwaza.

Teen Darwaza

Teen Darwaza is an architectural marvel, the beauty of which is surely going to leave you awestruck. Consisting of gorgeous arched gates, Teen Darwaza is one of the longest as well as the oldest gateways of the Ahmadabad city. 

It was established in the year 141 A.D. by Sultan Ahmed Shah , who founded the city of Ahmadabad. Teen Darwaza was meant to be a royal archway welcoming the king and other state dignitaries into the fort and consequently to the city of Ahmadabad.  

Teen Darwaza of Ahmadabad, India is truly an epitome of the fine Islamic architecture. The windows of this fabulous monument are semi circular and adorned using mesh work. 

The central window depicts the tree of life. Five palm trees are shown that are covered with snakes. This portrayal also serves as the symbol of the Gujarat Government. This regal citadel is one of the most sought after tourist destinations in Ahmadabad.

Kankaria Lake

Kankaria Lake is one of the most favorite picnic spots of the people of Ahmadabad. It left me completely spellbound. It is place, where you can relive your childhood.Adjacent to the lake, lies a beautiful garden called Nagina Wadi. 

Kankaria Lake was built by Sultan Qutab-ud-Din in the year 1451 A.D. It is basically an artificial lake with thirty four sides. lake has a fascinating island summer palace.

For people seeking peace, there can be no better place than Kankaria Lake. The pleasing view of the lake, the humming and chirping of birds and the greenery bordering the lake will make you fall in love with this place. 

Bhukkad Gali

After two hrs of enjoyment at Kankaria lake,the time was to go back.Where to take dinner?The big question for us.Lunch was Non Veg in Bhaityar Gali. For a vegetarian dinner we decided Bhukkad Gali.

There is no concrete story behind how this street got the name Bhukkad, but this college hub is definitely a paradise for gluttons. Owing to the young crowd that visits here. This Bhukkad gali is relatively newer hub ,bit too expensive than the older food streets, though.

Sidi Saiyyed ki Masjid

This relatively small masjid is located at a busy traffic junction, but on reaching here, I felt  peace that is beyond words.

It was built in the year 1572-73 by an Abyssinian known as Sidi Saeed or Sidi Saiyyed. He came to Gujarat from Yemen and later served Sultan Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud III. 

He was known as the nobleman who helped the poor and had a large collection of books. He built this magnificent monument during the reign of Sultan Muzaffar Shah III, the last ruler of Gujarat.

Gujarat Sultanate can be credited for much of the most amazing Islamic architecture not only in Ahmadabad but also much of Gujarat. The masjids built in that era rival some of the best in the country, and possibly in the world as well.

Siddi Sayyed Majid ki Jaali or “Tree of Life”

Today one of Jali depicting the Tree of Life has become a distinguished symbol of the city of Ahmadabad. The same Jali has also been abstracted for the logo to IIM Ahmadabad.

The main pillar at the entrance of the mosque is rich in carvings of Islamic motifs. Lace on stone is the only way to describe the masterpiece of Siddi Sayyed ki Jaali. On the backside of the mosque are four sets of delicate carvings on the wall.

Jama Masjid, Ahmadabad

This magnificent Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque) stands proudly just in West of Manek Chowk. All around masjid lies the hectic frenzy of the center of the old city. Manek Chowk,one of the most crowded market of Ahmadabad. But inside the mosque, it was an entirely different story.The morning prayers were done, so the mosque was empty.

It was built by Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1423, founder of the Ahmadabad. This jama Masjid was one of the greatest masjid of during that period of India.Itmay be called smaller cousin of Delhi’s Jama Masjid. Yellow sand stones are used in the construction of Jama Masjid of Ahmadabad. Its architecture is a blend of Hindu and Muslim Styling.

The wide open courtyard, floored with white marble, is ringed by a columned arcade painted with giant Arabic calligraphy,a tank for ablutions (wazoo)with a fountain in the center. The masjid and arcades are built of beautiful yellow sandstone,carved with the intricate detail. There are pillars everywhere, 300 of them supporting 15 domes.

The Jhoolta Minar of Ahmadabad

Italy may have the ‘Leaning tower of Pisa’, but Ahmadabad has also something equally splendid – the Jhulta Minar!The world famous Jhulta Minar or the swaying minarets or shaking minarets is a part of Sidi Bashir Mosque in Ahmadabad. Constructed in 1452, this masjid is a beautiful example of the unmatched craftsmanship of that time.

The two minarets of masjid are designed such  that if you apply a little force on its upper arch, the minaret tends to sway. In fact, a minor movement in either of the minaret results in the vibration of the other minaret after a few seconds. Amazingly, the passage between the two minarets remains free from any vibration. The mechanism behind this is still a mystery.

The Step wells of Adalaj

For those having an interest in history, Dada Harir is a good option. Dada Harir is a step well in Asarwa area of Ahmadabad. Apart from a deep history which is displayed through the inscriptions on its walls, it also makes for a good photography point.

This step well was made of sandstone in the style of Solanki architecture over 500 years ago. This place is about five levels deep with an octagonal structure on the top. When you move inside the well, you will find vertical pillars and platforms stacked upon one another, and if you look horizontally, a view of step-well is formed, lending itself to further beautiful perspectives.

It gets darker as you go deeper. We wondered how the artisans would have managed to see their work down there back then.

The well water is now fenced off for protection. But we could sit on the steps and enjoy the cool by the water. Just like the travelers would have centuries ago!