Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Ahmedabad, founded in 1411 by Sultan Ahmad Shah on the eastern banks of the Sabarmati, grew larger and wealthier until dynastic decay and anarchy caused a decline and its capture by Akbar in 1572. Its renewed eminence under the Mughals ceased after Aurangzeb's death  in 1707. The British annexed Gujarat in 1818 and the city's first cotton mills were opened in 1859-61. The city grew again and became the largest inland industrial centre in India. It was the temporary capital of Gujarat in 1960, until the state administration shifted to Gandhinagar in 1970. In 2001 the city was rocked by a massive earthquake that killed thousands of people, and in 2002 the city witnessed one of the worst communal riots since the partition; over a thousand people, mostly Muslims, were killed, allegedly with the tacit support of the ruling right wing Hindu nationalist party, BJP.

Ahmedabad's architectural history fuses Hindu, Muslim, and Jain traditions. Ahmad Shah and his successors converted Hindu temples to mosques. This gave many mosques and tombs a Hindu flavor in their form and decoration. The dense "forest" of 260 richly carved columns in the Jumma Masjid (Great Mosque), completed in 1423, recalls the hall of a Hindu temple. At the mosque's entrance is the domed tomb of Ahmad Shah (1441), and on the road leading to it is the Teen Darwaza, or triple arch (c. 1425). Other fine Muslim buildings include the mosque at Rani Sipri's tomb (c.1505) and the exuberantly rich Rani Rupmati mosque (1515). An interesting feature of the old city is its division into pols, or self-contained blocks of houses that shelter thousands of people each and are bounded by gateways. Several wavs, or stepped wells, abound in the city and its vicinity. Ahmedabad's city museum was designed by the architect Le Corbusier. Sabarmati, a suburb west of the river, became well known as the seat of Mahatma Gandhi's ashram.  [Adapted from Encyclopedia Britannica; Apr 06]

Swami Narayan temple (more)

Gunman on temple gateway

Wrestlers on temple gateway

Temple dorm (more)

Priest with layman

Shia Muslim festival (more)

Deformed man

Teen Darwaza

Old city homes

Old city square

Old city buildings

Artwork over doorway

Doshivada ni pol

Old City street

Doshivada ni pol

Window with squirrels

Harkunvar Shethani ni haveli

Large bracket

Street scene

Chabutara, or bird feeder (more)

Wooden balconies

Old quarter buildings

Wooden balconies

Walled city street

Red alert at Shantinath temple

Manek chowk

Beasts of burden

Rani Sipri's tomb

Gateway to Ahmed Shah's tomb (1, 2)

Bracket at Kala Ramji temple

Yet another temple

Kavi Dalpatram chowk

A temple in old city (shrine)

Rani Rupmati mosque (1, 2),

Before a religious procession

"Take my picture please"

Ahmed Shah's mosque

Bhadra fort

Quit India movement

City museum

Courtesan, 12th cent CE


Tower near Hathee Singh temple

Dada Hari Wav (1, 2)

Dada Hari Wav

Hathee Singh temple entrance

Hathee Singh temple (1, 2)

Temple courtyard (more)

Jumma Masjid complex

Jumma masjid

Pillared hall (more)

Raised enclosure for women


Adalaj Wav (or baoli, a stepped well) 

Steps of the baoli (1, 2)

Wall decor

Pillars with window frame

Mock window frame

Multiple floors (more)

View from the well

Pillar brackets (more)

Bottom of the baoli


Gandhi's Sabarmati Ashram

Hridaya Kunj (1, 2)

Inner courtyard (more)


Meeting room

Vinoba kutir, Mira kutir

Ashram grounds (cricket)

Hot afternoon (entryway)

Sabarmati river (more)

An ashram visitor

Painting at the museum

Painting at the museum

MK Gandhi statue (more)

Dandi march

At his spinning wheel

Presiding at dalit marriage

Marching with other leaders

Ending a fast

"Tragedy of a great soldier"

MK Gandhi

His spinning wheel

MLK Jr. on Gandhi

Toynbee on Gandhi

Aldous Huxley on Gandhi

Albert Einstein on Gandhi



Designed in collaboration with Vitalect, Inc.