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 roza or funerary complex known as Qutb-i 'Alam is located in Vatva, a suburb of Ahmedabad approximately six miles southeast of the old city center. The complex, which includes a mosque and two tombs, marks the burial of the Sufi shaykh Qutb-i 'Alam Bukhari, also known as Sayyid Burhan al-Din, who died in 1452/856 AH.
One enters the complex from the main road through a large and ornate gateway on its western side. The gatehouse is a two-story structure with a large central archway surmounted by a gallery with three balconies. This structure is flanked on right and left by slightly shorter two-story wings with galleries opening via arcades of three arches on both stories.
The complex's mosque is situated to the north of the gate. It is a rectangular hypostyle hall measuring 92 feet by 38 feet deep, whose pillars support three large domes in the center and four smaller domes toward the back and front of the roof. Three of the mosque's walls are solid on its north, south, and west (qibla) sides. Its eastern side is open and six groups of two pillars divide its facade. On the qibla wall, three mihrabs along the qibla (west) wall are aligned with the dome spaces. An inscription dates the mosque to the year 1469/874 AH.
Immediately east of the masjid is an ablution tank and, just south of it, the smaller of the two tombs. This tomb consists of a central domed space supported by 12 columns forming a square. Surrounding the domed square are two ambulatories separated by twenty columns forming a square and bounded by an outer set of twenty-eight columns.
To the east of the tank and small tomb is the much larger and grander tomb of Qutb-i Alam himself. It consists of a central domed space supported by twelve pillars forming a square. The domed space rises two stories high, and the second story is open to the roof through archways, three per side of the square. Surrounding the domed square on the first story is a broad ambulatory formed by the inner square of twelve pillars and a double row of pillars on the outside. The bays between the pillars of the ambulatory are arched.