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.
Dastur Khan Masjid is a large mosque close to the Astodia Gate within the southern part of the old walled city of Ahmedabad. It is named after Malik Ghani Dastur al-Mulk, a vizier of Sultan Mahmud I Begra of Gujarat. An inscription in the mosque dates it to the middle of the 15th/9th century AH.1
The mosque is an almost square building centered on a rectangular courtyard. It is elevated from the surrounding street level and is reached via a staircase on its east side. The central courtyard is surrounded on three sides by single covered aisle, and on the west (qibla) side by a pillared prayer hall two aisles deep and nine bays wide. A small dome covers every bay in the prayer hall, for a total of 18 domes. Domes cover the bays between the pillars supporting the single aisles on the other three sides of the court. The outer walls of the aisles surrounding the court are perforated marble screens (jali) that offer views onto the exterior of the mosque. The courtyard covers a subterranean cistern.
The inscription, which is difficult to read, clearly states "the year eight hundred..." and has been interpreted as 867 (1463 AH). See Burgess, 76.
Burgess, James. The Muhammadan Architecture of Ahmadabad. Part I - A.D. 1412 to 1520, 76-77. Archaeological Survey of Western India, Vol 7. London: William Griggs & Sons, 1900.