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 mosque known as Pir Kamal Masjid, or formerly as Malik Alam Masjid, is a large mosque in what was once a suburban village to the south of the historic walled city of Ahmedabad, now a neighborhood in the greater urban area. Stylistically, the mosque dates to the middle of the fifteenth/ninth century AH.
The mosque is a rectangular building enclosed on three sides and mostly open on its fourth, eastern facade. The east facade consists of a a central portal and two side wings. The central portal consists of a large archway framed by two stout minarets. In older photographs, a chhatri (pavilion with four columns and a roof) surmounts the arched opening. The minarets once rose well above the level of the roof, but were shortened after being compromised in an earthquake during the nineteenth/thirteenth century AH. Flanking this central block are two open colonnades of four pairs of columns each that give access to north and south wings of the prayer hall.
Five large domes cover bays in the center of the prayer hall. These domes ares supported by twelve pillars each and are separated from one another by the space of an aisle and from the qibla wall and entrance facade by an aisle. The central dome is carried on a second story that rises higher than the ones to its north and south. This second story is a gallery open to the exterior. Five mihrabs mark the qibla on the western wall in line with the large domed bays. Windows on the side walls and qibla wall admit additional light to the depths of the hall.
Burgess, James. The Muhammadan Architecture of Ahmadabad. Part I - A.D. 1412 to 1520, 26-28. Archaeological Survey of Western India. London: William Griggs & Sons, 1900.