Wandering through Ahmedabad–1: Jama Masjid

With just 5 and a half months left for me in Ahmedabad as of now, it dawned upon me to get to know this city, which I called home for such a long time, a little better. I believe there are various hidden treasures of Ahmedabad which many citizens don’t know about. Hence this series of blog posts under the title ‘Wandering through Ahmedabad’ where I try to visit those places. Also this series is a befitting reply to those who think that I hate this city which I really don’t but merely find too boring for me! Winking smile  So beginning this journey with Jama Masjid…

Jama Masjid is one of the most enduring  landmarks of the town. I had seen the picture of this beautiful place numerous times in the local print and elsewhere but never ever visited it, so one cold winter morning with the help of Wikimapia I set out for this Mosque.  You will surely tend to overlook this place unless you are specifically looking for it. Located in the middle of the chaos of Gandhi road is this calm and serene place. Even I had missed it every time I visited Gandhi road for buying course books under Fernandez bridge simply because I didn’t know that it existed there. And when I reached, I was like ‘It was HERE?!’.

Jama Masjid entrance amidst the chaos of Gandhi road

Jama Masjid entrance amidst the chaos of Gandhi road

The moment you enter the vast compound you won’t realise where the boisterous and chaotic world behind you go, such is the tranquillity of this place. Rightly it is said that the atmosphere of the mosque is conducive for worship of Allah, though I couldn’t check this claim for I am pretty much non spiritual but it surely gives you an escape from the frenzied world outside. Even a little time spent there, like the half an hour spent by me doing nothing and observing the surroundings and the people will give you that peace!

The Compound and the Mosque

The Compound and the Mosque

Jama Masjid from the front

Jama Masjid from the front

This mosque was built in 1423 by Sultan Ahmed Shah, the founder of Ahmedabad (and no, he wasn’t a gujju). It has in total 707 pillars including inside pillars and those in the veranda. The compound has a capacity of 25,000 people. This was the information I got from the two locals who were sitting by the fountain side.

These men told me about the history and details of the mosque.

These men told me about the history and details of the mosque.

While I was there, there were two groups of foreign tourists who had come along with their guide, I spoke to one guy out of them named Daniel from the UK, who had came to India to study the Islamic and Mughal architecture. I was amazed on how people from miles away come to India to study our art but we being here pay no heed to it.

A group of foreign tourists

A group of foreign tourists

Another group of foreign tourists

Another group of foreign tourists

A lone man praying, though I'm not sure whether I should have clicked him in such a private moment

A lone man praying, though I'm not sure whether I should have clicked him in such a private moment

The fountain at the centre of the compound

The fountain at the centre of the compound

Found this man drinking water from the fountain, maybe Muslims find it holy

Found this man drinking water from the fountain, maybe Muslims find it holy

There were numerous such delicate carvings throughout the Mosque

There were numerous such delicate carvings throughout the Mosque

The beautiful pillars inside the Mosque

The beautiful pillars inside the Mosque

This central part in every Mosque is made to face towards Mecca

This central part in every Mosque is made to face towards Mecca

I like the contrast

I like the contrast

I wonder how surreal it would feel to be here during the prayer timings or Fridays, well, will try that too…

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11 responses to “Wandering through Ahmedabad–1: Jama Masjid

  1. Beautiful place, great shots!! The carving close up is intricate and the textures all over, great to photograph.

    Some parts reminded me of Qutab Minar, but I guess nearly all the architect around that time was similar in some ways.

    • Thank you IHM! 🙂
      The specialty of this mosque is that it’s an amalgamation of Hindu, Jain and Islamic architecture for King Ahmed Shah was quite liberal in those days, also another interesting thing about this mosque is that it has a separate chamber for women to pray which again is a unique thing and was revolutionary in those days…

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