Aug 7, 2010

Jumma Mosque Ahmedabad - 1880

Photographer: Charles Lickfold

Photograph of the Jami Masjid at Ahmadabad in Gujarat, taken by Charles Lickfold in the 1880s, part of the Bellew Collection of Architectural Views. Ahmadabad spreads along the river Sabarmati and is Gujarat's capital city. It was built on the site of Ashawal village, which had a history of settlement for thousands of years. The Sultan of Gujarat, Ahmad Shah I (ruled 1411-42), built a capital at Ashaval, naming it Ahmadabad. The city flourished and was a centre of art and literature. It was annexed in 1572 by the Mughal emperor Akbar (ruled 1556-1605), and prospered as a major textile centre. With the decline of Mughal power it was taken by the Marathas in 1758, and finally went to the British in 1817. Textile mills established in 1861 led to it being referred to as the Manchester of the East and Ahmadabad remains an industrial powerhouse of modern India.

The architecture of Ahmadabad reveals a fine synthesis of Hindu and Muslim elements. The Jami Masjid, completed in 1424, has massive piers flanking its central entrance which were once tall minarets; the upper parts collapsed in an earthquake in 1819. The mosque has an immense pillared prayer hall set in a large courtyard. The building features domes and pierced stone screens or jalis carved with geometric and floral patterns.

Source: British Library