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Sarkhej Roza

Front view of Sarkhej Roza

Sarkhej Roza is a mosque located in the village of Makraba, 7 km south-west of Ahmedabad in Gujarat state, India. The mosque is known as "Ahmedabad's Acropolis", due to 20th century architect Le Corbusier's famous comparison of this mosque's design to the Acropolis of Athens.[1]

Although there are many rozas[2] across Gujarat, the Sarkhej Roza is the most revered. Sarkhej was once a prominent centre of Sufi culture in the country, where influential Sufi saint Ganj Baksh lived. It was on the saint's suggestion that Sultan Ahmed Shah set up his capital on the banks of the Sabarmati, a few miles away from Sarkhej.

Overview of all the Monuments

Plan of Sarkhej Roza

The Sarkhej Roza complex has been interpreted as being composed of both 'jism'(body) and 'ruh'(spirit), giving it the qualities of a human being. The intricate stone carvings and stark beauty of the complex reflect the beauty of the soul of the roza's patron-saint Ganj Baksh. The credit for roza's architecture goes to Azam and Mu'azzam; two Persian(Greater khorasan) brothers. The complex was originally spread over 72 acres, surrounded by elaborate gardens on all sidea. Over time, human settlements came around it, eating into gardens and reducing the area to 34 acres.

The arrangement of the tombs, palaces and the mosques around the large tank gives a visitor the sense of being in the presence of a formless, timeless entity. Like many monuments built during that period, the Sarkhej Roza fused both Muslim and Hindu principles of architecture. While the ringed domes, the profusion of pillars and brackets follow the Islamic genre, much of the ornamentation and motifs have Hindu designs. Most of the buildings don't have arches and depend on pierced stone trellises for stability. In its architecture, Sarkhej Roza is an example of the early Islamic architectural culture of the region, which fused Islamic stylistic influences from Persia with indigenous Hindu and Jain features to form a composite “Indo-Saracenicarchitectural style.[3] Although Sultan Qutubuddin Ahmed Shah II completed the roza between 1451 and 1458, it was the next sultan, Mahmud Begada, who gave the complex its present grandeur. He expanded it by building the pleasure palaces, gave finishing touches to the tank and added his own tomb just across the courtyard from the saint's. [4] The mosque, with its courtyard, creates a religious milieu; the royal connection is made through the tombs and palaces; the great tank, platforms and pavilions were used by the common man.

"The gallery that opens into the Tombs of the Queens" (1400s) at Sarkhej Roza, Ahmedabad
Outlet of Sarkhej Roza Tank, 1855

References

  1. ^ Vashi, Ashish (November 21, 2009). "When Corbu compared Ahmedabad to Acropolis".  
  2. ^ Narhari K. 1909- Bhatt, Gujarat, 1972
  3. ^ Bharadwaj.S,DNA,Ahmedabad,11 May 2008
  4. ^ Subodh Kapoor, Indian Encyclopaedia, Volume 1

External links

  • Sarkhej Roza official web site
  • Jali Work in Mughal Architecture
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