Sarkhej Roza

Sarkhej Roza comprises one of the most elegant and unique architectural complexes of Ahmedabad. 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-Saracenic” architectural style. The architectural style of Sarkhej Roza is a precursor to the Mughal period in a true amalgamation of Hindu, Jain, and Islamic styles. Hindu craftsmanship and construction know-how were overlaid on Islamic sense of geometry and scale. The Roza Complex at Sarkhej was built at the advent of Sultanate era. HISTORICAL BACKGROUND At the time when Ahmedabad city was built, which was during the reign of Ahmed Shah (1410-1443 A.D.), Sarkhej was a village with a population consisting of weavers and indigo-dyers who were predominantly Hindu. It became associated with the name of Shaikh Ahmed Khattu Ganj Baksh, a Sufi saint and a friend/advisor to Sultan Ahmed Shah, who in his later years retired to the quiet environment of Sarkhej, away from the city. The saint lived till he was 111 years of age and was greatly venerated during his lifetime. Myths about his miraculous powers are prevalent even today. Life and teachings of Shaikh Ganj Baksh Khattu Upon his death in 1445, the reigning monarch, Mohammed Shah ordered a mausoleum built in his honour, along with a mosque. The construction of these two monuments was completed in 1451 A.D., by his successor Qutb`ud-Din Ahmed Shah. In the latter half of the 15th century, Sultan Mahmud Begada completed the complex by excavating a central tank and adding a number of pavilions and a small private mosque. Sarkhej now became a place of repose and meditation; a summer resort for the royal family. Also, he built a mausoleum for himself and his family opposite to that of the saint, where his son Muzaffar II and his queen, Rajabai were buried.A garden was constructed to commemorate the event. ARCHITECTURE 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. 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 do not 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-Saracenic” architectural style.[5] 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. Some scenes of Shahrukh Khan starrer 2016 Hindi film Raees was shot in Sarkhej Roza. You can also explore other must-see monuments available in Sarkhej Roza. Following are those: # Great Tank, Palace & Harem The palace on the south bank houses a small, but pretty mosque believed to be used by Mehmoud Begada for his prayers. Underneath the palace is the door to reach the base of the tank. There is a subterranean passage supposedly to reach Memudabad (about 30 Kms) from this place. # Pavilion before the tomb of Sheikh Ahmed (Khata Ganj Baksh) It is approached by flights of steps from all sides. This open pavilion is of square shape 8.23 m on each side. It is having four rows of pillars which support nine small domes. # Rauza`s of Baba Alisar and Bawa Ganj Bhaks This tomb of Muslim saint popularly known as Ganj Baksh, was built during the reign of Muzaffar Shah II. It is situated on the right side of Mausoleum of Begada. This is a square tomb which is roofed by a large central dome and four corner domes supported on rows of pillars # Tomb of Bibi (Rani ) Rajbai The tomb contains graves of queens among which the best known was Bibi Rajbai otherwise known as Bai Sultani, queen of Sultan Muzaffar Shah II; She died in A.D. 1590 as mentioned in the inscription on the tomb. # Tomb of Mohammed Begarh The tomb of Mahmud Begada has a balcony overlooking the adjacent tank. The central dome over the dome is built on a raised platform. It has two storeys and great perforated stone work. The tomb has screen walls for partition made out of stone / metal with a door. # Tomb of Shaikh Ahmed Khata Ganj Baksh The tomb is largest of its kind in Gujarat. It is roofed by a vast central dome and several smaller domes. The central chamber is separated from the outer corridor by perforated brass panels. The tomb was built for Shaikh Ahmed Khattu known as “Ganj Baksh”, in A.D. 1540


Sarkhej Roza Old Masjid,
Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India