Sarkhej Roza, Ahmedabad.
Visiting Sarkhej Roza Complex in Gujarat, India is really worthwhile - looking round the Mosques as well as mausoleums and pavillions situated around Sarkhej Pond is very interesting.
How to get to Sarkhej Roza, Ahmedabad. At around 10kms to the south-west of central Ahmedabad the trip out to Sarkhej Roza is easily achievable by auto-rickshaw - this should cost around 100 Rupees and since there are plenty of auto-rickshaws available for the return journey there is no real reason to get the driver to wait whilst you look round the area. There are two
parts to look around both of which are free to do for once - namely looking around the Complex and Jama Masjid itself and then a wander around Sarkhej Pond / Tank / Lake to look at the remarkable buildings which surround it.
To go into the complex it is necessary to remove your footwear - also particularly women should be reasonably dressed i.e. no shorts or low cut tops etc. Footwear left at the
entrance is placed in a box and watched over - on return a small donation of around 20 or 30 Rupees is expected. Within the Tomb and Mosque area there are several donation boxes around but feeding them anything is not compulsory. The actual Mosque itself is closed between 1200 and 1400 each day as well as possibly for a short time during Prayers.
A short summary about Sarkhej Roza.
In his later years the village of Sarkhej became the home of Shaikh Ahmed Khattu Ganj Baksh who was a wealthy Sufi Saint (Sufi Saints in South Asia played an instrumental role in spreading Islam in India). He was also an advisor and freind of Sultan Ahmed Shah who was responsible for building the city of Ahmedabad. After the Shaikh died in 1445 the then reigning monarch Mohammad Shah ordered that a mausoleum be built in
the Saint's honour and also a mosque. These buildings were finally completed in 1451 A.D. by Qutbuddin Ahmed Shah.
Further buildings and construction were carried out by Sultan Mahmud Begada who was responsible for adding a central tank around which were built several pavilions as well as a small private mosque. Sarkhej Roza was by now increasingly being used as a place of rest and meditation as well as a summer resort for the royal family. Sultan Begada later added a mausoleium for himself and for his family which was placed opposite to the Saint's mausoleum. Begada's mausoleum contains the graves of his son Muzzaffar II and of his queen Rajabai. Even more additions to the complex were made by the addition of a country house and gardens during 1584.
The design of the various buildings is a mixture of Hindu, Jain and Islamic architectural influences which is shown by the Hindu know-how about construction and craftsmanship
in conjunction with the Islamic sense of scale and geometry.[ Click the thumbnails for a larger picture - use the back button to return to this page. ]
Walking around Sarkhej Pond / Tank. There is no access to the pond and tank from inside the complex therefore from the complex's exit turn right and walk along a narrow lane which goes between village houses. A little way along there are some steps on the right which can be used but are not in too good a condition so perhaps a better option is to continue along the lane
until a main entrance is reached. The large artifical lake must have been beautiful to see as it's bordered by pavillions, tombs and palaces but these buildings are now in a poor condition. Also the chances are that the lake will be dry which does not help. Nevertheless it is still very interesting to walk round the lake and just use some imagination in the process.
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