Ahmedabad is UNESCO’s first heritage city in India. Bestowed with countless marvelous heritage and architecture, it is a place worth exploring. A visit to Ahmedabad is incomplete without a tour of Sarkhez Roza, Sidi Sayed Mosque, Bhadra Fort and Akshardham Temple. Among these iconic landmarks, Jama Masjid holds its own importance among the tourists.
Jama Masjid is one of the top attractions in the city. This mosque has been a part of this city’s past going back to the era of the Shahs. This landmark is also a popular destination for those who wish to enjoy shopping for souvenirs or taste delicious food.
Jama Masjid history dates back to the year 1424 AD. Before the Mughals, this mosque was the biggest in Indian subcontinent. In modern city of Ahmedabad, it is located near south of the processional axis that extends from Maidan-e-Shah at the Teen Darwaza. Teen Darwaza itself has an historical importance as it is a part of Bhadra Fort and was constructed in 1415 AD as one of the points of entrance in the city. Jama Masjid once had two tall minarets flanking the main arched gateway. The top portions of these minarets collapsed in the earthquake of 1819 AD leaving only the base.
Jama Masjid is built with beautiful yellow sandstone on a raised platform. This splendid structure stands on one side of a huge rectangular platform, with three entrances and galleries. The architecture of the mosque is the same beautiful Indo-Islamic style that slowly spread to other parts of India and influenced the craftsmanship of the Mughals and the Nawabs. What makes Jama Masjid different than its counterparts is that the designs focuses more on the local art form and don’t tend to borrow styles from other mediums of Islamic architecture. The unique design of the Jama Masjid includes a central dome which is carved like a lotus flower. There are a lot of carvings that closely resemble Jain temples. You’ll also notice an Om Symbol in one of the inner windows.
The whole atmosphere of Jama Masjid is one of its kind because it was built with the intention of being used by the royal family and no one else.
Jama Masjid is a part of Old Ahmedabad heritage circuit. You can visit a number of places in the nearby areas to acquaint yourself with the history of the city. A visit to Old Ahmedabad is incomplete without coming across the iconic Teen Darwaza and Bhadra Fort. The imposing gateway is your entry point to Old Ahmedabad from where you’ll leave the tall skyscrapers behind and enter a world of vintage havelis and old houses with pretty artworks still visible from a distance.
The beautiful Bhadra Fort is right outside Teen Darwaza. It was constructed by Ahmed Shah. The original structure of the fort was spread across an area of about forty three acres. The whole complex contained 162 houses and had eight gates in total.
Tomb of Sultan Ahmed Shah is located near eastern entrance of Jama Masjid. It houses the graveyard of three great rulers, Ahmed Shah 1st, his son, Mohammed Shah and his grandson, Qutub-Ud-Din Ahmed Shah 2nd.
The night market near Jama Masjid is known for its delicious street food. Once the sun sets, these small stalls start coming up in the Manek Chowk area. You can try various Gujarati dishes along with some signature snacks only found here.
One of the best ways to learn more about the history and culture of Jama Masjid and nearby areas is by opting for a heritage walk tour. Many local tour guides conduct these heritage walks familiarizing you with Jama Masjid information in great detail. A guided tour will take you across many ‘Poles’ or old colonies that used to exist before new Ahmedabad came into existence.
These poles have many old havelis with vintage architecture, stained glass windows, arches and beautiful paintings on the walls. Walking into this part of city is like travelling through time and appearing in the era of Gujarati traders who used to live here. You’ll also come across many community wells and chabutaras for feeding birds. These pols have secret alleys that were used in case of an incident and the residents were needed to be evacuated in minutes.
You will also visit Sidi Sayed Mosque and Swaminaryan Mandir, Kalupur during these walks. Lucky Restaurant near Sidi Sayed Mosque is known for its eerie atmosphere as it is set in premises filled with graves.
A tour to Jama Masjid is perfect for the heritage seekers, photographers and foodies. This majestic area has something for everyone and there is no better way to become familiar with the reason why Ahmadabad is the only UNESCO world heritage city in India.
Entry to Jama Masjid and Teen Darawaza is absolutely free. Camera charges may apply.
Sardar Vallabhbhai International airport is connected with major destinations like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. Most of the flights take one to two hours depending on the distance from the city you are flying. Jama Masjid is 45 min away from Ahmedabad airport.
Ahmedabad is a major station of Western Lines and is connected with major cities around India. Trains from Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore regular run between both places. Jama Masjid is 15 minutes away from Kalupur railway station.
Jama Masjid can be easily accessed from anywhere in Ahmedabad. Kalupur is one of the major points in the city and is connected with auto-rikshaws, private cars and taxis. State transport buses frequently run till Teen Darwaza.
Jama Masjid opens early morning and one can visit it till sunset. November to March is the best time to explore Jama Masjid because of the nice weather and less harsh sun. The month of Ramzan is ideal to plan a visit to Jama Masjid because of the fun and festive atmosphere.
Manek Chowk, Gandhi Rd, Danapidth, Khadia, Ahmedabad, Gujarat 380001