Provincial architecture: Gujarat

Provincial architecture: Gujarat


  • Western Indian Architecture came into being in beginning of the 14th century is almost exclusively confined to Gujarat.
  • The founders of Gujarat style of Indo-Islamic architecture were in fact the governors of the Khalji Sultans of Delhi.

Three phases of the Gujarat style :

  • First Phase (till first half of the 14th century):
    • It was marked by the demolition of the Hindu temples and their reconversion into Muslim buildings.
  • Second Phase (first half of the 15th century):
    • It shows signs of hesitant maturity of a distinctive style.
    • Ahmad Shah I (1411-42):
      • He was a great builder, and beautified the town with many magnificent palaces and bazars, mosques and madrasas.
      • He drew on the rich architectural tradition of the Jains of Gujarat to devise a style of building which was markedly different from Delhi.
      • Some of its features are:
        • slender turrets,
        • exquisite stone-carving, and
        • highly ornate brackets.
      • Example of architecture:
        • Jama Masjid in Ahmedabad:
          • in 1424 during the reign of Ahmed Shah I.
          • situated outside Bhadra Fort
        • Tin Darwaza:
          • Completed in 1415.
          • gateway on the east of Bhadra Fort, Ahmedabad.
    • Mahmud Begarha (1459 to 1511):
      • The sultan founded at the foot of the Girnar hill a new town called Mustafabad (now Junagadh). He built many lofty buildings there and asked all his nobles to do the same. Thus, it became the second capital of Gujarat.
      • Mahmud constructed a new town called Muhammadabad near Champaner. He laid out many gardens there and made it his principal place of residence.
      • Buildings in Champner:
        • Jama Masjid:
          • It has a covered courtyard, and many Jain and Hindu principles of architecture have been used in it.
        • The stone work in the other buildings constructed during this period is so fine that it can only be compared to the work of goldsmiths.
      •  Sarkhej Roza
        • He is also credit with the completion of Sarkhej Roza.
        • Sarkhej Roza is a mosque and tomb complex located near Ahmedabad.
  • Third Phase (latter half of the 15th century)
    • Gujarat style emerges in its own magnificent form.
  • The Gujarat style of architecture is one of the most indigenous in character.
  • In some of the finer examples of this style considerable portions of the buildings are in fact adaptations from either Hindu or Jain temples.
  • Structure of a temple is fitted into the sanctuary of the mosque in the form of a central compartment.
    • Almost all the mosques from the second and third phase are composed in this manner.

Central Indian architecture :  

  • The development of Indo-Islamic architecture remained confined within the Malwa region.
  • (More about Malwa architecture given in separate chapter)

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