Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Shaking minarets of Sidi Bashir Mosque, Ahmadabad !!


Sidi Bashir Mosque, Ahmedabad.islamic-arts.org
The Indian subcontinent has a plethora of unique historical monuments of great architectural grandeur, beauty and mystery dating back to several centuries. The monuments include forts, Hindu, Jain and Buddhists temples and mosques. Some these monuments such as the Big temple complex (1010 AD; built  by great Chola emperor Raja Raja) at Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu, Gol Gumbaz (the mausoleum of Mohammed Adil Shah, Sultan of Bijapur completed in 1656), world's second largest dome with special acoustic whispering  gallery at Bijapur, Karnataka, Buland Darwaza, the 54 meter  high entrance gate at Fatehpur Sikri, near Agra (built in 1576 A.D. by Mogul emperor Akbar), etc., are just a fraction of examples. The Sidi Bashir Mosque in Ahmadabad is odd, it has shaking minarets.


Sidi Bashir Mosque in Ahmadabad, www.islamic-arts.org
Sidi Bashir Mosque in Ahmadabad, one of the largest cities in India and  close to Gandhinagar, Capital of Gujarat, western India  has a unique tourist attraction and no body can miss this, if holidaying in that city. What is so special about this old historical monument? The construction of this mosque was done in such an ingenious way, it's tall  two minarets shake. Do not panic and take to heels!!  They will never fall, though make your heart throb!  This mosque is referred to as ''Jhulta Minara'' or Shaking Minarets. It is believed that this strange mosques was built in 1461 with shaking minarets  near the railway station by  Sidi Bashir, a slave of Sultan Ahmed Shah, the ruler at that time. The three story high  ornate minarets have  independently balanced  balconies that go round the towerAnother version is  a noble, one Malik Sarang in the court of Muhammed Begada, another Sultan of Gujarat was instrumental in the construction of this mosque to withstand earthquakes and the after shocks.

The mosque is located close to the Sarangpur gate and  from the  busy Ahmadabad railway Station. Jhulta Minara 's shaking minarets have left the tourists and design engineers  baffled and awestruck.One minaret is 100 feet tall and has three levels and the other one is just 84 feet tall When one of the two minarets  is  shaken gently, the other minaret experiences  gentle vibrations or mild tremor for seconds but strangely, not the adjacent structures or connecting passage. The intriguing
The shaking minarets,Sidi Bashir Mosque in Ahmadabad,www.islamic-arts.org
fact is the minarets are not inter connected structurally, but  mild shaking does occur. The reason for the cause of shaking  has been  a puzzle, a possible explanation is not yet given.     

Sidi Bashir Mosque in Ahmedabad.www.pinterest.com
This mystery was first observed by the English Sanskrit Scholar, Monsieur M Williams in 19th century,  During the British rule this strange architectural wonder aroused the curiosity of British experts. They wanted to solve the mystery behind the mild vibration effects and tried to dismantle  a part of them. It was just a vain attempt. The minarets near the Sarangpur gate (darwaza) were damaged by the British experts. These minarets are an architectural marvel and so far no one has replicated them.

 Tit-Bits:
Ahmed Shah (1411to1442) was a Sultan of Gujarat. He founded Ahmadabad as a capital of the Gujarat Sultanate in 1412 and also founded Ahmadnagar (now Himatnagar) in 1426. Ahmadabad is named after him.

Mahatma Gandhi's Ashram ''Sabarmati'' is near Ahemadabad

Ref:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidi_Bashir_Mosque