|Bhadra Fort in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India,1872 en.wikipedia.org|
|Bhadra gate, Ahmedaba, India en.wikipedia.org/|
Old Ahmedabad city, Gujarat, India is a historical place and is enclosed within a massive fort puctuated with gates - darwazas (also darwajas) adorned with beautiful decorations, carvings and calligraphy and some of them even nice balconies. These historical Darwazas or Gates were steeped in history and built during different periods - starting from 1411. They form the entrances to the walled city and bear the name of the locality where they were built and, even today, they they stand as sentinels of Ahmadabad past glory. The nicely carved balcony, it is believed, could have served as watch towers in the by-gone era. The city was inscribed as the World Heritage City by UNESCO in July 2017.
Ahmedabad was built over Ashaval also known as Ashapalli, an early settlement in 1411 by Ahmed Shah I of Gujarat Sultanate. For safety considerations and to retard invasions from enemies, in particular from the north and north west, he built the first Bhadra Fort in the city.
|Sultan Ahmed Shah, Gujarat Sultanate Ahmedabad|
Though the total number of gates existed in Ahmedabad is debatable, Indologists suggest that there were 21 gates in the past. Some historians suggested 16 while others consented 12 gates.
|Map ofAhmedabad, Gujarat. Pinterest|
The following are the Gates of Ahmedabad: 21 gates: 1. Shahpur Darwaja 2. Halim Darwaja 3. Delhi Darwaja 4. Dariyapur Darwaja 5. Prem Darwaja 6. Kalupur Darwaja 7. Panchkuva Darwaja 8. Sarangpur Darwaja 9. Raipur Darwaja 10. Astodiya Darwaja 11. Mauda Darwaja 12. Jamalpur Darwaja 13. Khan-a-jahan Darwaja 14. Raikhad Darwaja 15. Ganesh Darwaja 16. Kharu Darwaja 17. Bhadra Darwaja 18. Teen Darwaja 19. Lal Darwaja 20. Salapas Darwaja 21. Khanpur Darwaja
Gates of Bhadra Fort
Bhadra fort had eight gates, three large ones, two in the east and one in the south-west corner; three middle-sized, two in the north and one in the south; and two small, in the west.
01. Lal Darwaza - Once stood in front of Siddi Sayyed MosqueOly remnants remain.
02. Bhadra Gate (formerly Piran Pir's Darwaja).
03. Ganesh Bari or Gate - opened in 1779 by Apaji Ganesh. Now lost under Ellis Bridge.
04. Ram Gate - with stone steps.
05. Baradari Gate.
|Teen darwaza Ahmedabad. Alamy|
07. Salapas Gate - Used by queens in the past.
08. Sidi Saiyyed Mosque - Popularly known as Sidi Saiyyid ni Jali locally, built in 1573 by Sidi Saiyyid; it is one of the most famous mosques of Ahmedabad. The mosque is well-known for beautifully carved ten stone latticework windows (jalis) on the side and rear arches.
|Sidi Saiyyed Mosque marble screen from insideen.wikipedia.org.|
Gates of Second Fort: It was built by Ahmed Shah as mentioned above. There were eighteen gates, fifteen large and three small. Of the fifteen, one was closed, and two were added later. The city walls of second fortification, run on the west for about a mile and three quarters along the bank of the Sabarmati, and then stretch east in semi-circular form. It includes an area of two square miles in past. It was further fortified by Mahmud Begada in 1489.
|Ahmed shah's Mosque, Ahmedabad Wikipedia|
|Delhi Dharwaza. Wikimedia Commons|
Built in 1878 it used to be a transit point to the capital Delhi. It has the doors of iron-plated timber, the tall gateway of three stone arches with a roofed platform. It is on Mirzapur Road in Shahpur
03. Dariyapur Gate - Soldiers and their convoys used to pass through Dariyapur Darwaja.
04. Kalupur Gate - Used to bring in food supplies into the city.
05. Sarangpur Gate - People used to enter and exit the city through Sarangpur Darwaza; the doors of iron-plated timber, the gateway of three stone arches. Now demolished.
|Raipur Gate. /famousahmedabad.wordpress.com|
|Astodia gate. Famous Amdavadi - WordPress.com|
07. Astodiya Gate - Now a traffic island was used for trading purpose.
08. Mahuda Gate - Located in Panch Kuva area, it was used as a passage for goods'. Later it was not put to use. Mahuda gate with a roofed platform 30x21 and twenty feet high. This gateway was ill-omened and was never used later. It is spoken of as Bandh, gate.
09. Jamalpur Gate - Believed to be an exit point to Vadodara and other cities.; a gateway of three stone arches
10. Khan-a- Jahan Gate - An entrance to the King's garden with three tall stone arches; once an emergency exit, in 1780 the British raided the city through it.
11. Raikhad Gate - People used to access Sabarmati; near the Khan Jahan gate.
12. Manek Gate -
13. Khanpur Gate - An entrance to the King's garden.
Two new gates added by British after the opening of railways connecting Bombay in 1864 to facilitate the movement of public and goods
01. Prem Darwaja (formerly Premabhai Gate) -
Formerly Premabhai Gate, Saracenic in style, 16 feet broad; built in 1864.
|Panchkuva Darwaja en.wikipedia.org|
|Prem Darwaja en.wikipedia.org|
01. Kharu Gate - It was built near Karanj to give soldiers addition post. Halim ni Khidk.
02. Halim ni Khidk - Once located in Shahpoor. Soldiers used to march into the city through this gate.
03. Gomtipur Gate
| Shah-e-Alam Gate |
Both the central and state governments should take steps to repair many of the gates, clean the surroundings and restore them back to old charm and glory. Ahmedabad's link with the past should not get lost. These monuments need protection and regular upkeep.