Ahmedabad houses a lot of historical monuments, mostly built under the Mughal rule in the city. Sarkhej Roza is one of them. It is a mosque and tomb complex located in the village of Makarba, 7 km southwest of Ahmedabad. The complex is known as “Acropolis of Ahmedabad”, due to 20th-century architect Le Corbusier’s famous comparison of this mosque’s design to the Acropolis of Athens.
Although there are many ‘Rozas’ across Gujarat, the Sarkhej Roza is the most honored. Sarkhej was once a prominent center of Sufi culture in the country, where influential Sufi saint Shaikh Ahmed Ganj Baksh lived. It was on the saint’s suggestion that Sultan Ahmed Shah set up his capital on the banks of the Sabarmati, a few miles away from Sarkhej.
The Architecture of Sarkhej Roza:
Sultan Muhammad Shah II started building a tomb dedicated to the saint and a mosque. The work he started was finished by his son Qutbuddin Ahmed Shah II in 1451 AD. The next Sultan Mehmud Begda quite fond of this place and he had some massive extension done to the place, including the Sarkhej lake, a palace, and mausoleum for himself and his family. The architecture of the place is a mix of Hindu, Persian and Jain architecture. This style of architecture is called “Indo-Saracenic” architectural style. The Sarkhej Roza is an excellent example of the same.
The structure is known for a lot of reasons. One of them is various architectural sights inside the Roza’s compound. The Sarkhej Roza compound has a Jama Masjid, Ganj Baksh’s Tomb.
History of the Sarkhej Roza:
At the time when Ahmedabad city was built, Sarkhej was a village with a population consisting mainly Hindus. This was the time when Ahmed Shah ruled over the place. It became associated with the name of Shaikh Ahmed Khattu Ganj Baksh, a Sufi saint and a friend/advisor to Sultan Ahmed Shah. The saint lived till he was 111 years of age and was greatly revered during his lifetime. Upon his death in 1445, the reigning king of the state, Mohammed Shah ordered a mausoleum to be built in the honor of the Sufi saint, along with a mosque. The construction of these two monuments was completed in 1451 A.D., by his successor Qutb-ud-Din Ahmed Shah. In the latter half of the 15th century, Sultan Mahmud Begada completed the complex by excavating a central tank and adding a number of pavilions and a small private mosque. Sarkhej became a place of relaxation and meditation for the royal family. Also, he built a mausoleum for himself and his family opposite to that of the saint, where his son Muzaffar II and his queen, Rajabai were buried. Further embellishments to the complex were made in 1584 A.D. when Akbar’s forces defeated Muzaffar III.
Sarkhej Roza is a magnificent example of the early Islamic architectural culture of the region, which took Islamic stylistic influences from Persia with native Hindu and Jain features to form an amalgamation called “Indo-Saracenic” architectural style. Hindu craftsmanship and construction knowledge were superimposed on Islamic sense of geometry and scale.
Visit Sarkhej Roza:
Time: From 09:00 am to 06:00 pm every day
Location: At Makarba post, Jeevaraj park, 11 km from Ahmedabad Station
Sarkhej Roza at Ahmedabad is a well-known place for its architecture and religious value. It is a great tourists attraction for all those who wish to see the ancient facet of the city.