Gates of Ahmedabad - time-honored historical monuments, Gujarat

Bhadra Fort in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India,1872

Bhadra gate, Ahmedaba, India

Old Ahmedabad city, Gujarat, India is a historical place  and is enclosed  within a massive fort punctuated 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. In the midst of modern buildings and traffic jams that move through them, the gates impart a historic antiquity to this city.  
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

Ahmed Shah I laid the foundation of Bhadra Fort starting from Manek Burj, the first bastion of the city in 1411 which was completed in 1413. He also established the first square of the city, Manek Chowk, both associated with the legend of Hindu saint Maneknath. The Bhadra Fort, besides palace gates,  had eight gates to access the walled city. During Ahmed Shah's reign second fort came up that was well fortified by later ruler Mahmud Begada in 1486. The second fort too had as many as twelve major gates and other smaller gates to give protection to the walled city. During the British rule, with the advent of railways, two additional forts were built by them for their needs and to facilitate troop movement. Finally, this led to the demolition of city walls, leaving behind the monuments.

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 Mosque the place is left with  only remnants. Built in 1874 in the center near Azam Khan sarai
02. Bhadra Gate (formerly Piran Pir's Darwaja). Built in 1874 in the center near Azam Khan sarai

03. Ganesh Bari or Gate - opened in 1779 by  Apaji Ganesh. Now lost under Ellis Bridge.

Ram Gate - with stone steps.

05. Baradari G
ate- entrance to the royal square.

Teen Darwaza in

Teen darwaza Ahmedabad. Alamy
06. Teen Darwaza - (three gates) provided access to the Royal Square.
Built by by Sultan Ahmed Shah in 1415 (work began in 1411 AD) to serve as a royal entrance to Maidan Shahi, has well decorated tall three stoned gateways. In 1882, Maratha Governor Chinnaji Ragunath inscribed farmen on the gate, declaring equal rights for woman. There is a tomb dedicated to Kotwal Siddique. An eternal oil lamp is continuously burning for more than 600 years  in a small recess and is taken care of by a Muslim family. There is a small Hindu temple dedicated to goddess Badra Kali. The gate is part of Badhra fort. 

07. Salapas Gate - Used by queens in the past is is lost for ever

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

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
01. Shahpur Gate -
People reached Sabarmati River by accessing Shahpur Darwaja; now demolished.

Delhi Dharwaza. Wikimedia Commons
02. Delhi Gate (formerly Idariyo Gate) - 

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. /

 06. Raipur Gate - Commoners used Raipur Darwaja to enter and exit the city.
Astodia gate. Famous Amdavadi -

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

Prem Darwaja

02. Panchkuva Gate - Built in 1871 for easy access to the railway station. Three gateways of pointed arches. This gate was built when the city grew in size

Other Gates:

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
4. Shah-e-Alam Gate - Built in 1880s.

 Shah e Alam was the son of Hazrath Syed Burhanuddin Qutub-ul-Alam .  After  his father till his death in 1475, he was the guide of Mahmud Begada';  alater he became the most revered of Muslim religious teachers of Ahmedabad. 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.