Beads of sweat trickled down my bald head; i was constantly scratching my unkempt beard. I looked like a hippie or should i say beggar – well i would never know & i never intended to. I was busy planning what to do next at the railway station of Ahmedabad. Off late, i have stopped planning and in this case, i haven’t done any preparation apart from booking tickets.
So i call up my friend who is also my host, Manil Agarwal to guide me. He asks me to visit the Jhulte Minarets & Siddhi Saiyyed Mosque while he finish his meetings. We agreed to meet outside the mosque by evening. A quick glance at google maps told me that Siddhi Saiyyed Mosque is not that far from the railway station, so i decide to walk.
First stop – Jhulte Minarets
They stand tall by the platform of the railway station, you could see them from the pedestrian over-bridge as you head towards the exit. I made a mistake of exiting the station but retraced my path and walked along the first platform till i reached the base of this architectural marvel!
‘Jhulte Minarets’ means, shaking minarets. You shake one of these, the other minaret shakes too. It’s quite a mystery as to how this happens, even to our 21st century scientists. There are many such minarets in India, but the most famous ones are in Ahmedabad. Read more here
The stood there, like orphans, people passing by didn’t even glance at them. I couldn’t find any information board by ASI explaining the importance of this piece of ‘art’. I went inside the fencing around the minarets, not sure whether i was trespassing.
I walked around them, they were tall but not very broad with narrow winding staircase inside them. For the scare of people who climb them to commit suicide & stampedes, the staircase in each minaret was out of bound to public. Never mind, the beautiful carvings on the exteriors of the minarets itself were mesmerizing that i spend an hour walking around them. I realised that both of them are different from each other.
Unlike other minarets in Delhi which have perfectly polished, round exteriors with neat carvings, these minarets had rough but beautifully carved exteriors with designs majorly made of square & rectangular cuts! It looked like a distant relative of the Vijay Stambh (Victory Tower) in Chittorgarh, Rajasthan.
I look up on internet to know more and was surprised to see the scarcity of information on these beautiful minarets in any of the websites where tourists visit for guidance. I will write about them later or maybe i will find someone more knowledgeable to write about these shaking wonders!
As i walked away from the railway station towards my next destination, i saw two more minarets (picture below) on the other corner of the railway station.
I paused for a moment contemplating whether to return or carry forward. I was tired, sweating & standing under the hot sun, confused like a 3 yr. old. I decided against visiting them & walked on towards my next destination, Siddhi Saiyyed Mosque.
Some 600 years ago, a king decided to make this city the capital of his Sultanate after seeing a rabbit chase a dog! – with this legend, Karnavati leaves us & Amdavad is born. As i walked down towards the famous mosque, a prominent tourist destination, i wondered, how many of us even knew about Amdavad or Karnavati!
Isn’t it an irony that we know the present day Ahmedabad for more controversies than for its rich history or the great kings. It stands true for most places in this great nation with a history which speaks through stones & mortars.
To search Karnavati known to us through legends is tough, but to get introduced to Amdavad through the remains of what was once a fortified city of Sultan Ahmed Shah is easier.
So I who came to fly kites,
forgot why I was here for the day!
and started off …
in search of Amdavad … in Ahmedabad!
Read the next part of the travel note here: Chalo Patang Udaane – in search of Amdavad (II)
This post is in continuation to Chalo Patang Udaane–touchdown @ Ahmedabad