Chalo Patang Udaane – in search of Amdavad (I)

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.

Dear Reader,

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

Advertisements

9 thoughts on “Chalo Patang Udaane – in search of Amdavad (I)

  1. Never knew about them! Always saw them from the railway station and thought that they were normal minarets, as you mentioned never gave it a second glance!! Will look closely next time around!

  2. There was a time I visited Ahemdabad almost every other week…and have not seen even one thing… it was always office, hotel and airport… :( Now I know what all I missed…

  3. Pingback: Chalo Patang Udaane–touchdown @ Ahmedabad | mindblogging @ my will: a plethora of thoughts

  4. Pingback: Chalo Patang Udaane – in search of Amdavad (II) | mindblogging @ my will: a plethora of thoughts

  5. This is interesting, I too have been intrigued by these minarets. There is another pair a little far from the station, and I could climb those with the approval of the maulvi at the mosque.

    He mentions that the minarets are connected at the base with some sort of a flexible material which passes on the vibration between them. It seems there were more and the British rulers destroyed them to find out why they behave the way they did, but apparently found nothing :)

    Always fun to read these anecdotes…or rather legends!

    • the one which you are referring is in the last pics of this post if i am not wrong. You are very lucky to get the permission to climb it.

      Its still a mystery as to how & why the minarets coordinate & shake…in fact i look at it as a slap on folks who claim that our generation is far more superior than yesteryear in engineering :D

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s