A part of the wall in the old citadel
(Bhadra) of the mosque built by Ahmed Shah's slave, Sidi Sayyid, is
celebrated all over the world for its exquisite stone window tracery - a
superb example of delicate carving that transforms stone into filigree.
THE EXQUISITE JALI WORK
A prominent feature on the front of glossy city brochures, Sidi Sayyid's Mosque, famed for the ten magnificent 'jali' screens lining its upper walls sits in the centre of a busy traffic circle in the northwest corner of Bhadra. The two semicircular screens high on the western wall are the most spectacular, with floral designs exquisitely carved out of the yellow stone so common in Ahmedabad's mosques.
The eastern face is open, revealing a host of pillars that divide the hall into heroes and animals from popular Hindu myths - one effect of Hindu and Jain craftsmanship on an Islamic tradition that rarely allowed the depiction of living beings in its mosques. The gardens around it afford good views of the screens. Women cannot enter this mosque.
The solid fortified citadel, Bhadra, built of deep red stone in 1411 AD as Ahmedabad's first Muslim structure, is relatively plain in comparison to later mosques.
In front of the citadel is a small public garden and Alif Shah's Mosque, gaily painted in green and white. Further east, beyond the odoriferous meat market in Khas Bazaar, is Teen Darwaja, a thick-set triple gateway built during Ahmed Shah's reign that once led to the outer court of the royal citadel. A trio of pointed arches engraved with Islamic inscriptions and detailed carving spans the busy road below and shelters cobblers and peddlers.