Ahmedabad is the cultural centre of Gujarat holding several distinct and amazing historical sites that takes its visitors back in time. Religious and architectural sites reflect the glorious past of the city. Well planned layout of the old city and its historic houses called pols bagged it the World Heritage City title.
One of the outstanding attractions of the city is the ancient Sidi Sayed Mosque located near Kalupur railway station. Sidi Sayed Mosque is a great architectural wonder built by Siddi Sayyid that gives a peak into Islamic beliefs. Visitors are inspired by the serenity of the ancient historic structure.
This reputed Islamic sacred shrine is known for its architectural styles and the marvellous windows or jalis that fascinates visitors on sight and as such it is often referred to as Sidi Saiyad ni Jali. It is more prominent for the stone latticework. Lattice stone work Jali gained so much prominence that it proves to be the inspiration for the design of the logo of the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad.
The classic religious site was built by Siddi Sayyid in 1572 with the help of 45 skilled artisans. Sidi Saiyyed was one of the followers of general army of the last Sultan Shams-ud-Din Muzaffar Shah III of the Gujarat Sultanate.
A marble tablet found within the premises of the mosque states that it was built by Sidi Sayed during the last year of the Gujarat Sultanate before the Mughals from Delhi defeated them and took over the city.
Legends state that Siddi Sayyid was a kind hearted man who arrived in the country from Yemen and held several books and worked under the rule of Sultan Nasir-ud-Din Mahmud III.
After the establishment of the mosque the city was invaded by Mughal emperor Akbar. Britishers used the sacred complex as a government office. Currently it is well maintained by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Visitors would appreciate the artistic splendour as they gaze at the majestic Tree of Life window that has a tree intertwined with its branches, foliage, curved tendrils and palm motifs. It is believed that the mosque was built by the last Sultanate and due to the invasion of the Mughals; the sacred complex could not be completed as planned.
A central window arch of the mosque remains incomplete as such stands walled with stones and the two structures at the entrance leading to the courtyard seems to be the two incomplete towers.
Travellers would be enthralled gazing at the architectural grandeur of the ancient mosque which has ten semi-circular windows covered with a mesh called jalis which are famous for their exclusive stone lattice work.
Tree of Life Window with its mystical tree and intertwined branches is the major draw among the beautifully carved windows. The awe-inspiring jalis makes it a must-see monument for every traveller visiting the heritage city. While the tree is believed to represent the Hindu Kalpavriksha the date palm features the Islamic belief.
Tree of Life structure has been recognised worldwide and as such that the wooden models of the window have been kept in the Kensington and New York Museums. Other structural pieces that reflect Hindu beliefs are the brackets supporting the domes of the 68 feet long complex.
Traced structures rise to a height of 3 meters and are 2 meters wide. The rear wall of the holy site features square stoned pierced panels adorned with geometrical designs on the rear wall. This noteworthy sacred complex is completely arched representing its significance to Islamic culture.
Beauty of the sacred complex built in yellow sandstone is amplified with the striking jalis that have been constructed in the back. This sacred complex is believed to have been built with strenuous efforts of around forty five skilled craftsmen.
The holy site epitomises the grandeur and splendour of Indo-Saracenic style of architecture. Tree of Life Jali is said to symbolise the city of Ahmedabad and is a photographer’s delight. Though smaller than the Jama Masjid, but still it draws more attention especially due to its exclusive Jalis.
A small ablution pond is located within the premises of the sacred mosque.
The sacred mosque is located opposite to the Electricity house on the Salapose Road near Lal Darwaza in Ahmedabad in the northwest corner of Bhadra Fort.
Ahmedabad is well connected with all parts of the city through rail, road and air. The nearest airport is the Sardar Vallabhai Patel airport which is located at a distance of 10 km from the sacred place. Ahmedabad’s railway station called the Kalupur railway station is located at a distance of 6km from the mosque. Both private and government buses operate from Gita Mandir near Kalapur railway station and Paldi bus stops.
Entry Fees and Timings
The mosque is open all days from 7 am till 6 pm. and there is no entry fee to visit the sacred shrine. It is advisable not to visit the mosque during the prayer masses especially on Friday. Special sessions are also held on Sundays for pilgrims seeking clarifications to the religious practices and their Holy books.
Ladies are not allowed inside the prayer hall of Sidi Sayed Mosque. Being a sacred place of worship visitors are expected to enter the premises without footwear and maintain peace.
Near the renowned mosque people often visit the old Lucky tea stall that started as a small shop underneath the Neem tree and have grown into a restaurant today. It also houses a painting of famous painter, M.F. Hussain who is said to have been visiting the tea stall often.
Other places of attraction near Sidi Sayed Mosque
Teen Darwaza, Pols, Rani No Hajiro, Jhulta Minara, Bhadra Fort and Manek Chowk