Thursday, July 19, 2018

Ahmedabad Dynasty- 1

Ahmedabad Dynasty-1

Sadharan was his name. He was a Tanka Rajput, changed his faith, converted to Islam and was in service to the Sultan Firozshah Tughluq of Delhi Sultanate. His sister was married to the Sultan Firoz Shah and successor Sultan, Mahmud Shah Tughluq made his son Zafar Khan, the Governor of Gujarat in 1391. When Timur Lang (lame) invaded India in 1398, and made the authority of Delhi Sultanate weaker, Zafar Khan used the opportunity and formally established independent Sultanate of Gujarat at Patan (Anhilwad)in 1407. He then held the new name Muzaffar Shah-I. The ‘Khan’ became ‘Shah’ of Gujarat. His grandson Ahmad Shah founded Ahmedabad in 1411. When he was camping on the bank of river Sabarmati, he saw a hare chasing a ferocious dog. He realised the strength of the water and soil and decided to establish a Capital. The chief of Asawal village Asa Bhil was defeated and the foundation stone of the city was laid on 26 February 1411 at Manek Burj. It was named Ahmedabad to honour four Ahmads: the Sultan, himself, his religious teacher Shaikh Ahmad Khattu Ganj Baksh, and two others, Kazi Ahmad and Malik Ahmad. Jama Masjid of Ahmedabad was built during his tenure. 

Ahmad Shah consolidated the sultanate and was famous for his noble acts but his grandson Mahmud Begado  was the most powerful Sultan of this Muzaffar/Ahmedabad Dynasty. He was seated on the throne at 13 years age and held it for 54 years, captured Pavagadh and Junagadh, and had created fear over Malava and Chittor. Champaner was under the capture of Khichi Chauhan Rajputs. It was founded by Vanraj Chavda and was named after his friend and General Champaraj. Muhammad Begado won Champaner by a trick, did the same to Raval King what Ghori did to Prithviraj. When the soldiers were busy in early morning activities of attending natural call, bathing and dressing, he attacked, captured them and killed them. 

Whenever, there was attack from Sultan of Ahmedabad, Malava used to protect Champaner. To win Malava or keep Gujarat safe from eastern attacks, it was important to hold command over Champaner. Begado won it in November 1482. It then took 23 years to build it into a new capital city and was named Muhammadabad. At the last years of his rule, Portuguese were gaining strength over Arabian Sea. They won the Battle of Diu against the joint fleet of Gujarat, Calicut and others in 1509. It was the starting point of European Colonisation in Asia. 

Many of the buildings of archeological importance of Ahmedabad and Champaner were built during Begada’s rule of 54 years. As the stone masons were Hindus, and were mainly building Jain temples, and the Muslim buildings allowed them to carves tree, leaves, creepers, etc, therefore the buildings of that time carried blend of Indo-Islamic architecture. One may surprise to see elegant interior, motifs of the Sun, diamonds, pots and vines, lotus insignia, fractal carving/Kalpa Vriksha (Holy Tree of Hindus), hanging bells, hangings made of leaves of ashoka tree, Swastik, etc, carved beautifully into the sand stones in Jami/Jama Masjid at Champaner. The Archeological Park is a UNESCO World heritage site. 

19 July 2018

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