How far is too far? 8 to 10 kms? Yes, that’s how far we are from a heritage treasure. Sarkhej Roza is the place and wesay it would not be a bad destination for a lazy early winter Sunday.

Sarkhej Roza, Ahmedabad - Photograph by Ashit Parikh

You’ve probably encircled it many times in your life. If not, then you have surely been as close as a km or two away from it. But you’ve never taken time out from life and been there; for a few hours at least. That’s the downside of our present lives. We are moving so fast – after some chimera or the other – that everything else but the road ahead seems hazy. Not worth looking at. Certainly not worth spending time with. As we said, such a pity!

After reaching out to Nal Sarovar in the previous issue, let’s hold back ourselves to the periphery of the city itself. Let’s explore Sarkhej Roza.

The Sarkhej Roza is an elegant architectural creation remarkable for the use of pierced stone trellises and complete absence of arches. This monument houses the tombs of Saint Ahmed Khattu Baksh and also that of Emperor Mehmud Shah Beguda and his queen. The peaceful atmosphere makes it an ideal retreat for anyone who wants to feel one with nature. Followers of heritage and architecture would find the place a virtual goldmine of information and education.

The suburb of Sarkhej, about 8 kms. southwest of Ahmedabad is noted for its elegant group of buildings, including the Mausoleum of Azam and Mu’assam, built in 1457 by the brothers who were responsible for Sarkhej’s architecture.

As one enters Sarkhej, s/he passes the Mausoleum of Mahmud Begara and, beside the tank and connected to his tomb, that of his queen, Rajabai. Also by the tank is the Tomb of Ahmad Khattu Ganj Buksh, a renowed Muslim saint and spiritual adviser to Ahmed Shah. He was the revered saint whose blessings were invoked while founding Ahmedabad. The palace, with pavilions and a harem, is also around the tank. The Dutch established a factory in Sarkhej in 1620 to process the indigo grown here.

The Roza of Sarkhej is one of the most features of the place. It is on the bank of a small pond. The architecture of the Roza is so beautiful and the history of Roza is associated with Ahmedabad in such a way that any heritage tour of Ahmedabad would Seem incomplete without a visit to the Roza. The main and big roza of Saint Ahmed Khatu Ganjbux is in the middle of the complex. There are beautiful carvings on the walls and tombs. Traceries have been carved out in marble stones. The sunlight reflections create beautiful pictures.

The buildings are remarkable for the complete absence of arches and the use of pierced stone trellises. From the archaeological point of view the most important group of buildings are the tombs and mosques with a palace around the tank of Sarkhej.

The mausoleum is roofed by a large central dome supported by a range of thirteen pillars on each side. The walls are broken up into two storeys and perforated stonework of great variety fills up the space above and below. A porch leads from the dargah into the court of the mosque which has neither the arched facade, nor the minars but a roof of uniform height which is supported by 120 pillars. The chamber   housing the sultan Mahmud Begda has a balcony window which projects into the tank. The complex has also preserved the hand written copy of Kuran by Shaikh Ahmed Khattu.

All said and read, the fact of the matter is that nature can neither be described nor be absorbed through the pages of a magazine. Nature is all about breathing life – a pristine, inspiring and invigorating life. So, if you’ve liked even one word of this write-up or got charged by even one pixel of any of the pictures here, take out your car, bike or better still, your bicycle and reach out to Sarkhej Roza. Hit the 100-ft ring road or the SG Highway from anywhere and you’ll be near Sarkhej Roza soon. We say, take your loved one and a digital camera along but please avoid plastic bags.


Author. Entrepreneur. Filmmaker. Journalist.

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