The architectural style of Sarkhej Roza is a unique amalgamation of Hindu, Jain and Islamic style states the website. Hindu style and craftsmenship were used in the construction of the complex which is referred to as Indo-Saracenic. It is probably the most scuttle way of admitting that the landscape and demography has been changed to herald the advent of the Sultanate era.
Ahmed Shah ( 1410 – 1443 ) is credited to have built the middle aged Ahmedabad. Sarkhej was originally a village filled weavers & indigo dyers who were predominently hindus. Sheikh Ahmed Shah a sufi saint chose Sarkhej as his retirement village. He went on to live 111 years performing miraculous healing of the populace. On his death in 1445, the current ruling monarch Muhammed Shah order construction of a mausleum in his honour. He also commissioned construction of a mosque for prayers for the local population. Both the monuments were completed in 1451 during his successor Qutub ud Din Ahmed Shah. In middle half of 15th century Sultan Muhammed Begada commissioned the construction of a lake, additional pavilions and private mosque for the royalty’s usage. Thus a rural area was slowly converted into a resort and summer palace for the Sultanate. In 1584 AD Akbar’s army defeated the reigning sultan Muzzafer III. He further expanded the complex with addition of palace and garden for his queen and the royal Ent rouge.
The entire complex was originally spread over 72 acres with the lake consuming around 20 acres, which is now divided into two parts with the complex lake and a huge water filled lake overseeing the mosque area where prayers are conducted. It can be seen from the washroom area of the mosque. Ladies are not allowed in this enclosure since it is men’s toilet area. Ladies are not allowed near the tomb area which are bunched together. There are tombs in two sections of the mosque.
One can see the lake is dry without very little water traces on the western side of the lake. According to our guide ( autorikshaw driver ) the lake gets filled whenever there is good rainfall in Sarkhej surroundings. The real estate market in these parts have boomed with the growth of economy of Gujarat with NRI’s pumping huge investments.
A creepy feeling pervades all along since very few tourist visit this place for want of information and knowledge. But we were made to feel very safe and comfortable by our guide Mansoor. He was almost sent by Khuda since we refused to ply with another auto guy who did not know the direction to famous monument, despite the recent Shah Rukh Khan’s film Raes being shot in the complex and surroundings.
The visit to entire complex must have consumed nearly 1 hour since auto waiting meter jumped from 60 to 120. We managed to click plenty of photographs and literature displayed in the complex.
Efforts are being made to rejuvenate the entire complex but the issue of funding seems to be a problem. Ideally such huge restoration work does not only require funds but also expertise in undertaking such a huge task. I hope the restoration committee realizes that ASI is the best bet for commissioning the work and complete the same with authentic touch.
We visited the monument after visiting Gandhi Ashram at Sabarmati, took an auto to the nearest BRTS bus depot and boarded a bus towards Indravathi from where we hired auto towards Sarkhej. We are thankful to Mansur who took us around the Sarkhej Roza guided tour without any hesitation despite knowing that we did not belong his religion. His enthusiasm to elaborate and open the great mosque for our visit was admirable. It really motivated us to get into the details of the heritage structure and have a nice cup of tea in front of the Roza.