Ahmadabad: Pillar in Haibat Khan's mosque (left), Pillar in Mata Bhavani's well (right)
Surveyor: Burgess, James (1832-1916)
Medium: Pen and ink on paper
Pen-and-ink drawing of a pillar in Haibat Khan's mosque (left) and a pillar in Mata Bhavani's well (right) at Ahmadabad by an anonymous artist dating to between 1884 and 1886. This image is from the Burgess collection, an album of 49 drawings of plans, sections, elevations, sculpture and architectural details of Muslim monuments in Ahmadabad and the surrounding areas made during this period. The drawings were prepared mainly by Indian draftsmen under the supervision of James Burgess (1832-1916). Burgess was in India from 1855 to 1889. He served as the Archaeological Surveyor and Reporter for Western India 1874-80, with South India added 1881-85, before becoming the Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India in 1886 until his retirement in 1889.
Situated on the banks of the Sabarmati River, Ahmadabad was founded by Ahmad Shah, Sultan of Gujarat, in 1411 on the site of the village of Asaval. The dynasty ruled until 1537 when Sultan Bahadur Shah was killed by the Portuguese at Diu. Gujarat was annexed by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1572. The city is architecturally interesting as it boasts many examples of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Gujarati provincial Islamic architecture. The mosque of Haibat Khan, a leading nobleman at the court of Ahmad Shah, was built c.1425 with an entrance through an ornate outer porch leading to a sanctuary. There are many Hindu motifs carved onto the mosque suggesting that it was constructed from the remnants of Hindu or Jain temples. The Mata Bhavani tank is said to date from the time of Kayna Solanki (1063-93). Fifty-two steps lead down to the water which is overlooked by pillared galleries. Examples of Hindu carving adorn the structure.