General view of Shaikh Ahmad Ganj Baksh's Tomb at Sarkhej, near Ahmadabad 1770
Photographer: Cousens, Henry
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph, from the south east, of Shaikh Ahmad Khattri Ganj Baksh's Tomb at Sarkhej, near Ahmadabad in Gujarat, taken by Henry Cousens in the 1880s, from the Archaeological Survey of India. Shaikh Ahmad Khattri (d.1446), referred to as Ganj-Bakhsh, was the spiritual guide to Ahmad Shah (r.1411-42). During the reign of Muhammad Shah (r.1442-51) a mosque and a mausoleum were built in Sarkhej in memory of the Shaikh. Later the place became a retreat for Gujarat rulers, as well as an imperial necropolis. The mausoleum is the largest of its kind in Gujarat, it is covered in a vast dome surrounded by other smaller domes. A Persian inscription over the door records the date 1473. The inner square sanctum, containing the tomb, is surrounded by a row of double pillars connected by a screen of brass lattice panels. There are four doors around this central area with similar lattice work in a wide variety of patterns. The outer wall is divided into two storeys; perforated stone work fills the areas between the pillars on both levels, apart from some of the lower sections which are occupied by a door instead of a screen.