Rani Rupmati mosque in Ahmedabad was established in the years 1430-40 by the Sultan Mehmud Beghara and is named after his beautiful wife Rani Rupmati. Though relatively known outside Ahmedabad, this is one of my most favourite mosque of the city, apart from the Sidi Saiyyed mosque which is a walking distance away from here, yet far more popular.
I had been to the mosque a few times in the past as well and had always loved it. So this time when I was in Ahmedabad I decided to revisit my old memories and explore the mosque once again. But this visit was a little painful for me personally...
As I walked into the mosque, the one thing that struck me the most was the dilapidated curtain at the entrance of the mosque. It seemed I was all alone in the morning, but soon an old man walked out and wished me. He was the maulvi of the mosque and told me that the mosque has been maintained by his family for generations now. He saw my eyes moving to the curtain and he told me that it bothered him as well.
Though the monument is protected, it gets almost no funds for maintenance. It's an architectural marvel, but then Ahmedabad is full of such buildings so it's tough to get much attention. Without any money he was struggling to manage the mosque and keep it in pristine condition. He was clearly sad, but wanted me to go inside and take some more pictures. This has always been true of the mosques of Ahmedabad, people are always welcoming and taking pictures is not at all a taboo.
I walked in, prayed a little and took some more pictures. The red carpet was beautiful land added an accent colour to the shots. But I was still sad when I walked out of the mosque. The old man was gone, so I simply bowed and walked back to my hotel, House of MG.
Rani Roopmati was married to Sultan Qutubuddin of Ahmedabad. However, after Sultan's death his brother Sultan Mehmud Beghara married her, which was not unusual for those times. As Rani Rupmati was a Hindu, and the Sultan a Muslim, the mosque is a blend of both architectural styles. There are parts of the mosque which might appear much simpler than others, and in a way these also represent the personality of the kind and the queen as as the faiths they followed.
I saw something similar at Adalaj ni vav also, which was built by a muslim ruler for his love for a Hindu woman he wanted to marry, but never could.
The mosque is actually quite a typical structure of the early sixteenth century. The roof os the prayer hall has these domes with the central part so raised as to admit light and air into the interior of the three ached entrances. In the facade, the central one is flanked by two minarets, one on each side.
The small entrances have projected balcony window on each side and a latticed window neat the end of the facade. The mosque represents a significant development of mosque architecture in Ahmedabad. It is also remarkable for the rich and the varied sculpture of it's minar buttresses, balconied and latticed windows.
The mosque suffered massive damage during the earthquake of Kutch in 1818 and only a part of it's once magnificent minarets now survive. Unfortunately this is true for many other mosques in Ahmedabad including the Pir Kamal Urf Malik Alim Ki Masjid.
The mosque is located in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad in Gujarat. Once you reach Ahmedabad (well connected by flights, trains and buses), it's easy to located the mosque. It is located close to the Sidi Saiyyed mosque which is far more famous and is located at the GOP near Lal Darwaza.
As you walk from the Nehru bridge toward the Sidi Saiyyed mosque on the Rustam Cama road, take a left as you reach the end of the road on the Mirzapur road. The road is quite an organic one and snakes around a bit, but stay on the main road. The mosque is just a few hundred metres away after the turn.