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Rani Sipri's Mosque
Ahmedabad has a large Muslim population and a distinct walled city which is inhabited by majority Muslims. Rani Sipri‚Äôs Mosque or Rani Siprini Masjid as it is referred to in local Gujarati is located in this area of Ahmedabad. It is so called because it was built in 1514 by Rani Sipri, wife of the Sultan Mahmud Begada who was the ruler of Gujarat then. It has been given the epithet of Masjid e Nagina or Jewel among Mosques because of its beauty.
The mosque is among the popular tourist attractions of Ahmedabad for its exquisite carvings and architecture and is also a well-known and respected place of worship for the local Muslims. After the death of Rani Sipri, she was buried in this mosque.
It is interesting to note the religious amity between Hindus and Muslims in the 14th and 15th century when there were many sultanates in many places in India ruled by Muslim Sultans who depended upon political and military allies from the Hindu nobility to survive in areas where majority was Hindus. Many of the marriages between Hindus and Muslims were politically motivated but Hindu women marrying into Muslim ruling families got equal status and rights. Rani Sipri was such a Hindu Princess who was married to Mahmud Begada, the Sultan of Ahmedabad. This union and secular behavior is evident in other monuments that were built at the time and also in the architecture of the time. Another mosque by the name Rani Rupmati‚Äôs Mosque has been built by a Hindu Queen of a Muslim ruler.
Rani Sipri built the Mosque and oversaw the construction and embellishment of the Mosque which she built in memory of her son who was executed by the Sultan for some unforgiveable offense in 1514.
Rani Sipri's Mosque at Ahmedabad in Gujarat has an exquisite blend of Hindu and Islamic architecture. The mosque is small in size; only about 54 feet across and 50 ft high. There is intricate stone carving or jail work in the mosque which has a single dome. The arches and walls are covered with inscriptions from the Holy Quran but the motifs that embellish the pillars and ceiling bear strong resemblance to Hindu and Jain art and architecture prevalent at the time. ¬†On the first floor of the mosque is a separate area for women worshippers called the Jenana.
The mosque and tomb of Rani Sipri is considered superior to Rani Rupmati‚Äôs mosque¬† for its planning and immaculate structural style and arrangement.
The Mughals who ruled from Delhi-Agra had a large Empire that extended below the Vindhyas into the Deccan. These far reaching areas were ruled by smaller Sultanates with Muslim Sultans as their rulers. In Gujarat, which was ruled by Sultans under the Mughal Emperor, the rulers treated Hindu royal families and nobles with due respect. They sought friendship and loyalty from Hindu nobility because it was necessary to have political and military allies among them to survive in the predominantly Hindu region. Thus Muslim Princesses married into Hindu noble families and Hindu princesses went into Muslim royal homes. The Hindu princesses that married Muslim Sultans were treated with equality and respect. Rani Sikri and Rani Rupmati were fine examples of such an alliance.
This attitude of amity is evident in many of the monuments from that time found in Ahmedabad and Champaner. Many of these exceptional monuments are in many ways even better that in Mughal monuments found in Northern India. Rani Sipri's Mosque in Ahmedabad is a fine example of highly aesthetic monument of Ahmedabad that exhibits the synthesis of Hindu and Islamic styles of art and architecture.
How to Reach
Ahmedabad is the capital of the prosperous Gujarat State and has an International Airport. It is well connected by air not only to domestic destinations but also to many parts of the world such as USA, UK and Africa where a large number expatriate from the State live. It is also well connected by road, rail to most towns and cities of the country.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport at Ahmedabad brings visitors from across the world. Domestic airlines bring passengers from all over the country
Ahmedabad is an important station and junction of the Western Railway section of Indian Railways. Scores of trains from all over the country stop at Ahmedabad
Gujarat State Highways and the National Highways network make Ahmedabad truly accessible. State Transport buses from nearby States and districts of Gujarat ply frequently. The city has local buses taxis and auto rikshaws for local travelling.