Sidi Saiyyed Mosque
My Introduction to Siddi Sayyed Mosque aka Siddi Sayyed Jaali
Cars, buses, autorickshaws, two wheelers all moved around a building that looked quite ancient and was dotted with trees. It looked like a mosque from whatever portion was visible from the road. Hardly anyone spared a second glance to the unpretentious building in the bus that I sat in and neither did I. In fact, I must have passed by the building hundreds of times without realizing its importance. It was much later when I visited Sidi Saiyyed mosque in Ahmedabad that I was awestruck by what I saw.
I came to know that the old looking building that I used to pass by was Sidi Saiyyed Mosque, famously referred to in common parlance as Sidi Saiyyed Ni Jaali or Sidi Saiyyid ki Jaali. I also realized that the Sidi Saiyad Mosque in Ahmedabad was one of the sights that figured in most people’s list of must see places in Ahmedabad.
A Visit to the Sidi Sayyed Mosque is an exquisite experience
One fine day saw me at the threshold of the Sidi Sayeed Mosque, Ahmedabad. The mosque itself was quite spartan built in the style of architecture which most mosques in the country adhere to. The Sidi Saiyyed Mosque architecture is executed in an Indo-Saracenic style which combines elements of Indo-Islamic and Indian architecture. The famous Jali work of the screen in the Sidi Saiyyed Mosque is the source of attraction and the lodestone that drew people to its fold were the Jaalis ( also known as Sidi Saiyad Ni Jali ) or intricate lattice work of the windows of the mosque.
In all, there are 10 windows with very intricate stone lattice work. When I visited the place the sun was already on the western horizon and as the orange glow of light gently kissed the intricate lattice work of the windows and streamed in, it created an effect so surreal and beautiful that involuntary waves of ecstasy seemed to engulf my very being.
I gazed and gazed at the window where a mystical tree and its intertwined branches had been carved. Each element of the art work seemed to be perfect, a magical light filtered through the gap between the leaves and intertwined branches, creating a mysterious halo. The experience of merely gazing at this spectacle was blissful. Standing in the mosque and looking at the busy traffic inexorably moving around it, one feels as if for a moment time has stopped and you are at peace.
The Sidi Sayed Mosque is a small mosque that is still used for prayers by the devout Muslims of the area. It is bang in the center of the main traffic junction in the heart of Ahmedabad, the commercial capital of Gujarat, a western state of India. The famous Sidi Saiyyed Mosque in Ahmedabad is located in a small compound and shaded by trees. Ten windows with intricate lattice work adorn the sides and the rear of the mosque. The most exquisitely carved window is known as the “Tree of Life”, and is a joy to behold, a resplendent ode to the artistic genius of its makers.
History of the Sidi Sayyed Mosque
Sidi Saiyad Jali history dates back to 1573. The construction of the Sidi Sayyed Mosque is attributed to an Abyssinian soldier by the name of Sidi Saiyyed in the year 1573, which coincidentally was also the last year of the Gujarat Sultanate with the Mughals led by Akbar taking over the kingdom.
The mosque is apparently incomplete and some accounts attribute this fact to the Mughal invasion.The Sidi Saiyyed Ki Jali view at the entrance has two structures. It seems the two structures that frame the entrance to the courtyard of the Mosque were meant to be towers which were never completed. The central arch surprisingly does not have any lattice work and is just covered with dull and drab stone. Probably another pointer to the incomplete nature of the structure. But whether complete or incomplete, the Sidi Sayyed Jali is a unique piece of architecture that has dazzled millions with its beauty across the passage of history.
Why did IIM-Ahmedabad get inspired by the Sidi Saiyyed Jali
The stone carving marvel in Sidi Saiyyed ni Jali is popular worldwide and has been executed in Indo-Saracenic style. The Founding fathers of the prestigious Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad were so impressed by the elegant and intricate design of The Tree of Life lattice window that they adopted it as their logo. The exquisitely crafted lattice work is also in many ways a visual symbol of the city of Ahmedabad.
Some Practical Tips for visiting Sidi Sayyed Mosque
- The Sidi Sayyed Mosque is located in the city of Ahmedabad which is well connected by air, road, and rail to all major cities of India
- Ahmedabad is about 530 kilometers from Mumbai and 947 kilometers from the Indian Capital of Delhi
- The best time to visit Ahmedabad is during the winter months between September to March as summers tend to get too hot
- Ladies are not allowed inside the prayer hall of the Siddi Sayyed Mosque
- The Mosque is open on all days and there is no entrance fee
Lucky Tea Stall
If you happen to visit the Sidi Sayyed Mosque, do step into the Lucky Tea Stall which is nearby. The place which started as a small joint underneath a Neem tree and adjacent to a grave has grown into a restaurant. The grave and the tree are incorporated into the premises and the place continues to serve out of the world tea and buns.
An original painting of M.F.Husain hangs in the premises. M.F.Husain, the famous painter is said to have frequented the place for its tea whenever he was in Ahmedabad.
Other Places of Interest in Ahmedabad
- Gandhi Ashram
- Shaking Minarets
- Sabarmati Riverfront
- Kankaria Lake and Zoo
- Calico Museum
- Jama Masjid
Sidi Sayyed Mosque is indeed one of the treasures of the city of Ahmedabad and Incredible India. A must see place if you are traveling in these parts. Have you seen this poetry in stone? Have you been to Ahmedabad? What is your favorite attraction in Ahmedabad? Do let us know your feedback by leaving a comment, your opinions keep us going and are highly valued.
Thanks for visiting our site Voyager – www.imvoyager.com and taking the time to read our post!
We’d love if you’d comment and share this post.