AHMEDABAD was at one time the most splendid city in India: the circumference of its suburbs was about twenty-seven miles, and its population two million souls. Gujarat had been wrested by Alaud-din from the Wâghla kings in 1297, and placed under Muhammadan Governors, In 1397 the Mughul scourg, Kutb ud-din Amir Timûr Gùrgán Çahib-kiran — the great Timurlang — swept down upon Dehli with his merciless hordes, and overthrew the Tughlak dynasty. The Governor of Gujarat was Muhammad Shah Zaffar Khân, the son of Waji ul Mulk, a convert from the Táka Clan of Rájputs, who, like many other provincial governors at the time, assumed independence and foundd the dynasty of Gujarat — which held sway till 1572, distinguished alike for its military enterprise, the destruction of Hindu fancs, and its architectural works in mosks, tombs, and palaces.
In 1410 Muzaffar was poisoned by his grandson Ahmad Shah, and next year, at the instigation of Sheikh Ahmad Kattu Ganj Bakhsh, his piritual adviser, Ahmad founded this city, as his new capital, besid the old Hindu town of Aśâwal, which formed one of the mahallas or wards in its suburbs. “Th situation,” says Abu’l Fazl, writing in the end of the sixteenth century, “is remarkably healthy, and you may here provide yourself with the productions of every part of the globe. There are two forts, on the outside of which is the town, which formerly consisted of 360 puras (or quarters), but now only 84 are in a flourishing condition. In these are a thousand stone masjids, each having two larg minarts and many wonderful inscriptions.” Each mahalla, Frishtah tells us had a wall surrounding it: the principal streets were sufficiently wide to admit of ten carriages abreast: and “on the whole,” he says, “this is the handsomest city in Hindustan, and perhaps in the world.” But the Hindu cities of Anhillawàdà Pațțan and Chandràvati had been dilapidated to raise it, and the work of reconstruction was accomplished by aid of the wonderful perseverance and skill of the Hindu śilpi or mason. No wealth or taste was spared on the mosks and tombs of its Sultans, their families, grandees, and favourite slaves. To give any account of even the principal of those in the city and vicinity, at Batwá, Shah Âlam, and Sarkhej, would fill a volume: we can only give a specimen :—