Bhadra Fort And Teen Darwaza: Intricate Carvings And Frescos

Bhadra Fort

The Darwaja or Gates of Ahmedabad were built during different times starting from 1411 as the entrances to the walled city of Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India.

These entrances to the city has a unique name and history. Pretty much the area surrounding these gates have adopted the name of the gate as the name of the locality. Each of the gate has beautiful carvings, calligraphy and some of them even balconies.


Ahmedabad was founded over the ancient settlement of Ashaval in 1411 by Ahmed Shah I of Gujarat Sultanate. He built the first citadel Bhadra Fort starting from Manek Burj, the first bastion of the city. The Bhadra Fort had eight gates excluding palace gates. When the city expanded, Ahmed Shah built the second fort which was later fortified by Mahmud Begada in 1486. The second fort had twelve major gates and other smaller gates. After arrival of railways, British built two more gates to facilitate the movement. Later the citywalls were demolished leaving the gates as monuments.

Gates of Bhadra Fort

Bhadra fort had eight gates, three large, two in the east and one in the south-west corner; three middle-sized, two in the north and one in the south; and two small, in the west.

The details are: on the north face two middle-sized gates, one leading to the Khanpur, and the other to the Mirzapur ward; the former was originally a small opening lately, at a cost of £11, turned into a gateway in 1860s, 13 feet wide and 15 feet high, with neither doors nor arches ; on the east two, both large, the Lal Darwaza  in the north-east and the Bhadra gate , formerly Piran Pir’s Darwaja, on the south two, one middle-sized gate without doors built in 1874, in the centre near Azam Khan Sarai, and the other the large Ganesh gate in the south-west corner ; the former, an arched gateway, 18 feet wide and 17 feet high, cost £92 the Ganesh Bari or gate was in 1779 opened by Aapaji Ganesh, it is said, in one day; on the west two, both small, the Ram gate, with stone steps in the south-west, and the Baradari gate in the north-west. Additionally Teen Darwaza was built later as an entrance to the royal square. Another Salapas gate, used for envoy of queens, is now lost. Ganesh gate is now lost under Ellis Bridge. Lal Darwaza, opposite Sidi Saiyyed Mosque, is lost now but parts of wall is visible.

Teen Darwaza

Teen Darwaza is a historical gateway on the east of Bhadra Fort, Ahmedabad, India. Completed in 1415, it is associated with historical as well as legendary events. The gates are featured in the logo of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation.

History and architecture

The Teen Darwaza was an egress from Bhadra Fort to the eastward. The gateway has three arches which led into a large enclosure, forming the outer courtyard of the palace called Maidan Shah in past, with a fountain and raised terrace in the centre. The roadway in the central opening is 17 feet wide, and that of each side arch is 13 feet wide. It has highly decorated buttresses on the faces of piers between the arches. The height of the arches is twenty-five feet. The terrace on the top of the gateway was formerly roofed over. But in 1877 the gateway was repaired, and the terrace thrown open. Here the great feudatories or foreign embassies assembled before approaching the presence, and the sovereign enthroned on the terrace, mustered the troops for martial enterprises and gala-day reviews, or held court in the cool of the evening beside the splashing fountain. Now the area is congested market.

It was built by Ahmad Shah I immediately after the foundation of Ahmedabad and completed in 1415. Through it, in 1459, Mahmud Begada, king for only a few months, and not fifteen years old, quiver on back and bow in hand, with only 300 horsemen, marched to disperse his rebel nobles and their 30,000 followers. Leaving the palace, the young king ordered the roads leading to it to be held by elephants, and, with the royal music playing, marched slowly along the main street. His cool bravery gave some of his faithful nobles time to join, and forming a considerable force, though small compared with the insurgents, attacked them, put them to flight, and destroyed their leaders. Later the newly appointed Maratha governors used to aim five arrows at one of its beams, and augur good or ill to their administration in accordance with their success in striking it.

Maratha Inscription

Maratha governor Chimnaji Raghunath decreed and inscribed farman on Teen Darwaza in 1812 declaring equal right to women in inheritance of ancestral property. Raghunath had appealed to Hindu and Muslims both. This plaque engraved in Devnagari script and dated 10 October 1812 reads, Let the daughter get her due share of fathers property without any hitch. So is Lord Vishwanath’s command. If you defy, the Hindu will have to answer Mahadev and the Mussalman will have to explain to Allah or Rasool.

Eternal lamp


Years ago, Laxmi, the Goddess of Wealth, came to the gate of the Bhadra Fort to leave the city in the night. Watchman Khwaja Siddique Kotwal stopped her and identified her. He asked her not to leave the fort until he obtained a permission from the king, Ahmad Shah. He went to the king and beheaded himself in order to keep Laxmi in the city. It resulted in the prosperity of the city.

There is a tomb near Bhadra Gate of the fort dedicated to Siddique Kotwal and a temple to Bhadra Kali, representing Laxmi. A lamp in one of the niche of Teen Darwaza is burning there for more than six hundred years by a Muslim family in a dedication to the legend.

Highlights: Mesmerising views, beautiful architecture

Timings: 9:00AM – 5:00PM

Entry Fee: Free

Location: Ahmedabad

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