Also known as the Shaking Minarets, they are playful but with a whir of quivering mystery. They have left the best of architects and pioneering design engineers intrigued and in unresolvable wonder. What they cannot unravel is when one minaret is shaken the other begins to vibrate, though the connecting passage between the two remains vibration-free; what causes this vibration is unknown. There are two well-known pairs of Shaking Minarets in Ahmedabad, one located opposite the Sarangpur Darwaja and the other near the Kalupur Railway Station Area.
Jhulta Minara Tours
The one near Sarangpur Darwaja is within the vicinity of the Sidi Bashir Mosque built in 1452 AD by Sidi Bashir, a slave of Sultan Ahmed Shah. They are three storeys talls with carved balconies where visitors were once allowed to climb all the way up. The other set of minarets near the Railway Station is taller in height. However, these are not in a very good condition as it is believed that the British had dismantled them to understand the cause of vibrations. They could not resolve the engineering and it was not possible to put them back in their original condition. Demonstrations of the minarets shaking or vibrating are not carried out anymore.
The mosque is believed to have been constructed either by Sidi Bashir, a slave of Sultan Ahmed Shah, or by Malik Sarang, a noble in the court of Mahmud Begada, another Sultan of Gujarat. It has been dated to 1452, although the style and material of the minarets point to the close of Mahmud Begada’s reign (1511) or later. The body of the building was destroyed in 1753 during the war between the Marathas and the Khan of Gujarat Sultanate; only two minarets and the arched central gateway connecting them remain.
The minarets are the tallest in Ahmedabad and are now located to the north of Ahmedabad Junction railway station. Though much damaged, especially near the foot, the stairs inside the minarets may still be used. The minarets are three stories tall with carved balconies. A gentle shaking of either minaret results in the other minaret vibrating after a few seconds, though the connecting passage between them remains free of vibration. The mechanism of this is not known, although the layered construction is thought to be a factor. The phenomenon was first observed in the 19th century by Monier M. Williams, an English Sanskrit scholar. The minarets are able to withstand fast-moving trains passing close by.
How to get there
By Road: Gujarat has one of the better-developed road networks in India. Ahmedabad is well connected with all major cities and towns by road. Prominent bus stops are located at Gitamandir near Kalupur Railway Station and Paldi. Regular bus services are available by Gujarat state transport buses and private operators to all the major destinations of the state.
By Rail: The main railway station is located in the Kalupur area. This station falls under the prominent national railway circuit and is connected to all major cities of India. If you are on the western side of the Sabarmati river, then you can go to the Gandhigram station near Ashram road to buy your railway tickets easily.
By Air: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel airport at Ahmedabad is an international airport with direct flights to USA, UK, Singapore, Dubai and other international hubs. Numerous domestic flights are also operational from here.