Teen Darwaza or the Triple Gateway is almost as old as the city of Ahmedabad. It is the only surviving and intact secular building built during the Mogul Ahmed Shah’s regime. The three arches are 24 feet time and built to be the primary entrance to the city with the square behind it containing fountains and fruit trees. Today it is the site of the huge busy daily market which I have discussed before. It is also the entrance to the Pols on the left and shops and markets on the right.
There is a tale from folklore of a guard at the gate who saw Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and consort of Vishnu,leaving the city. He asked her to wait while he got permission from the Sultan to let her pass. Knowing if she left, that Ahmedabad would fall into despair. To protect his beloved city from economical ruin, he killed himself , confident that the goddess would not break her promise to wait until he returned. Lakshmi kept her word and never left and the city has continued to proper even today. In memory of the guard’s sacrifice and Lakshmi’s blessing, an oil lamp burns continuously in a tiny niche located under the central arch of the huge gate.
The circled area in the image above is the oil lamp which has burned continuously for 600 years in memory of the brave guard and as a offering to Lakshmi for her continued blessing on Ahmedebad. This is the wife of the man who has taken care of the oil burning lamp for 55 years. He is old and sick now and can hardly walk.
His wife and children have told the city government that if the lamp is to continue burning, they will need 200 rupees ($4) a day to supply and fill the lamp with oil.
As a result, a marble plaque inscribed in Devanagari surrounded by sun and moon images was placed on the eastern side of the gate announcing the ruler’s command: “Let the daughter get her due share of property without any hitch. So is Lord Vishwanath’s command. If you defy, the Hindu will have to answer to Mahadev and the Mussalman will have to explain to Allah or Rasool.” There is a English translation on a subsequent plaque to the far corner of the left arch. ( Note: I saw neither the oil lamp or the plaque but discovered these interesting stories doing research. Nor could I find images. I do hope we will return and will definitely look for these details.)
This area is largely populated by Muslim people and is near the Friday Mosque and the markets. Muhammed and Sunil the rickshaw drivers lived there. It is not a ghetto in the Jewish history sense of the word, but just an area where they have lived for hundreds of years near family and friends.
You can see Moslims and Hindus together on the street. Notice the chai server!
This is my favorite picture showing the faithful Muslim people gathering at the Teen Darwaza brightly decorated with colored lights for the celebration of the prophet Mohammad’s birthday!
Namaste. . . . . . . . T I I I