Teen Darwaza

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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.  Maha LakshmiHe 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.

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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. 01-2

Over all these years, he has raised his family from the alms given by worshipers to cover the oil. 01-3

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.

In 1812, the city’s leading official told the Maratha ruler Fateh Singh Gwekwad about the absence of rights for women in the city. 220px-Sayajirao_III_Gaekwad,_Maharaja_of_Borada,_1919

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.

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You can see Moslims and Hindus together on the street. Notice the chai server!

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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

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
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12 Responses to Teen Darwaza

  1. Another superb coverage 🙂

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  2. OyiaBrown says:

    Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

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  3. Thanks for letting me camp out in your blog for a little while today. I had a great time and tried to leave my campsite as good as when I arrived. I’ll be back!

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    • annetbell says:

      You are most welcome! Must have been a slow day to read all those posts…but I really appreciate it! Namaste. . . .Anne

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      • Reading at least four posts (if they are available) on the blogs of others, up to 120 per day, is just part of my daily routine. I like to write, but I also like to visit the world through the words and pictures of everyone else.

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      • annetbell says:

        What a great idea! You are very disciplined to have that plan and it sounds great. I seem to spend way way too much on the posts, though I am getting faster. Thanks for the idea! Namaste. …Anne

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