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Bhadra Fort, Ahmedabad Overview

Located at the walled city of Ahmedabad, the 44 acre-Bhadra fort composes of intricate carvings, latticework and frescos alongside impeccable arches and inscriptions at the entrance. Built in 1411 by Ahmed Shah I, the walling is said to have been established to protect the Gujarat Sultanate, reigned by Ahmed Shah I at the time.

Also known as the Arak Fort, the Bhadra Fort is said to inherit its names from the Bhadrakali temple installed by the Marathas here. This red stone-fort located along the Sabarmati river was revamped by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (the AMC) and the Archaeological Survey of India (the ASI) in 2014. Bhadra Fort is also an important venue for significant events such as the Republic Day and the Independence Day of the country. 

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Bhadra Fort Architecture

Bhadra Fort carries out an Indo-Gothic style of architecture. Popularly known as Indo-Saracenic, this form of architecture is characterised by elaborately designed arches, balconies and inscribed Islamic engravings at the fort's entrance.

The Bhadra fort today houses the Teen Darwaza, a three-doored gateway at the fort's eastern corner, along with a bunch of office quarters such Civil Courts, the ASI and a Post Office. The fort also cites the city's first-ever electrical apparatus, the Bhadra Clock tower, which functioned with an electric bulb after having used a kerosene lamp for over 70 years since 1849. 

History of Bhadra Fort

Initiated by Ahmed Shah I, the foundation for the Bhadra fort was laid in 1411 at Manek Burj, in the old Ahmedabad city. However, this massive expanse of protective land covering over 160 houses, eight gates and fourteen towers, was further urbanised in 1525, after which the fort got its second layering by Shah's grandson, Mahmud Begum. 

The Bhadra Fort has been through eras of conquering in the past. After the Mughals, the Fort was handed over to the Marathas which eventually became a British colony and was used as a prison from 1817 up until 1949. 

How to Reach Bhadra Fort

The fort is approximate 10 km from the Sardar Vallabhbhai International Airport. A taxi or self-drive ride would be around 20 mins from the airport to the fort, and a bus journey would be around an hour and 10 mins. The Ahmedabad Railway Station in Kalupur is just about 3.2 to 4 km from the fort, which can be covered via bus or taxi.

The Bhadra Fort is easily accessible via road as there are excellent road and bus connectivity options with nearby cities such as Vadodara, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Gandhinagar and Bikaner. There are efficient transit lines to the fort from junctions such as Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore; however, these trips would take at least a day via trains. 

Tips

  • Parking facility is quite away from the fort.
  • There is a shopping area close to the fort. Bargain as much as you can at the market.
  • The top of the fort offers a nice view of the Bhadra plaza.

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