TOMB & MOSQUE OF AHMAD KHATTU GANJ BAKHSH
This tomb and mosque of a Sufi saint are known in this region as "Ganj Bakhsh". They were constructed under the reign of the 4th sultan, Muhammad Shah II (1451-58) and completed under the following sultan, Qutb al-Din Ahmad Shah II. After their completion, many mausoleums, gardens and other constructions were built in the area to honor this saint. Since then, a group of remains relating to this sait, including dargah seems to have been known as Sarkhej Monuments. As seen from the photos here, these remains were constructed on the lake side of a vast artificial lake. Approaching from the west, the mosque, the tomb of Bibi Rajbai can be found. The tomb of the Mahumud Bagara is situated in the north shore of the lake. The mausoleum of Shaikh Ahmad is situated a little distance from the lake, to the northeast of these relics.
Unlike the Jama Masjid in Ahmadabad and other mosques of Gjarati style, which have arch-shaped walls, the mosque at Sarkhej has a thick wall in the front with no arch-shaped entrance and a minar in the middle. It has a flat roof without a well, having 10 flat domes of 5 spans in width and 2 spans in depth. Surrounding the 10 domes, there are a total of 40 small domes on the roof. On the east front of the prayer room, facing the large courtyard, lines of slender pillars, instead of arch-shaped entrance, are observed. The pillars count 120 in total. Therefore, viewed from the east front, or from the inside of the prayer room, if one does not notice the mihrab in the west part of the prayer room, one may feel he is in a Hindu temple. This is also because the lines of the pillars are similar to those of the Hindu or Jain temples. The unique form of this mosque reminds me of the form of mosques around the time of the foundation of the Qutb Mosque in Delhi in the early Sultanate period, before arch-shaped walls were employed. In the northwest corner of the prayer room, there is a two-tiered zanana supported by the Hindu style pillars.
In a square to the east of this mosque, there is the mausoleum of Shaikh Ahmad Khattu. To the south of its south entrance, there is a small arbor-like building. It has a stairs-shaped basement and 9 domes, corresponding to its width and depth of 3 spans. It looks like a forerunner of the main mausoleum of the saint.
The main mausoleum of the dargah of Shaikh Ahmad is 13 spans in width and depth. The 5 spans in the centre of the tomb chamber support the majestic central dome, which has a high finial. The grand mausoleum consists of a dome having a radius of 5 spans, surrounded by quadruple corridors. The four sides of the building have square entrances and windows between pillars. Only the front entrance in south has wide arch-shaped openings, excluding the central part. Each entrance has a Jali Screen in the upper part. This openwork window is also seen on the other sides. It was surprising to find that each openwork has different patterns.
To the south of the main mausoleum of the saint, possessing a terrace and stairs to the lake, there is the tomb of Bibi Rajbai (to the west of the lake), and tomb of the 7th sultan Mahmud Begarah. Bibi Rajbai is the empress of the 8th sultan Muzaffar Shah II. She is also known as Bai Sultani. Her tomb consists of a central 12-pillared dome, surrounded by small domes. The upper part of the lake side has projecting windows of the Hindu style.
The tomb of her step father, sultan Mahmud Begarah, consists of a central 12 pillared room, having three tomb stones, surrounded by triple corridors. The upper part of the west side, which faces the lake, is partly decorated by Jali screens.
The main entrance
to the Sarkheji building complex was built to the east. Its upper
part has arch-shaped windows decorated by elaborate openwork
sculptures, showing the features of decorations of the Gjarati