Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Shaking Minarets of Ahmedabad

-By Aishwarya Javalgekar

Below is a painting of the Shaking Minarets of Ahmedabad, also known as the Jhulta Minar. It is one of the architectural wonders of India.
This painting is of the Minarets at the mosque of Siddhi Bashir. There is another Jhulta Minar near Bibi ki Masjid, Gomtipur.
The mosque was built by Ahmedshah in 1430 in the memory of his mother. Built with super craftsmanship, the Minar sways whenever the slightest force is applied on its upper arc.
The Jhulta Minar in Bibi ki Masjid, Gomtipur is now on the brink of collapse. The monument has suffered certain damage due to attempts by the British to understand the cause of the vibrations, and the Bhuj earthquake in 2002. But one of the minarets still sways.
When one minaret is shaken from the upper arc, the other also begins to vibrate, though the passage connecting the two minarets remains vibration-free.
Though several attempts have been made to understand the mechanism involved in the swaying of the minarets, the cause of their vibrations remains a mystery.

(Painting from Volume I of 'Scenery, Costumes and Architecture of India', etched by G. Hawkins, engraved by T. Fielding and colored by J. B. Hogarth.)

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