The Teen Darwaja as famously known by its vernacular “ત્રણ દરવાજા” in Gujarati is the Royal Gates constructed right after the city was established 1411 A.D. Construction completed in 1415 A.D. And it is mentioned that there is not a single similar Darwaja’s construction available in entire India as mentioned by one of the European traveler Mendeslow in late 18th century. There are about 21 gates in Ahmedabad small and large constructed for different purpose and reasons.
It was built by Ahmad Shah I immediately after the foundation of Ahmedabad and completed in 1415. Through it, in 1459, Mahmud Begada, king for only a few months, and not even fifteen years old, quiver on back and bow in hand, with only 300 horsemen, marched to disperse his rebel nobles and their 30,000 followers. Leaving the palace, the young king ordered the roads leading to it to be held by elephants, and, with the royal music playing, marched slowly along the main street. His cool bravery gave some of his faithful noble’s time to join, and forming a considerable force, though small compared with the rebels, attacked them, put them to flight, and destroyed their leaders. Later the newly appointed Maratha governors used to aim five arrows at one of its beams, and predict good or ill to their administration in accordance with their success in striking it.
According to one folklore, a royal guard named Khawaja Siddique Kotwal encountered, Goddess Laxmi, the Goddess of Wealth, came to the gate of the Bhadra Fort to leave the city in the night. Watchman Khawaja Siddique Kotwal stopped her and identified her. He asked her not to leave the fort until he obtained a permission from the king, Ahmad Shah. He went to the king and beheaded himself in order to keep Laxmi in the city. It resulted in the prosperity of the city.
There is a tomb near Bhadra Gate of the fort dedicated to Siddique Kotwal and a temple to Bhadra Kali, representing Laxmi. A lamp in one of the niche of Teen Darwaja is burning there for more than six hundred years by a Muslim family for generations in a dedication to the legend. Zaiba Bibi and her son Yunus Bhai presently keeping the tradition alive yet keeping the lamp lighted since then for 24hrs a day and 7 day’s week be it in any weather or season keeping the lamp lighted in the remembrance.
Teen Darwaja along with Bhadra fort area is a mall to over 3000 hawkers selling imitation jewelry, readymade garments, seasonal festivities items like fire crackers for Diwali or Kites for Uttrayan, some fruits, mobile accessories, thali for Pooja items, old coins and many ancillaries of regular required items like leather belts, wallets, purse etc.
The gateway has three arches which led into a large enclosure, forming the outer courtyard of the palace called Maidan Shah which was 1600 ft. longer and 800 ft. wider. with a fountain and raised terrace in the center. The roadway in the central opening is 17 ½ feet wide, and that of each side arch is 13 feet wide. And 25 feet higher. It has highly decorated walls on the faces of piers between the arches. The terrace on the top of the gateway was formerly roofed over. But in 1877 the gateway was repaired, and the terrace thrown open. Here the great feudatories or foreign embassies assembled before approaching the presence, and the sovereign enthroned on the terrace, mustered the troops for martial enterprises and gala-day reviews, or held court in the cool of the evening beside the splashing fountain. Now the area is congested market in Maidan Shah there was a beautifully cultivated garden parallel till Bhadra fort and the royal bureaucrats use to play “Chaugan (Polo)”.
Apart from eternal lamp in later 19th century when the Maratha rule came a Maratha governor Chimnaji Raghunath decreed and inscribed Farman (Order) on Teen Darwaja in 1812 declaring equal right to women in inheritance of ancestral property. Raghunath had appealed to Hindu and Muslims both. This plaque engraved in Devanagari script and dated 10 October 1812 reads, Let the daughter get her due share of father’s property without any hitch. So is Lord Vishwanath's command. If you defy, the Hindu will have to answer Mahadev and the Muslims will have to explain to Allah.
Teen Darwaja is open to all 24 hours, 7 days a week, there is no restriction in terms of dressing however semi casual wear is ideal. Visitor may pay a visit to Bhadrakali Mandir, Muslim Kifayati Hotel which feeds poor’s for more than 100 years to make donations, the eternal lamp. Gandhi Cold rinks to quench the thirst with some really cool faluda and lassi’s. Balaam Brothers Dairy and Vadilal Soda fountain left side of the Darwaja coming towards Bhadra fort are really good take away for nearly 100 years old. Attached to Darwaja “Saraiya’s runs shops since early 19th century selling items for Pooja. Moving little ahead a narrow lane entrance takes you to Dhalgarwad.
Standing tall and steady witnessing the multiple rulers and rules of the city, Teen Darwaza has been nurturing the history of the city.
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The historic darwajas of Ahmedabad stand proudly upright, marking the boundaries of the old walled city of Ahmedabad. Being part of the public infrastructure of the city, they are open to visitor during all hours of the day. However, it is best to visit during day time to properly appreciate the architectural details and also enjoy the thriving markets in and around them.
Timings :Any Time
Entry Fee : Free