Italy may have the ‘Leaning tower of Pisa’, but Ahmedabad has something equally splendid – the Jhulta Minar!
The world famous Jhulta Minar or the swaying minarets or shaking minarets is a part of Sidi Bashir Mosque in Ahmedabad. Constructed in 1452, this mosque is a beautiful example of the unmatched craftsmanship of that time. The mosque is designed in such a fashion that if you apply a little force on its upper arc, the minaret tends to sway. In fact, a minor movement in either of the minaret results in the vibration of the other minaret after a few seconds. Amazingly, the passage between the two minarets remains free from any vibration. The mechanism behind this is still a mystery.
There is no specific reason as to why these shaking minarets were built in the city but people believe that they were built so as to avoid damages during earthquakes. Surprisingly no one noticed the minarets shook or leaned at an angle for years. It was only in the 19th century that Monier M Williams, an European Sanskrit scholar first made this observation.
Each minaret is 100 feet tall with 3 levels and each has intricate carvings on them. You need to take 78 steps to reach to the height of 84 feet. Once at the top, you can shake both the minarets by shaking a small door. These minarets are an architectural marvel and no one in the world has been able to replicate what was constructed 500 years ago!
Unfortunately, due to the fear of further damaging this architectural marvel, the doors of the minarets have been locked and entry to the minaret is prohibited.
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