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date: 20 October 2019

Khambhat [Cambay; Khambhayat]locked

  • R. N. Mehta

Extract

[Cambay; Khambhayat]

City at the mouth of the Mali River, c. 84 km south of Ahmadabad in Gujarat, India. Although it was a flourishing commercial centre from the 8th to the 18th century ad, Khambhat’s many Hindu and Jaina temples were destroyed by ‛Ala al-Din Khalji (reg 1296–1316) in 1299, and it suffered further invasions between the 14th and 17th centuries, including a Portuguese raid in 1538. Several European factories were built during the 17th century. However, the final decline of the city was caused by the depredations of the Marathas in the late 18th century and the silting up of the harbour, which diverted trade to nearby Surat.

The remarkable congregational mosque (Jami‛ Masjid), dated by inscription to 1325, consists of an inner courtyard surrounded by a colonnade constructed of pillars from local temples and a prayer-hall with bays marked by low domes; each dome, apart from those above the three prayer niches, or mihrabs, has a corresponding window perforated with lattice patterns in the traditional Gujarati style. Attached to the south side of the mosque is a square, pillared chamber with a ruined circular inner court, housing the intricately carved tomb of the wealthy merchant ...

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