The new look proposed for Bhadra fort will remind you of Sultan Ahmed Shah’s regime, literally. And to revive the look of yore, the team of consultants from the Centre for Environment Planning and Technology (CEPT) are going to such great lengths as researching on the species of trees that grew surrounding the fort during the time of the great ruler, who also laid the foundation of Amdavad city. Interestingly, one of the species that is being considered is date palm.
Elaborating more on the research and the design, Professor Utpal Sharma shared details on how his team is trying to reconstruct a landscape for Bhadra fort similar to the one that existed at the time of Ahmed Shah’s rule.
“We are in talks with landscape designers for having such trees and most probably date trees will be planted. Apart from the paintings, there are many references from where it is clear that Bhadra fort’s surrounding had date and palm trees. Earlier, Ahmedabad was known as ‘Gardabad’ meaning a city of dust. With scarcity of water and other weather conditions, the land is conducive for the growth of date and palm trees,” Sharma informed.
Elaborating further, Sharma stated that while the central space will be left vacant for pedestrians, the surroundings will have date palms to create an arcade.
Speaking to DNA, an official of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s (AMC) Heritage department requesting anonymity stated, “We discussed with CEPT on having such trees which existed during those time — for historical connection. Since we are reviving history, having such trees will enhance the beauty of the historical edifice.”
The official also stated that several paintings of Ahmed Shah and the Bhadra fort, which were referred, show the building as being surrounded by palm trees. “But looking at the environment that such trees require, the existence of such species in that era remains a huge question,” added the official. However, he assured that the planting of saplings that will be done around Bhadra fort will be in sync with that of history.
Presently, as a part of the restoration work, the fort is witnessing civil work of paving the pedestrian area and construction of fountains. “After finalizing the species of trees, we will be planting those within a few months,” added the official.
However, while plans are afoot to plant species of trees that grew around Bhadra as evident from paintings, heritage expert and consultant with (AMC), Debashish Nayak, had a different perspective altogether. “The large area between Bhadra fort and Teen Darwaza had no landscape and it was a ceremonial ground for the soldiers of Ahmed Shah,” Nayak said.