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Sidhpur, also spelled Siddhpur is a town, municipality, and Sidhpur taluka headquarter in Patan district in the Indian state of Gujarat. It is a historical place located on the bank of the endorheic Saraswati River, which is probably the remaining of the ancient Sarasvati River.
The town is dotted with glorious temples, kunds, ashrams, and other sacred structures. Named after the great Solanki ruler of Gujarat – Siddhraj Jaisinh – Sidhpur enjoyed supreme prominence and glory especially when the king built Rudra Mahalaya Temple in the 12th-century.
History of Sidhpur
In the tenth century (943 AD), Mularaja, the founder of the Chaulukya dynasty, started constructing the Rudra Mahalaya Temple. On completion of the temple, around 1140 AD, Jayasimha Siddharaja consecrated it and established the town as his capital. He changed its name to Siddhpur, literally Siddhraj’s town. The temple was dismantled by an army under Almas Beg (Ulugh Khan) and Nusrat Khan sent by Alauddin Khalji in 1298–99.
During the Gujarat Sultanate, the town was under the rule of a local dynasty ruling from Palanpur. In the 15th century, the town was brought under the Mughal rule by Akbar. Under the Mughal rule, the Hindu heritage of the town deteriorated further and the Rudramahalaya temple fell into ruins.
Asaita Thakar, traditionally credited for the origin of traditional folk theatre Bhavai, in the 14th century, lived in Siddhpur.
The Dawoodi Bohras, a trading community, flourished in Sidhpur from the 1820s to the 1930s. They built monumental mansions, made of wood, with stuccoed facades, ornate pilasters, trellised balconies, and gabled roofs which have become identifying features of the architecture of this town. The façades of these houses are in a hue of pastel colors – pink, lilac, lime green, peach, lemon, beige, and the like and every house façade has an intricate monogram with the initials of the owners (in Latin text). Sebastian Cortés has captured detailed photographs of these architectural marvels which were displayed at an exhibition in Mumbai, India. On Sidhpur, Cortés said, “I would feel safe to say that it incorporates elements that span from neoclassical European, including art nouveau, and touching Indian Gothic. But if you begin to look closely, you can find other influences; this variety makes Sidhpur a marvel for the eye.”
How to Reach Sidhpur
The nearest airport from Sidhpur is Ahmedabad, situated at a distance of 115 km from the city. A number of flights fly to and from here, connecting the city with the various parts of Gujarat as well as the country.