Amdavad ni gufa: Have you visited this enigmatic underground art gallery of Ahmedabad?
When you first hear the name 'Amdavad ni gufa,' (translating to the Cave of Ahmedabad) your mind might conjure images of a typical, natural cave. But prepare to be captivated by this extraordinary place, as it defies all expectations!
It's not a product of nature, but rather the ingenious creation of an architect and an artist, a modernist underground gallery that proudly showcases the masterpieces of none other than the renowned M.F. Hussain. Crafted by the visionary architect B.V. Doshi, Amdavad ni gufa stands as one of the most intriguing and unique places of the city.
The genius of B.V. Doshi and M.F. Hussain under one roof
This artistic marvel is the fruit of a collaboration between two brilliant minds. Maqbool Fida Hussain, the iconic Indian artist celebrated for his distinctive modernist painting style, wanted a space to exhibit his works. Enter B.V. Doshi, a celebrated architect who proposed the concept of a partially underground cave-like structure that could gracefully combat the scorching heat of Ahmedabad. Together, they birthed this unparalleled gallery.
Spanning a three-year construction period from 1992 to 1995, the site was earlier named 'Hussain-Doshi ni Gufa' in tribute to its visionary creators.
The gallery seamlessly blends traditional Indian concepts with a modern perspective, utilizing local craftsmanship and Eco-friendly materials.
The creative structure
The exterior of the gufa is a mesmerizing array of interconnected domes resembling the undulating form of a snake. These domes are skillfully crafted from ferro-cement and adorned with dazzling china mosaics, cleverly designed to deflect the relentless sunlight. Stepping inside, you'll find an interior adorned with graceful columns and sinuous curves, devoid of any flat surfaces.
The interior walls are a canvas of white, enlivened by the bold and vibrant strokes of the artistic maestro, Hussain himself. Known for his audacious and unrestrained brushwork, his flamboyant use of colors, and his uncanny portrayals, the walls of the Gufa bear witness to his creative genius. Numerous human figures and animal motifs grace the walls, reminiscent of the interior marvels of Ajanta and Ellora caves. Among these, the most astonishing is the awe-inspiring depiction of Sheshnag, stretching an astonishing 30 meters in length,
Visiting Amdavad Ni Gufa is an experience like no other, a journey into a realm where architecture and art seamlessly merge. It's an underground masterpiece that ignites the imagination and beckons explorers to delve into its mesmerizing depths.
Location: Amdavad Ni Gufa, CEPT University Campus, Gujarat University Road, Navrangpura
Timings: 4 to 8 p.m. (closed on Mondays)
Entry Fees: Admission is free, inviting all to partake in the enchantment of this unique gallery.