Popularly called Town Hall, Sheth Mangaldas Girdhardas Town Hall is among the oldest public halls and performance theatres in western Ahmedabad.
After the building of Ellisbridge in 1891, the western banks of the Sabarmati River began to develop with new buildings and residential areas over the following decades. The need for a public auditorium was felt by the administration and eminent business families of Ahmedabad. The work of designing the Town Hall was commissioned to Claude Batley during the 1930s. Named for prominent textile industrialist Mangaldas, the hall was later restored by Balkrishna Doshi during the 1960s and Kamal Mangaldas in the late-1990s.
The Town Hall is the architectural work of Claude Batley, principal of J. J. School of Arts from the 1920s to the 1940s. Claude Batley played an influential role in the development of modern architecture in India in the first half of the 20th century. He designed the Town Hall around 1938 AD.
The building is designed in the Indo-Saracenic or Indo-Gothic architectural style used by British architects in India during the late 19th and early 20th century for public buildings fusing Indian and European architectural elements.
The octagonal structure stands on a red brick base and rises up to the dome which is topped by a lantern that lets light flow to the assembly areas inside. The interiors are protected from harsh sunlight by chhajjas (eaves) and ornate grills, a common feature in Gujarat’s architectural buildings.
The public auditorium can seat 1200. Six circular staircases lead to the balcony. The layout is said to be inspired by the mandapa, and the geometrical and symmetrical interiors of the Town Hall make it a good specimen of the architectural principles promoted by Claude Batley who laid emphasis on orderly layout, symmetry and sculptural details for those interested in architecture.
Today, the auditorium is a venue of houseful performances of music, theatre and dance every evening. Don’t miss an opportunity if you get a chance to enjoy any performance at this venue!
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Visit during a show to see the hall from inside.
Timings :08:00 TO 23:59
Entry Fee : Depends on the ongoing event