There are very few places in the world where you can see a world-renowned architect’s work and painter’s imagination come together. In the heritage city of Ahmedabad, it is possible. Located in the CEPT university, Amdavad Ni Gufa is an underground gallery where you can see B.V. Joshi’s brilliance and M.F. Hussain’s genius at play. The project was concluded over three years, from 1992 to 1995.
Earlier known as Husain-Doshi ni Gufa, designed to demonstrate the collaboration between an artist and architect, the gallery is far from usual. In addition to witnessing the greats’ mastery, you can also marvel at creations by renowned artists like Maqbool Fida Husain.
The structure resembles a cave, with roofs that look like interconnected domes. The facade is covered with white mosaic tiles to reflect sunlight, therefore, control heat. The caves of Ajanta and Ellora have heavily inspired the design, but with a contemporary reimagination. The most exciting part about the white exterior is that the white tiles have been created using broken waste tiles and ceramic crockery.
A Vast Canvas
Inside, you can see rows of columns that uphold the dome. Since the interiors have been designed to resemble a cave, there are no straight walls and many curves. It is also lit by natural light that flows through the openings on the roof. Throughout the day, the sun rays dance across the whole space.
The colourful walls are a creation of the legendary M.F. Hussain. Known for bold and free strokes, usage of flamboyant colours, and peculiar depictions, the walls of the Gufa are covered in them. Many human figures and animal motifs have been painted to resemble how the inside of Ajanta and Ellora caves looked. The most impressive of all the paintings is the Sheshnag, which stretches across 30 metres.
Address: Amdavad Ni Gufa, CEPT University Campus, Gujarat University Road, Navrangpura
Timings: 4 to 8 p.m. (on Monday, the gallery remains shut)
Entry fees: Free