Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Historical Atala Mosque, Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh - a national monument

 Jaunpur is historically an old city called  Sheeraz-e-Hind dating back to 1359. Founded by  the Sultan of Delhi Feroz Shah Tughlaq  who named the city  in memory of his cousin, Muhammad bin Tughluq, whose given name was Jauna Khan. In 1388, Feroz Shah Tughlaq appointed Malik Sarwar, an eunuch, who was mad in love with  Feroz Shah Tughlaq's daughter, as the governor of the region. The administration of the Sultanate was chaotic  in 1393 and  Malik Sarwar, who ruled that area for Feroz Shah Tughlaq, taking advantage of the unstable political situation  declared independence from Delhi Sultanate.  He and his adopted son Mubarak Shah  were instrumental in founding what later came to be called the Sharqi dynasty (dynasty of the East).  The Sharqi  Dynasty rule was so good and efficient, the Jaunpur Sultanate was a strong military power in Northern India and consequently  Mubarak Shah (ruled 1402-1440) became a powerful ruler liked both by Muslims and large Hindu population. Subsequently  Husain Shah (1456–76) became a good ruler and had the biggest Army at that point of time.
Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh Wikipedia

Time keeps changing, so are the dynasties and rulers and Jaunpur was no exception.  Jaunpur's independence came to an end in 1480, when the city was seized  by Sikander Lodhi, the Sultan of Delhi. Later the Sharqi kings made only futile attempt to repossess the city.  When Lodi took over the old city, he destroyed many  of the Sharqi  monuments. Fortunately several important mosques  notably the Atala Masjid, Jama Masjid (now known as the Bari (big mosque) Masjid) and the Lal Darwaza Masjid remain least affected.

Atala Masjid, Jaunpur,Wikipedia
 Built in the 15th century, Atala Masjid or Atala Mosque  in Jaunpur,  attracts lots of tourists. It was built by Sultan Ibrahim (1402–1436), Sharqi Sultan of Jaunpur. The foundation was laid during the reign of Tughluq Sultan Firuz Shah III (1351–1388). For various reasons, the work on the mosque got delayed. The work that began in  in 1377 was completed in 1408.  This was the first mosque to be built after the independence of this state from Delhi and the establishment of the Sharqi dynasty. Like many Indian mosques, this one has three domes, symbolic of Prophet and his two close disciples. It has a big rectangular prayer hall with three aisles running north south. The square-shaped central part  has the main mihrab and  the largest dome flanked by two smaller domes on the sides.
Atala Masjid, Jaunpur, UP.Bhaarat Darshan
To get to the  prayer hall of the mosque one has to go through a large stone portal, a fine and impressive  feature of the mosque. The portal consists of a huge pointed arch recess flanked by pylons of a gigantic size reaching up to a height of 23 meters. The facade of these pylons is divided into five sections separated by horizontal mouldings. This monumental gateway, a tradition found in Middle East, is followed here.
Atala Masjid, Jaunpur, UP. TrekEarth

Atala Mosque. Muslim Heritage
A Madarsa named Madarsa Din Dunia is housed in central courtyard of the mosque. Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Directorate of Archaeology, (U.P.) has listed it as one of the important monuments. The unique, but strange feature of this mosque is  no minars are used and the style of Atala Masjid's architecture is known as Sharqi Style. Yet another feature is the use of  bold and forceful characters painted on the huge screen in the centre and side bays of the prayer hall.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atala_Mosque,_Jaunpur

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaunpur,_Uttar_Pradesh

http://www.muslimheritage.com/article/atala-mosque-jaunpur-1408