Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Awe-inspiring Jami Masjid of Mandu, Madhya Pradesh - a legacy of Ghauri dynasty

Jami Masjid, Mandu, Madhya Pradesh. boloji.com/
Jami Masjid,Mandu  sea of arches  shutterstock.com

Centrally located ''The Jami Masjid''  of Mandu, Madhya Pradesh  is one of the  finest achievements of the Ghauri dynasty. Grand in appearance, in its heyday, it could accommodate lots of faithfuls in the prayer hall.
Jami Masjid, Mandu, Madhya Pradesh, you tube.
Now in ruins, the historical mosque at Mandu called Chor-Kot once had a glorious past comparable with other historic monuments. Because of inadequate protection and care,  and lack of barricade, it became a hangout for hobos, thieves and anti-social people; part of the reason is this place is in an isolated location. Locally called Chorkot, this place of worship came into being during the reign of Hoshang Shah. For unknown reasons, he could not complete the construction work and later during the reign of Mahmud Khalji the work was completed in 1454. Hoshang Tomb and Ashrafi Mahal were also built during his reign.
Jami Masjid,Mandyu, Madhya Pradesh. triphobo.com

The Delhi Sultanate's power declined after the powerful raid by Timur and this made  Ghauri, governor of Mandu  declare his independence in A.D. 1401, with Sultan Dilawar Khan declaring himself Shah, an independent ruler.  His successor Hoshang Shah, moved  the capital from Dhar to the plateau of Mandu. Shaw chose the right place to rule the country. Bounded on three sides by a rift valley, overlooking the Narmada  river to the south from a height of 300 metres, the fortress of Mandu  had a natural protection against the enemies and was virtually impregnable.

Jama Masji (also called Jami Masjid) is in Mandu in the Central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh and its style of design is that of Mogul. Mogul architecture normally mixes the Hindu architectural elements to add zest to  it  and also to establish their territorial integrity.
The mosque occupying a total area of  88 square meters (950 sq ft), has the  main entrance on the eastern entrance. As it is noticeable in numerous mosques built centuries ago in India, this structure is also built on an elevated platform 4.6 m (15 ft). From the one half of an inscription on the doorway to the porch it can be inferred that Jami Masjid was constructed on the model of ''Mosque of Damascus''. The doorway also carries jams and lintel that carry embellishments  and reminds us of  the Hindu architectural influence  A flight of steps lead to the grand, domed porch on the east. There are intricate stone jallis inside for lighting purpose and they must have been used sparingly in the by-gone era. The spacious doomed hall has delicate trellis screens. Entering through the west doorway of the porch, one comes across spacious courtyard enclosed on three sides by the colonnaded verandas covered with domes. The prayer hall which  is across the courtyard to the west of it, has 58 small domes and three large ones. The dominance of the domes is just overwhelming. Among the elements that enhance the beauty of  this mosque, the monumental entrance from the east is  worth mentioning. It is elegant, with a main arched doorway flanked by two smaller openings. The whole structure is faced with red sandstone and there no intricate decorations.
Jami Masjid, Mandu, Pulpit with a small marble dome tripadvisor.in/
The main pulpit and mihrab (niche) are well preserved in particular the central one. The raised pulpit has its own miniature marble dome supported by four arches.. This shows the influence of Hindu design styles. The prayer hall has a nice ambiance and the visitor may feel as if he were in a wooded area  of arches  nicely shaded by a canopy of domes. The hall is supported by 17 pillars which are not ornate and are quite plain. At the farthest ends of the prayer hall are the upper sections supported by nine columns each. These were reserved for the women and royal members. The pillars of Jami Masjid's prayer hall  may look stark, but present a fine symmetry. 

Vide wikipedia: this mosque is being administrated by the Nagore Durgah committee of Nagore, Nagapatnam District, Tamil Nadu.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jama_Masjid,_Mandu
https://books.google.co.in/books?id=Vuinp98E4sYC&pg=PA48&dq=jami+masjid+mandu&redir_
https://www.boloji.com/articles/969/the-pleasure-palaces-of-mandu