Bridge at Joinpore
Artist: Smith, Robert (1787-1873)
Medium: Pencil on paper
Pencil drawing of Akbar's bridge at Jaunpur by Robert Smith (1787-1873) in March 1813. This is one of 18 drawings (20 folios) of landscapes and architecture in Uttar Pradesh taken in 1813. Inscribed on the original album cover is: 'No. 5. Ganges, Soane R. Cawnpore Jaunpoor.' Captain Robert Smith was a military engineer with the East India Company and was in India from 1805 to 1833. He designed a number of buildings in India and also repaired various Indian monuments including the Kutb Minar and the Jami Masjid at Delhi. In 1813 to 1814 he was surveying on the Mirzapur South frontier.
Jaunpur lies some 58 kilometres to the north of the famed Hindu city of Varanasi. It was the capital of a thriving and cultured sultanate power from the last decade of the fourteenth century until the city was destroyed by the armies of Sikander Shah Lodi in the 1490s. The city was strategically important due to its location at a crossing point on the river Gomti. The massive Akbari Bridge, a remarkable structure with fifteen arches, was built between 1564 and 1568 by Munim Khan, the local governor under Mughal Emperor Akbar.