Perforated Window Per Muhammad's Mosque. Mihrab in Shah Aliji's Mosque
Surveyor: Burgess, James (1832-1916)
Medium: Pen and ink on paper
Pen-and-ink drawing of a perforated window in Pir Muhammad's Mosque with plan, section and elevation of a 'mihrab' or prayer niche in Shah Aliji's Mosque at Ahmadabad in Gujarat, by an anonymous draughtsman and dating to between 1884 and 1886. This image is from the Burgess collection, an album of 49 drawings of plans, sections, elevations, sculpture and architectural details of Muslim monuments in Ahmadabad and the surrounding areas, made between 1884 and 1886. The drawings were prepared mainly by Indian draftsmen under the supervision of James Burgess (1832-1916).
The city of Ahmadabad was founded in 1411 by Ahmad Shah, Sultan of Gujarat, on the site of the village of Asaval on the eastern bank of the Sabarmati river. The dynasty ruled until 1537 when Sultan Bahadur Shah was killed by the Portuguese at Diu. Gujarat was annexed by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1572. Many of the mosques in the city that date to this period incorporate elements of both Hindu and Islamic design. This combination of styles is reflected not only in their architecture but also the individual features. The intricately carved 'mihrab' or prayer niche of the Shah Aliji mosque depicted here is surmounted by a 'torana' motif, an architectural design drawn from Hindu and Jain traditions, whilst the use of an arch over the recession itself makes use of a more traditionally Islamic shape.