Arhai-din-ka-jhopra [mosque], Ajmere
Photographer: Bourne and Shepherd
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Arhai-din-ka-Jhonpra Mosque at Ajmer in Rajasthan, taken by Bourne and Shepherd in the 1880s, part of the Elgin Collection: 'Autumn Tour 1896'. The Arhai-din-ka-Jhonpra Mosque (or Hut of Two and a Half Days) lies just outside the Dargah of Khwaja Muin-ud-Din Chishti in south-west Ajmer. This early example of Indo-Islamic architecture was begun in c.1200 by Qutb-ud-Din Aybak (r.1206-1210), Sultan of Delhi, and completed by his successor, Shams-ud-Din Iltutmish (r.1211-1236). The mosque was built in yellow sandstone and reused masonry taken from local Hindu and Jain temples. In the arcades and prayer hall the ceilings are supported by triple-height colonnades composed of three Hindu or Jain pillars placed one on top of each other. The mosque’s monumental façade of seven arches was added by Iltutmish and is decorated with geometric and floral motifs and Koranic inscriptions. This is a view of the façade, showing the large central arched entrance surmounted by the remains of two minarets.