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Exterior view of the west side of the Atala Mosque, Jaunpur.

Exterior view of the west side of the Atala Mosque, Jaunpur.

Photographer: Beglar, Joseph David

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1870

Shelfmark: Photo 1003/(701)

Item number: 1003701

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the main view of the Atala Mosque in Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections, taken by Joseph David Beglar in the 1870s. This mosque was built in 1408 by Sultan Ibrahim Sharqi (r.1402-40) on the site of a Hindu temple Atala Devi. The Sharqi dynasty began in the 1390s after the collapse of the Delhi Sultanate. Although the dynasty lasted for less than a century, the rulers were active patrons of architecture and their capital Jaunpur became a thriving centre for scholars and saints. The Atala mosque was one of the earliest buildings of the Sharqis. It comprises a square courtyard surrounded by cloisters on three sides. The sanctuary is on the western side of the mosque with a massive pylon, or entrance archway, 22.9 m (75 feet) high. Within the pylon is a tall arched recess which contains the entrance with arcaded windows above. This is a view of the back of the mosque showing the dome immediately behind the large pylon. The mosque was probably built by workmen from Delhi as it shares several features with Delhi architecture such as the cusped arches and sloping sides of the pylon. It was the prototype for many of the subsequent mosques in Jaunpur.

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