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Ruins of the south-east cloister of the Arai-din-ka-Jhonpra Mosque, Ajmer.

Ruins of the south-east cloister of the Arai-din-ka-Jhonpra Mosque, Ajmer.

Photographer: Garrick, Henry Baily Wade

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1883

Shelfmark: Photo 1003/(1535)

Item number: 10031535

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the ruins south-east side of the Arai-din-ka-Jhonpra Mosque, Ajmer, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections. A similar, although not identical view is reproduced as a lithograph in H.B.W. Garrick, Report of a tour in the Panjab and Rajputana in 1883-84 (A.S.I. vol. XXIII, Calcutta, 1887), pl. x. Although attributed to Beglar in Bloch's list, this view (and print 1534) are more probably the work of Garrick, who specifically mentions his photography of the mosque: 'I secured a photograph of all that remains of the cloisters from the south-west angle to the centre of the south side of the courtyard (exactly 132''), and, by repeating this, a true idea of their present state may be gleaned...'' (p. 38).

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 masonry taken from local Hindu and Jain temples. In ceilings of the arcades and prayer hall are supported by triple-height colonnades composed of three Hindu or Jain pillars placed one on top of each other to create a single pillar. The mosque’s monumental façade of seven arches was added by Iltutmish in about 1230 and is decorated with geometric and floral motifs and Koranic inscriptions.

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