The great mosque of Aurungzebe and adjoining Ghats, Benares.
Photographer: Bourne, Samuel
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Smaller Aurangzeb Mosque on the panchaganga ghat, Varanasi, taken by Samuel Bourne in the 1860s. Though the title refers to the Mosque as the Great Mosque of Aurangzeb this is the Smaller Mosque of Aurangzeb. The mosque was built by Aurangzeb (r.1658-1707), the ruler of the Mughal Empire. The mosque is on the site of an earlier Vishnu temple known as Bindu Madhav, this is probably why the mosque is known locally as Madho Rai Ki Masjid. Parts from the temple were used in the construction of the mosque. The minarets (seen in this view), were restored by James Prinsep in the 19th century and further shortened before they were finally pulled down by the government due to their instability.