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View of the main façade of the Atala Mosque, Jaunpur.

View of the main façade of the Atala Mosque, Jaunpur.

Photographer: Beglar, Joseph David

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1870

Shelfmark: Photo 1003/(700)

Item number: 1003700

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 an existing 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. This is a view of the sanctuary on the western side of the mosque with its massive pylon, or entrance archway, which is 22.9 m (75 feet) high. Within the pylon is a tall arched recess which contains the entrance with arcaded windows above. Similar smaller pylons are places on either side of the central one, and also around the cloisters. A dome with internal ribs sits immediately behind the pylon. There are cusped arch niches on the sides and front of the central 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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