Atala Masjid, Jaunpur

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Atala Masjid
Jaunpur Atala Masjid.jpg
Jaunpur Atala Masjid
Basic information
Location India Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
Geographic coordinates 25°45′9″N 82°41′25″E / 25.75250°N 82.69028°E / 25.75250; 82.69028
Affiliation Islam
Territory Uttar Pradesh
District Jaunpur
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Mosque
Architectural description
Architectural type Mosque
Architectural style Islamic, Sharqi architecture
Completed 1408
Specifications

Atala Masjid or Atala Mosque is a 15th-century mosque in Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh, India. It is one of the chief tourist attractions in Jaunpur. The mosque bears the evidences of the times in which it was built. The Atala Masjid is a useful specimen of mosques, not only in Uttar Pradesh but also in India.

Location[edit]

2.2 km north-northeast of Jaunpur, 7.3 km northwest of Zafarābād, 16.8 km north-northeast of Mariāhū, 26.3 km west-northwest of Kirākat.[1]

Transport links[edit]

  • Located 3 kilometers from the railway junction at Bhandari,
  • by availing the bus or train services from Varanasi (Benaras), which is separated from Jaunpur by a distance of 56 kilometers.
  • Lucknow and Mirzapur are the other two cities located at a distance of 214 kilometers and 69 kilometers respectively.

Construction[edit]

The Jaunpur Atala Masjid was built by Sultan Ibrahim (1401–1440), Sharqi Sultan of Jaunpur on foundations laid during the reign of Tughluq Sultan Firuz Shah III (1351–1388). Though the emergence of this mosque dates back to 1377, the construction work was completed in 1408.[2]

Architecture[edit]

Main pishtaq leading into the iwan of Atala Masjid
Pillared hall on the first floor over side arcade, Atala Masjid
Details of the central pishtaq and side pishtaq, Atala Masjid

The chief feature of Atala Masjid is that in spite of being a mosque and that too, built by the Muslims rulers, the Masjid shows a lot of influences of Hindu architecture. In fact, there is a clear resemblance of Hindu style of architecture, in the entire Masjid. The reason for such similarity is due to the fact that the Atala Masjid is situated on the site of a temple of Atala Devi.[3] Hence the Atala Masjid, Jaunpur also gets its name from this Hindu Temple.

On the other hand, the Begampur Masjid in Delhi is also believed to have influenced the construction a great deal. The presence of niches, inclined walls, the form and structure of beams and pillars, resembles the mosques, tombs and other buildings that were built by Sultan Muhammad Shah Tughlaq and Firoz Shah Tughlaq of the Tughlaq Dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate.

The central portico of Atala Masjid in Jaunpur, India has a stately arch. Inside, there is a massive hall, which is the main prayer room. The three domes of the Atala Masjid differ in size. The 'mihrab' (the niche in the wall of the mosque, which indicates the direction of Mecca), the decorations of the prayer room as well as the two-tiered corridors are the other features of Jaunpur Atala Masjid, which are noteworthy.

Some distinct features of the mosque are:[4]

  • Square-shaped mosque with robust appearance,
  • Use of great rectangular pylons in the center of liwan, influence of circular tapering turrets of Tughlaqs resolved into rectangular shape,
  • Hindu influence is present in bracketed openings,
  • Huge arch springing between two pylons,
  • On the either side of Maqsura pylon are two identical mini – pylons and three separate gateways are also installed in northern, eastern and southern liwan


Current use[edit]

A devotee praying in central courtyard, Atala Masjid. In background sign-board of Madarsa Din Dunia is visible.

The Mosque is on the List of Monuments/Sites of Archaeological Survey of India of Directorate of Archaeology, (U.P.)[5] and on list List of Monuments of Archaeological Survey of India.[6]

The Mosque is open for its devotees from 7:30 in the morning till 8:00 at night. Besides, special prayers are held every Friday.

A Madarsa named Madarsa Din Dunia is also housed in central courtyard of the mosque.

In literature[edit]

Atala Mosque: a plate from William Hodges' book Select Views in India

William Hodges in his book Select Views in India mentions this mosque.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  • Michell, George (ed). Architecture of the Islamic World: Its History and Social Meaning. London: Thames and Hudson, 272.
  • Nath, R. 1978. History of Sultanate Architecture. New Delhi, Abhinav Publications, 98-100.
  • Williams, John A. and Caroline. 1980. Architecture of Muslim India. Set 4: The Sultanate of Jaunpur about 1360-1480. Santa Barbara, California: Visual Education, Inc.

External links[edit]