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Ibrahim Shah Sharqi build JHANJHRI Masjid in honour of Hazrat Sa'id Sadr Jahan Ajmali (1408)

Jaunpur is a city in the state of Uttar Pradesh (U.P.)in India,situated 58km from Varanasi (Benaras) on the banks of river Gomti.The c...

Jaunpur is a city in the state of Uttar Pradesh (U.P.)in India,situated 58km from Varanasi (Benaras) on the banks of river Gomti.The city was founded in 1360 by Delhi Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq who named it for his cousin Jauna who was the governor of his eastern (Sharq)province as Jaunpur. A fort was built at Jaunpur by Firoz's brother Barbak Khan. Jaunpur was important for the Sultan's empire being the 'guardian of the east' and 'Malik-e-Sharq' was the title of the governor of this eastern province which was controlled from Jaunpur. Later a Malik-e-Sharq, Malik Sarwar became an independant ruler and founded the Sharqi Sultanate at Jaunpur in 1397 which was ruled by the Sharqi Sultans till 1476.
 Jhanjiri Masjid
Amongst the Sharqi rulers Shams-ud-din Ibrahim Shah Sharqi (1401-1440) had the most glorious reign.He is credited with building of many structure including the Jhanjiri Masjid (mosque)which was built by him in honour of Hazrat Sa'id Sadr Jahan Ajmali around 1408, the same time that he completed the construction of Atala Masjid (the construction of which was started by Firoz Shah Tughlaq in 1376). Jhanjiri Masjid was built in the peculiar architectural style of Jaunpur that prominently exhibits a tall propylon in the middle of the facade of the structures. Only few of the Sharqi structures have escaped destruction at the hands of Sikander Lodhi when he attacked Jaunpur in his anger against the last of the Sharqi Sultans, Hussain Shah who  fled to Bengal in 1486. The arched propylon of Jhanjiri Masjid is one such  structure in stone that is still extant at the riverside near Chachakpur. People have been addressing it as Jhanjiri Masjid for its Jali or Jhanjiri i.e.

perforated screening which is carved within the surface encompassing the large pointed arch that crowns the propylon. It also has a decorated framing of elegant calligraphic inscriptions in the tughra style in Arabic.The Tughra letters are about 30cm in height in the curved border and larger in the base having a horizontal band of calligraphic inscriptions that join the ends of the arch.

The inscription on the curved border has the verses of Surah II of the Quran while the horizontal band has the Hadis (Hadith)quoting The Prophet of God- blessings be upon him! having said "who builds a masjid in honour of God and God is worshipped therein, God makes a mansion for him in Paradise."

It’s totally area, including its courtyard, is 72 square feet. It has been completely rebuilt now, the only original parts intact being a stone wall, some stone pillars and great pers. These great piers, which flank a screen of much grace and beauty, been remarkable in the richness of its treatment, and especially in its size, in comparison with all the Sharqi buildings except that of the Atala Mosque. The central portion of the façade still remains, and because on the line screen-like appearance of its arched propylon is 35’-6” in width and the span of its arch is 23’-9”. The present brick wall, which forms a small enclosure, and alow-roofed insignificant chamber behind the screen are later additions. This small old remaining portion helps the onlooker to conjure up the form and pattern on the original monument. Some of the parts of the remaining building such as its entrance, which is in the shape of an arcade of openings on the pillars, beams and bracket, indicate indigenous elements. That gives the impression that the builders were much interested in its plastic treatment, which is the finest this in this mosque as compared with the other Sharqi examples. This mosque, compared with the previous architectural achievements on the Sharqis, seems to be an example of elegance and strength. It has an Arabic inscription in raised letters beautifully carved on the inner arch, which is actually a part of its screen, and which is the only instance of this type of decoration in Jaunpur. This mosque is greatly revered by the local population because of its association with saint Sayyid Sadr Jahan Ajmal.

Jhanjiri masjid is a protected site under the care of Archaeological Survey of India (A.S.I.).


References-      A.Fuhrer, Ed.J,Burgess- The Sharqi Architecture of Jaunpur, Archaeological Survey of India, 1889. reprint New Delhi, 1994.

     Saiyed Anwer Abbas-Author,DESTINATION UTTAR PRADESH,Times of India, Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. Lucknow, 2010.
Sharqi Sultanate Of Jaunpur by M M Saeed


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Voice of the Jaunpur: Ibrahim Shah Sharqi build JHANJHRI Masjid in honour of Hazrat Sa'id Sadr Jahan Ajmali (1408)
Ibrahim Shah Sharqi build JHANJHRI Masjid in honour of Hazrat Sa'id Sadr Jahan Ajmali (1408)
Voice of the Jaunpur
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