Wednesday, November 16, 2011

DSC03775The Jumma Masjid, also known as the Great Mosque was built and completed in the year 1367 by Rafi, an architect hailing from Iran. It was commissioned by Sultan Mohammed Shah, son of Sultan Allauddin Hassan Gangu Bahmani. Mr. Fergusson mentions in the book “Eastern Architecture Page 544” that it has a length of 216 feet and a width of 176 feet and can accommodDSC03778ate around 5000 worshippers at once. It covers an overall area of 38,016 square feet.

The main entrance is high and gives a splendid display and is inspired from the mosque in Turkey. The mosque has neither a courtyard nor a hauz which are found in traditional mosques. The entire structure is suppDSC03744orted on 140 square pillars. Inside, it has 250 arches and five large domes of which, the central dome is 80 feet in diameter and its interior surface is decorated with flowers and creepers. There is an interesting piece of art in the central dome. Here you can find the symbol for “Om” and the word “Allah” (written in Urdu) embedded in a single piece of carving. Light DSC03746and space merge with the arches to produce sublime serenity. It also has 63 smaller domes.

The mosque is a mixture of Persian and Indo-Islamic architecture. It is said that the internal features resemble the great mosque in CorDSC03748dova, Spain and Turkish mosques contemporary to Byzantine. My research shows that this has features of the mosques in Turkey, Medina, Spain and Palestine.

The succession of arches in the wide hallways, when viewed from any angle, blend such that arches within arches are always revealed. Light and fresh air stream in from the clerestory and open aisles, making artificial lighting and fans redundant. The pillared hall is completely domed over unlike other mosques in India. Inside, all is quiet. The arch DSC03765design has been taken from the mosque in Medina. When viewed from between the pillars, the symmetric design is visible which is the most unique aspect of this mosque. One more unique feature of this mosque is the series of domes on the top. This is visible if seen from either of the citadels that we have seen earlier.

A signatory custom in the rule of Mohammed Shah was the sounding of the Nobut, or band of the Watch five times in a day at the same time of the prayers, which is said to have adopted by none of the other Mohammedan princes of the Deccan except the King of Golconda.

As I come to the end of my tour of the city which has seen the rise of a glorious kingdom which later paved way for 5 more mighty kingdoms, I feel nostalgic and sad on the condition in which the ruins lie today. We will continue our tour of the Bahmani Kingdom visiting its capital in the later stages, Bidar.


Maitreyee Bhattacharjee Chowdhury said...


jitaditya said...

Nice post and pics...liked the emphasis on history in your post...

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