Jaunpur, UP - its medieval era Islamic architecture of the Sharqi Dynasty (1394-1479).

Jaunpur, a historical town in Uttar Pradesh, India, offers a unique blend of architectural marvels from the medieval era, particularly from the time of the Sharqi Dynasty (1394-1479). The town, nestled on the banks of the Gomti River, is renowned for its distinct mosque architecture, characterized by towering ornate gateways adorned with elegant calligraphy, floral, and geometric designs. Despite not being a typical tourist hotspot, Jaunpur is accessible from Allahabad (100 km) and Varanasi (66 km), making it a feasible day trip destination. The Jaunpur Fort, although not fully preserved, offers a glimpse into the grandeur of the past with its mosque and hammam.
The mosques of Jaunpur stand out for their architectural splendor.
 They stand as a testament to the artistic and cultural achievements of the Sharqi Dynasty and subsequent rulers.

Shahi Quila /fort, Jaunpur, UP /upload.wikimedia.org

Above image; Old picture of Shahi Fort 1805, Jaunpur, UP; by Daniel Havell, after Henry Salt

Key Historical Sites in Jaunpur
Shahi Bridge
Shahi Bridge static2.tripoto.com/

History: Built in 1564 by Munyeen Khankhana under the orders of Emperor Akbar.
Structure: The bridge features two sections separated by an island in the Gomti River. Supported by arches and pillars, the bridge still operates and plays an important role in the chaotic traffic of Jaunpur. Colorful chhatris line the footpath along both sides of the bridge. There are 28 of them, and today they provide makeshift space for shops selling anything from garments to sunglasses. The Shahi Bridge is functional and is a vital part of Jaunpur's infrastructure, reflecting the engineering prowess of its time. 

Jaunpur Fort (Shahi Qila)
Shahi Quila /fort, Jaunpur, UP.omastrology.com

History: Constructed by Feroz Shah Tughlaq between 1351 and 1388.
Features: The fort boasts towering walls, massive bastions, a mosque, and a hammam. The mosque, dating back to 1376, has three domes and a triple-arched entrance on the eastern side. A slender minaret stands in front of the mosque. The hammam, built in Turkish style, lies a short distance away from the mosque and was built during the Mughal period. The interiors of the mosque and the hammam are accessible and consist of several rooms connected by a maze of passageways, complete with water channels for hot and cold water.

Atala Masjid
Jaunpur fort. Atala Masjid, scroll.in/

History: Built in 1408 by Ibrahim Shah Sharqi.
Structure: The mosque features a vast courtyard with three gateways on the east, south, and north sides, and a central wazu-khana, a place for ritual washing. On the west side is the towering gateway leading to the mosque's interior, standing at 100 feet tall. The gateway, with a huge recessed arch and several smaller arches, dominates the structure.

Shahi Masjid (Jami Masjid of Jaunpur)

Shahi Masjid, Jaunpur, UP.telegraphindia.com

History: Initiated in 1438 by Ibrahim Shah Sharqi and completed in 1473 by Hussain Shah.
Features: The principal mosque of the Jaunpur Sultanate, it still operates as the main mosque of Jaunpur. The mosque’s design is similar to Atala Masjid but larger in scale. A long flight of stairs leads to the arched entrance gateway, with the dome hidden behind the arch.

Lal Darwaza Masjid

Lal Dharwaza, Jaunpur fort, UP telegraphindia.com

History: Constructed in 1447 by Queen Rajye Bibi, wife of Mahmud Shah Sharqi.
Dedication: Dedicated to saint Sayyid Ali Dawood Kutubbudin. The mosque has undergone restoration, which has altered its original elegance. Despite the changes, it remains a significant historical structure.

Char Angul Mosque

Char Angul Mosque, Jaunpur, UP  telegraphindia.com

History: Built in 1417 by the brothers of Ibrahim Shah Sharqi.
Features: A smaller mosque without a courtyard, dedicated to Sufi saint Sheikh Usman Shirazi. Despite its modest size, it is noted for its elegant design. The mosque is a hidden gem located deep inside the locality of Mufti Mohalla and is tricky to find, where local guidance works better than Google Maps.

Jhanjhari Masjid

Jhanjhari Masjid i.pinimg.com

History: Constructed by Ibrahim Shah Sharqi.
Features: Located on the northern banks of the Gomti River, this mosque is celebrated for its small size and elegant, ornamental arched gateway with intricate calligraphy and designs. It is considered the smallest and most elegant among Jaunpur’s medieval mosques.

People interested in old Islamic  design style may visit this place and the town offers a unique opportunity.