Atala Masjid or Atala Mosque is a 15th-century mosque in Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh, India. Atala Masjid 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 of Atala Masjid
2.2 km north-northeast of Jaunpur, 7.3 km northwest of Zafarabad, 16.8 km north-northeast of Mariahu, 26.3 km west-northwest of Kirakat.
Architecture of 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. 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:
- 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.