صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
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they yield, in defraying the expenses of the mosque, in conformity with a practice prevailing to this day. The apartments along the walls are accessible by doors raised one step above the ground; those in the towers by passages from the neighbouring rooms. The upper story will be described hereafter. The mosque is built of the materials which appear to have been generally in use at the time of its constructicn, viz. the common quartzose sandstone found in the immediate neighbourhood of Dehli. This stone which is in masses of various sizes, some, especially those towards the foundation, being of considerable dimensions, is unhewn, and cemented by chunam of the best quality, indeed so excellent that the strength of the domed roof seems to depend entirely on its adhesive properties, there being no attempt at placing the stones of which it is constructed throughout, into any thing like the arrangement now adopted in the building of arches and domes, crowned by a centre or keystone. This cementing chunam, in this, and it is believed in all other buildings of the period, with a view probably of saving the expenditure of lime, is mixed with a great proportion of brick soorkee, of which many pieces are upwards of an inch in diameter. It will be curious to elucidate, by a scries of observations, whether the bricks of which this soorkee was prepared, were made at the time, solely for the purpose of being mixed with the mortar, or whether they were remains of what had been used as the principal material in buildings of older date, and been discarded on the introduction, by the western people, of the use of tougher and less costly material, procurable in the neighbouring hills. The whole of the edifice, both inside and outside, has been plastered over with chunam of the best description, to judge by what remains; and parts about the doorway show that the outside has been at some time or other coloured of that peculiar blue-black produced by the ground charcoal of cocoanuts, and other similar substances. Very little, however of the plastering remains, except in the body of the mosque, where some care appears to have been taken for its preservation, (by repeated whitewashing,) and on the roof and domes which its durability has preserved from destruction. The whole is in a very fair state of preservation, and where, here and there, stones have fallen out, especially at the base of the towers and walls, they have been carefully replaced by brick masonry. The steps leading up to the entrance

door, and the pillars of the doorways and of the arches, are constructed of square roughly-hewn, hard, grey stone, described by Capt. Cautley, as only a variety of the quartzose sandstone more commonly in use in the walls, &c. which is also used for the eaves (slabs not above two inches thick and about two feet square) projecting into the upper inner square or court of the mosque, and for the brackets which support them. These brackets as well as the pillars at the doorways, are carved, as shown in the annexed sketches. Under the eaves, and resting on the brackets, is a ledge of the Roopas red stone, now so commonly in use throughout these provinces, but which seems to have been much more sparingly employed about the time of Feeroz than it was 80 or a hundred years before, in the Kootub Meenar, the Mote Musjeed, and other structures of the time of Shaháb-ood-deen and Shums-ood-deen Altumsh. The red stone is also used, (on account, presumeably, of its being softer and therefore more easily carved,) in the lattices of the windows, which are still open, and probably ornamented all the thirty-three windows which surrounded the upper story, some of which are now blocked up with the common stone masonry. There are also lattices of the same material between the main body of the mosque, and the vaulted passage leading on each side to the dark apartments behind, but none to the west. These lattices appear, notwithstanding their having been very well carved, to have been all covered with very fine chunam, after the fashion which prevailed to within the last hundred years, when the finely carved pillars, such as are standing in the ruins of the Koodseea Begum's Palace, built by the mother of Mahomed Shah (outside the Kashmeer gate) were similarly plastered over, to hide, it would seem, the piecings which here and there occur in the stone work. The stairs leading from below to the upper or main story are a flight of 29 steps, built upon three blind arches, with a landing place, and two more steps leading into the vestibule. Over the doorway, as exhibited in the sketch of the elevation, is a slab of somewhat rudely polished marble, with an inscription in the Nuskh character, of which the following is a copy in the common character of the present day :


الله الرحمن الرحيم بفضل و عنایت افریدگار در عهد دولت بادشاه درین دار الواثق بتائيد الرحمن ابو المظفر فيروز شاه السلطان خلد ملکه این مسجد

بذا کرده بنده زاده درگاه جونانشه مقبول المخاطب خان جہان ابن خان جهان خدای براین بنده رحمت کند هر که درین مسجد بیاید بدعاء خیر بادشاه مسلمانان و این بنده بفاتحه و اخلاص یاد کند حق تعالی این بنده را بیامرزد بحرمته النبي و الله مسجد مرتب شد بتاریخ دهم جمادي الآخر سنه تسع الثمانين وسبعتها *

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In the name of God the merciful, the clement, and in the reign of the devout king, strong by the help of the merciful God, Ab-oolMoozuffer Feeroz, Shah-ul-Sultan; may his reign continue; this Mosque was built by the son of the slave waiting at the threshold, Junah Shah, exalted with the title of Khan Jehan, son of Khan Jehan; may God be merciful to him. Any one coming to this Mosque is required to pray for the chief of the Mussulmans, and for this slave with the Fateha, with earnestness, and with the hope that God may forgive him at the day of judgment. By the grace of Mahomet and his posterity this mosque has been finished on the 10th of Jumda-oolakheer in the year of the Hijra 789."

It appears that the letters were first cut into the marble with small deep round holes in each letter, or limb of a letter, and that subsequently lead was poured into the cavities, and then polished off even with the surface of the marble, the small deep holes assisting in keeping the lead firm in its place. The greater part has, however, fallen out, with the exception of that in the vowel points, which are almost all perfect, and of two or three of the letters in the first and second lines. The entrance to the main body of the building is through a square vestibule with a domed roof, to which there were an outer and an inner pair of doors moving in sockets of a singular description, but common in the architecture of the times. The latter have disappeared, the former are still in existence, and to judge from their antique appearance, their most rude construction, and the very coarse iron work about them, it is fair to infer that they are of a very ancient date, if not coeval with the mosque itself. The famous Somnath gates must be at least 800 years old, these would be only 459, and though sál is probably not as durable as sandal-wood, to any one who may see these doors it would afford no great stretch of the imagination to believe that they were put up when the mosque was built. On passing the second doorway you enter a

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