AHMAD SHAH'S OLD JAMI
This mosque has a large site with entrance gates in the east and the north. The form and structure of the mosque are simple. The east arch-shaped wall forms the central part with a wide and large arch on a higher level, either side of which has two arch-shaped entrances. This shows the same facade as the Mosque of Qutb Shah. On either side of the central part, there are stairs situated in an alcove, suggesting that there were minars. However, the part above the eaves does not exist anymore. Both ends of the central arch are decorated by simple line patterns, which are not often seen in other buildings. Probably, this form is an example of the transitional period between the Mosque of Haibat Khan and the minars built under the Ahmad Shah reign. On the rooftop fringed by battlements, there are a total of 10 domes of low pyramid-like shape, 5 in the width and 2 in the depth, corresponding to the entrance arches. The technique of having 12 high pillars in the middle creating a well-hole style space, (which became popular later on in the Ahmad Shah period), is not seen in this building. Only the rectangular part behind the central arch is constructed aloft.
Entering inside the mosque, visitors may be surprised by the lines of pillars, probably converted from a Hindu or Jain temple. The ceiling inside, corresponding to the dome, has the same form as a pagan one. The sculptures on the ceiling are very unique, and are not seen in any other building. If there were no mihrab or minbar, which are special features of mosque, one may feel that he is in a Hindu or Jain temple. There are many pillars having original sculptures, but no human figures. All 5 mihrabs are marble-made and have sculptures in various places. They have an elaborate form and patterned sculptures, which should bear special mention among mihabs in South Asian mosques.
At the northwest corner of
the inside of the mosque, the second floor is provided. This
part, supported by line of pillars, is a zanana for women's
prayer. What is noteworthy here is the openwork window between
the pillars of the zanana. It is in an elaborate form with
geometric patterns. The walls of the zanana are simpler. However,
similar openwork is seen on the walls of a room located under the
central room. Entering the mosque from the front entrance, a
visitor may be surprised by the effect of the openwork, which
creates shadows. This is another unique feature of this mosque,
not seen in other mosques. Compared to these elaborate forms, the
entrance gate situated on the outside wall is small in scale and
not remarkable in form.
This mosque is situated at
the inner fort in the central part of the west city wall.The way
it was built appears to have been inserted into the wall.