This majestic mosque consists of the west prayer room, 5 spans in depth, the south and north corridors, three span in depth, and a courtyard surrounded by corridors of 2 spans, which have mostly collapsed. In the east, there is a grand entrance gate having an octagonal room on a square plan with a dome. The west prayer room has three domes of considerable height on the central, northern and southern part of the roof. In addition to these, there are a total of 58 small domes above the room. The room is built in a polystyle and partitioned by lines of numerous undecorated pillars. Small domes similar to those above the west prayer room are seen on the roof in the north, south and east. However, most of the upper part of the building 2 spans from the east and a group of small domes of the eastern side of the roof above the corridors in the north and the south have collapsed.

 The whole mosque is built upon a basement. The wall dividing the basement into two levels gives a grand appearance to the mosque. The eastern side of the basement contains small arch-shaped rooms and niches. The grand darwazas in the four corners, which were built in the east on a square plan with high stairs, further enhance the dignity of the appearance of the east front of this mosque. Inside of this front gate facilitates are Jali screen for light. People who enter the courtyard through the room encounter a line of 11 arch shaped pillars and feel the majestic atmosphere of this Jama Masjid. Further, viewing the eastern corridor from the courtyard, one feels the unique atmosphere created by a line of large and shallow arch-shaped niches and the central dome.

 There are no decorations on most of the pillars, squinches and small niches inside the west prayer room.Also on the 17 mihrabs, including the large one at the centre on the west wall, no outstanding decorations are seen. However, the central mihrab still has rather significant double arches and medallions, around which an Arabic inscription from the Koran is written. In addition, in the same fashion as the other mihrabs, a part of the arch on the central mihrab has a line of black stones. This stone gives an accent to this room, which has partitions and squinches without decoration, creating a unique atmosphere. In the northern side of the central mihrab, there is a pulpit?iminbar) with stairs. This pulpit, having a small domed room, shows traces of participation by Hindu workmen in the construction in various points. It also suggests the legacy of Hindu craftmanship of central India remains in this mosque, too. Lastly, I personally feel that the fine features of this Jama Masjid in Mandu make it a building that should attract the most attention not only among mosques remaining in Dhar and Mandu but the numerous mosques in South Asia.
(Matsuo Ara)

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