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Dhai Din ka Jhopra


One of the oldest and most interesting historical building of Ajmer, is Jama Al-tamish popularly known as Dhai-din-ka-Jhonpra, situating in Ankerkot at the foot of the Taragarh hill According to Tod Rajasthan " it is a relic of nobler days and architect and the antiquarian because of its multifarious artistic attractions.

The monumental mosque has, however, been the subject of diverse opinion about its origin. According to Ajmer Historical and Descriptive (by Dewan Bahadur Harbilas Sarda) it is claimed to be a Saraswati Mandir which is said to have been built in 1153 A. D. by Raja Visaldeva who was the first Chauhan Emperor of India. But according to the Arabic inscription appearing on the marble arch in the centre of the mosque and the convincing arguments advanced by the author of Main-ul-Arifin (P. 150-154) it is recognised to be a mosque ever since its origin which was built by Sultan Shahabuddin Ghori in 595 A. H. (12th century A.D.) wherein Hazrat Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti himself (who came to Ajmer in 587 A. H.) is said to have offered his prayers for a considerable time. Later on, Sultan Shamsuddin Altamish of Delhi (607 to 633 A. H.) is reported to have built its present massive structure of red stone which was completed in 614 A. H. by Ali Ahmed mason under the supervision of one Mohammed Ariz - a claim which is also substantiated by another Arabic inscrition on its central arch. (Ahsan-us-Siar, P. 87-92). In any case, this magnificent mosque is one of the rare historic monuments of India.

General Cunningham., Director of Archaeology Government of India, who inspected this mosque in 1864 A. D., appears to have fallen into the error of accepting the common belief that it was built in Dhai-din i.e. two and a half days, as its name implies out of the material released from some demolished temples - a judgment which is difficult to believe in view of its extensive and massive stony structure replete with extremlely fine and most intricate workmanship on stone. It seems that only the smaller marble arch in the centre of the mosque may have been finished in 2-1/2 days to meet an emergency but the whole massive structure, with its elaborate Arabic tracings and delicate engraving details, is definitely a work of many years sustained labour.

Writing of the beautiful details of this marvellous edifice, Mr. Furgusson, author of the Eastern and Indian Architecture (P. 513 ) says - "As example of surface decoration, the Jhonpra and the mosque of Al-tamish at Delhi are probably unrivalled. Nothing in Cairo or in Persia and nothing in Spain or Syria is so exquisite in detail and can approach them for beauty or surface decoration. The gorgeous prodigality of ornamental work , the fascinating richness of tracery, the delicate sharpness of finish, the fascinating richness of tracery, the delicate sharpness of finish, the endless variety of detail and the accurate and laborious workmanship, are eternal credit to its past Indian engineers and masons". There is a rich variety of Quranic verse inscribed all over the building to tax the brains of both inquisitive historians and the antiquarians alike . In short, it is a model of excellence in the art Indian architecture.

                                                                                      

 
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