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The Sharqi Architecture of Jaunpur

The Sharqi Architecture of Jaunpur
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Item Code: NAL779
Author: A. Fuhrer.
Publisher: Archaeological Survey of India
Language: English
Edition: 1994
Pages: 232 (72 B/W Plates Illustrations)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 10.5 inch x 8.0 inch
weight of the book: 890 gms

This volume is the first of the new series of Reports, begun after the re- organization of the Archeeological Surveys in Upper India in 1885. In directing these surveys, my aim has been to: have the Report volumes, as far as practicable, exhaustive and final on the subjects treated of in each. Much of course will be discovered everywhere in the future; but the monumental archeology can be fully dealt with, and a report-consisting chiefly of cursory notes on places visited on a flying tour, with Tough drawings and photographs of the more notable buildings and sculptures met with, and speculations on matters on which the surveyor.' does not possess the materials for anything better than a mere hypothesis more curious than scientific-is not what ought "to be considered satisfactory, Government has wisely forbidden the indulgence of the propensity to start such profitless speculations by the surveyors in their reports; and this volume will be found to be a plain statement of historical facts based on original sources of information relating to the places and buildings described, with careful and accurate representations of the monuments and their details sufficient to illustrate them-if not in every detail, yet quite as fully as is needed to give a complete idea of their architecture.

As Provincial Archeological Surveys had been conducted, at consider- able expense, both in the Panjab and North-Western Provinces, by officers of the Public Works Department, for several years previous to 1885, and as it had been devoted chiefly to the great monuments in Agra, Jaunpur, Dehli, Lahor, &c., I had hoped to be able to utilize and publish much of the material thus collected, and so make it accessible to the general public. On obtaining from Government; a loan of these drawings, however, it was disappointing to find that, though numerous, technically well finished, and to large scales, the details-on which so much of the real character and style of architectural art is dependent-had not been measured and drawn with necessary care. Many of the smaller measurements were largely in error, and the proportions of ornamental work, mouldings, &c., overlooked. To have published such drawings would have been to produce untruthful impressions on the minds of such as should study them. Instead of the work at Jaunpur, therefore, being only to supply such additional details as-had been overlooked in this extensive series of drawings, and write 'the desirable letter-press to accompany them, it was soon found that the whole must be re-measured and re-drawn, if the representations were to be accurate in all details. Mr. Ed. W. Smith, the Architectural Assistant, only joined the staff in February 1886, and without any qualified draftsman to assist him. In the short period available till the hot season set in, he completed the work on the Atala and Lal - Darwaza Masjids. Next cold weather he was engaged in Bundelkhand and elsewhere, and only returned to Jaunpur in October 1887, when, with the native draftsmen he had been training, he 'made the drawings now published of the Jaini Masjid. This Report had been prepared in October 1886 and went to the press in 1887, but the earlier plates had not be a nearly all printed off when the later ones were received to complete the work.

The bulk of the letter-press is by Dr. Fuhrer, whose trained and varied scholarship is a sufficient guarantee for its accuracy and research. The architectural descriptions of the buildings were prepared by Mr. Smith. My work has been to unite these into one connected account, to supervise the printing, and pass the drawings through the press. To the MS. of his report Dr. Fuhrer .added a bulky, appendix of forty-six inscriptions collected during his tour between 14th February and -'31st March 1~86; Thesewere in Arabic, Persian 'and Sanskrit, many of which were unknown before. ' Some of these inscriptions,' Dr. Fuhrer mentions, 'are of great historical importance, especially in settling the question of the time of the first appropriation of the ancient Buddhist' and Hindu temples by the Musalmans.' The Arabic and Persian inscriptions, being mostly short, and belonging directly to the buildings described, have been' engrossed in the text: the longer Sanskrit ones, as directed by Government have been kept for separate publication in the Epigraphia Indica.

Besides the monograph on the Sharqi architecture of Jaunpur, the report contains notes on the archeological remains at Zafarabad, Bhuila- Tal, Ayodhya, and Sahet-Mahet, which places Dr. Fuhrer visited in the course of his tour.

The plates have been reproduced by photo-lithographic processes at the Survey of India Office in Calcutta, but on account of other and more pressing demands,-to which these plates had often to give way,-the work has been much protracted. Nothing, however, could exceed the ready attention and interest bestowed from first to last upon it by Colonel Waterhouse: to whose care much of their excellence is due, and for which my best thanks are owing. They alone form a most important contribution to Indian monumental archeology, and will, apart from all description or comment, be found of much interest, by 'the' architect, the artist, and the historian of .Indian architecture.


Later History21
IIIThe Buildings of Jaunpur23
Inscriptions on the Atala Masjid38
Sahet Mahet and Inscription of Samvat 127669
Illustrative Plates and Drawings

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