Epigraphs in Gujarat show integration of faiths

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Amid the gory tales of 2002 comes a historical fact that bears a testimony to Hindu-Muslim brotherhood. Gujarat had given India its first specimen of true Indo-Islamic architecture that integrated elements of Hinduism and Jainism in mosques across the state during Sultanate period.

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Ahmedabad (Gujarat), February 24, 2012: Amid the gory tales of 2002 comes a historical fact that bears a testimony to Hindu-Muslim brotherhood. Gujarat had given India its first specimen of true Indo-Islamic architecture that integrated elements of Hinduism and Jainism in mosques across the state during Sultanate period.

Archaeologists say that the state is home to unique calligraphy on mosques and monuments. A unique Arabic script, ‘Khat-e-Bahaar,’ originated from the state. This was highlighted during a three-day exhibition ‘Architecture and Epigraphs of Sultans of Gujarat’ at Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation, Danapith, by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) officials. The exhibition concluded on Thursday.

G S Khwaja, director ( epigraphy), ASI Nagpur, said that mosques in Ahmedabad are treasure troves. “With the reign of Ahmad Shah I in 1410, there began a new chapter of Islamic architecture in the state. Before him, the Islamic architecture in the country was highly influenced by Persian style. In Ahmedabad, the local artisans were involved in construction of mosques. Thus, we see lot of motifs such as blooming lotus, tree of life, lamp with chain and sacred animals and birds integrated in the design. Intricate carvings, a unique point in Jain temple architecture, were effectively used in the city mosques,” Khwaja told TOI.

Khwaja said that mosques such as Rani Rupmati Mosque in the city use arches and posts and lintels generously that have traditionally been associated with Hindu architecture. “A number of mosques such as Baba Lului’s mosque, Jama Masjid, Qutb Shah mosque or Pattharwali Masjid and Ahmed Shah’s mosque justify the city’s title of Jinat-ul-Bala’d or Jewel of All Cities given by scholars in Sultanate times,” he said.

K C Nauriyal, superintending archaeologist, Vadodara circle, said that the exhibition was held to mark 150 years of ASI and 600 years of Ahmedabad. “We wanted to highlight the uniqueness of the Sultanate period and communal harmony reflected in architecture,” he said. A booklet highlighting salient points of epigraphs in the city and state was also released at the event. – News Courtesy: Times of India

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Post Author: JHC