History Behind the Lal Darwaza Mosque!

Lal Darwaza Mosque: The town of Jaunpur in the state of Uttar Pradesh, is known for its glorious mosques  of great antiquity,  outstanding architecture and design that date back to different centuries.  This city has several tourist attractions and among the fascinating sites is  Lal Darwaza Masjid.

Lal Darwaza Mosque (Red Portal mosque or Ruby Gate mosque) of Jaunpur, was excavated in 1447 by Queen Rajye Bibi and devoted to Sayyid Ali Dawood Kutubbudin, a saint.

Also called Ruby Gate or Red Gate  mosque, it  is in the  castle of Bibi Raji,  the Queen of Sultan Mahmood Sharqi, a ruler of the Sharqi Dynasty. The Lal Darwaza Masjid,  was established to serve as a personal mosque for the Queen and it  is in the suburb named  Mohalla Lal Darwaza or Begum Ganj.

Bibi Raji, subsisting a pious woman,  established a religious school (Madrasa) in the region  around the Lal Darwaza in Jaunpur for all the local Muslim residents and  was called Jamia Hussainia. It is still operating.The mosque was consecrated to Maulana Sayyid Ali Dawood Kutubbudin, a  well-known saint (Maulana) of Jaunpur,  was a sovereignty on  subjects pertained to Islam and was  contemplated to have been one of the tremendous spiritual men of this region. He appeared here from Shiraz, Iran and his descendants still inhabit the Mohalla Bazaar Bhua Pandariba Jaunpur and Mohalla Namaz Gah laldarwaza. The latter was titled by Bibi Rajye, who also erected  a monastery here and a College. It is remembered a school for  women’s  education was established  far way back in  845/1441 at Jaunpur by Queen Bibi Rajye and it shows her keen  fascination  in women’s education, their interest and  progress in society which enable the conservative community to adjust to social modifications. Being a patron of the sacred man, the queen  also blessed a village near chitra sari (behind Badi masjid), 2 Km far from Lal Darwaja East. This village  then named Sayyid Ali Pur is now known as Sardalipur. (ibid).

Lal Darwaza or Ruby Gate Mosque  has its ancestry in the vermilion-painted rhetorical gateway of Bibi Rajye’s royal palace, that is near-by. Among the three entrances,  the eastern one – main gate way is the biggest and most significant one. This mosque  could be courted back to  those of  Jama and the Atala Mosques.  Despite its modest architecture,  this  unique Mosque is rendered of stones  satisfactorily blended with  bricks as well. The mosque  has a diverse interior as well as exterior.

History In Lal Darwaza Mosque

The Lal Darwaza Masjid, was created with the palace of Bibi Raji, who was the Queen of Sultan Mahmood Sharqi, a monarch of the Sharqi Dynasty. The Lal Darwaza Masjid, Jaunpur was constructed to conform as a private mosque for the Queen.Bibi Raji established a spiritual school in the area surrounding the Lal Darwaza in Jaunpur for all the local Muslim residents. The Madrasa was called Jamia Hussainia and it prevails till date.

Description  in Lal Darwaza Mosque

This Mosque which was erected in 1447 (as per inscription of this mosque), during the reign of Sultan Mahmud Sharqi, by Queen Bibi Rajyi, commemorated to Maulana Sayyid Ali Dawood Kutubbudin( a prominent Maulana of Jaunpur), whose descendants still reside in the mohalla bazaar bhua Pandariba Jaunpur and mohalla Namaz Gah laldarwaza.Mohalla Namaz Gah was named by Bibi Rajye, who also constructed a monastery here and a College. The college was staffed by competent ulema and scholars and professors, and acknowledged pupils from all over the country. “Muslim Khwateen ti Taleem “Pg 36 comments that one school for female schooling was founded in 845/1441 at Jaunpur by Queen Bibi Rajye. 860 Hijri tamer e qadeem and tameer e mehrab in 1409 Hijri validates this evidence as well.

Lal Darwaza (Ruby Gate) Mosque owes its name to the lofty gateway which was painted with vermilion,over by Bibi Rajye’s royal palace, which stood contiguous to it. It is positioned in the extreme north west and recognized by names mohalla Lal Darwaza or Begum Ganj.

As Traveler Allure    

The city of Jaunpur, positioned in the state of Uttar Pradesh, India is comprehended for its mosques that have been the storehouses of narrative of Medieval India. Much of this glory is due to Lal Darwaza Masjid in Jaunpur, India. With an influx of a substantial abundance of visitors, Jaunpur Lal Darwaza Masjid has become one of the excellent tourist temptations in Jaunpur.

Lal Darwaza Masjid or the Ruby Gate Mosque is positioned on the outskirts of the city of Jaunpur which enables  the tourists to scour the ins and outs of the  Jaunpur city. The mosque was built by Bibi Rajni, the queen of Sultan Mahmud Sharqi in 1447, hence a temptation for those enthusiastic in the history of women empowerment. The mosque was dedicated to Maulana Sayyid Ali Dawood Kutubuddin, a Muslim saint of Jaunpur. The mosque was built specially for the Begum to serve as her private prayer hall which portrays the statuses of women intimacy at that period.

The architectural style and design of the mosque substantially parallels Atala Masjid, though it is smaller in size as contradicted with the latter. It can be reached through three gates situated in the north, east and south of the monument.Its eastern gate is designed of red sandstone. Besides, the mosque is situated adjacent to the Lal Darwaza or the Ruby Gate of the royal castle of Queen Bibi Rajye. This clarifies how the mosque got its title.

A large portion of the construction material of Lal Darwaza Masjid was expropriate from the Hindu palaces, temples and other monuments that were demolished by the Muslim crusaders.

You can explore the main façade of the Lal Darwaza Mosque in Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh, from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections, put up by Joseph Beglar in the 1870s. The Lal Darwaza Mosque, or Red Door Mosque is the tiniest of the Jaunpur mosques, built in c.1450. It was part of a palace complex planned by Bibi Raja, the Queen of Mahmud Shah (r.1436-58). The plan emanates from the Atala mosque of 1408, albeit on a smaller scale, with an identical tall pylon in front of the dome in the centre of the facade of the major sanctuary. However, the Lal Darwaza differs from its precursor in one substantial respect; the screened upper compartment of the zenana is positioned in a central position adjoining the nave rather than at the far end of the transepts. This is an oblique impression from the south-east looking towards the iwan, with the dome of the prayer hall behind.

This mosque has been built by V.V.Raje, wife of Sultan Mahamud Shah Sharki in 1455 A.D. at Begumganj, a mile north of the city. Its outer area is 212 x 188 sq.ft. It has three gateways and a courtyard. On two of its planks some inscriptions in Sanskrit and Pali are there which do not alleviate much light except for the samvat year and the inscriptions of some kings of Kannauj.

The takeaway

With renewed and continual efforts to assure, restrain, and legislate accessibility in all architectural spaces there dwells the bizarre matter of gendered openings in historical mosques.A mosque built for a queen clearly signifies the importance of  Lal Darwaza Masjid. You must tour this mosque to acknowledge the magnificence of this mosque.