Overview of the Shahi Fort
Shahi Qila or Royal Shahi Fort, also comprehended as Karar Fort or Jaunpur Fort is a fort constructed during the 14th century in Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh, India. The fort is located near to the Shahi Bridge on the Gomti river. A sightseer allure of the Jaunpur city, it is located near Shahi Bridge of the Gomti river, 2.2 kilometres (1.4 mi) from Jaunpur. Shahi Qila has a chequered past. The initial version was assembled upon a mound and was called Kerrar Fort.
This fort was reconstructed by Ibrahim Naib Barbak, a chieftain of Firoz Shah Tughlak in the years 1376-77.The fort is discovered near to the Shahi Bridge on the Gomti river. Most of the stuff used to build it once were the property to the shrines and palaces of the Rathore kings of Kannauj. These temples were demolished by the Muslim marauders.
The fort was devastated by the Lodhis who succeeded the Tughlaqs a hundred years later. It was, nevertheless, broadly overhauled and renovated during the reign of Mughal emperors Humayun and Akbar. The fort was commandeered by the British government but was again razed during the First War of Indian Independence in 1857. Set 2.2 km from Jaunpur, the fort is one of the main tourist attractions of the city. Located in the heart of the city on the left bank of the Gomti, The inner gate of Shahi fort is 26.5 ft. high and 16 ft. wide.
The central gate is 36 feet tall. The top, there is a vast dome. At present only its eastern gate and, within, some arches etc. linger which recite the saga of its ancient splendour. Muneer Khan had got its magnificent front gate built with an impression to defend and it was adorned with blue and yellow stones. Inside the fort, there is a bath in the Turkish technique and a Mosque too. From this fort, a fascinating view of the Gomti river and the city can be glimpsed.
The mosque, designed by Ibrahim Burbank, holds up the imprints of Hindu and Buddhist architectural styles. The Kerr Kot fort once strutted on the same site on the left (north) bank of the Gomti river. It comprised a mosque and a spacious and contemporary set of baths (hammam) introduced by Barbak, the brother of Tughlaq. The structure of the fort is an irregular quadrangle encompassed in stone walls. The walls surround lifted earthworks. Most of the remains of the original hierarchies are buried or in ruin.
The main gates confront east. The widest inner gate is 14 metres (46 ft) in height. Its external surface is established with ashlar stone. A further, outer, gate was initiated during the reign of the Mughal emperor Akbar under the patronage of the governor of Jaunpur, Min’im Khan, in the 16th century. It is built in the shape of a flanking bastion. The spandrels or spaces between the arches of the outer gate were embellished with blue and yellow tiles. Ornamental niches are created into the walls of the outer gate.
The two-storey residential and administrative building or “palace” was erected in a square layout. An interior pillared verandah or Taiwan dominated the ground floor from the first.
It symbolises an ideal Turkish bath, typically known as Hammam. The hammam is partially underground having both inlet and outlet aisles, hot and cold water, and the equivalent.
The Mosque in the Shahi fort
The mosque or masjid is potentially the oldest building in Jaunpur township. It was a modest arcade of about 39.40 metres (129.3 ft) x 6.65 metres (21.8 ft) in the Bengali colour. It was favoured by a 12 metres (39 ft) pillar amassing a Persian inscription inscribed on it, divulging the story of the erection of the mosque in 1376 by Barbak.
There are three low main domes rather than miners, there are two close stone pillars. The outer gate has another inscription placed in the front which pleases everyone as “Hindus to glance at the Gita and Muslims to read the Koran and Christians to look over the Bible”. The fort is labelled in the List of Monuments/Sites of Archaeological Survey of India of Directorate of Archaeology, Uttar Pradesh. and the List of Monuments of Archaeological Survey of India.
The fortification wall constructs a jagged quadrangle with the main gate towards the east. Additional exit in the shape of a sally port towards the west is inclined by a steep passage cut through the heap. The main gateway is about fourteen metres in height and some five metres in depth having typical chambers on either wall. During the rule of Akbar, to provide additional security, Munim Khan expanded a courtyard in front of the eastern gateway with another eleven metres high entrance gate.
The gates, walls and the bastions are veneered with ashlar stones on the outer front. One incredible structure locally called Bhool Bhulaiya is an excellent model of a Turkish bath or Hammam. This solid structure is partly underground having engagements of inlet and outlet channels, hot and cold water and other toilet needs.
The mosque within the fort designed in typical Bengal style is a narrow building about 39.40 x 6.65 metres harbouring three low domes. A twelve metres high pillar bears a long Persian inscription listing the erection of a mosque in 1376 by Ibrahim Naib Barbak. Another monolithic curious inscription positioned in front of the outer gate, bidding all Hindu and Muslim Kotwalls of the fort persists the allowances, possibly to the descendants of the Sharqis is quite fascinating. It was courted in 1766 under the proclamation of Saiyid Ali Munir Khan, the then governor of the fort on behalf of the Nawab Wazir of Oudh.
The Shahi fort is on the List of Monuments/Sites of Archaeological Survey of India of Directorate of Archaeology, (U.P.) and List of Monuments of Archaeological Survey of India. The fort is available for its visitors from 7:30 in the morning till 8:00 at evening.
The Shahi fort still clenches the highest point in the city, its bulbous ramparts dominating the shining Gomti river and the 14-metre-high gateway frowning down on a city that no longer nourishes it. Inside, the walls surround a pretty park of generous lawns and flowering shrubs. In the forecourt of it is a tiny but gorgeous prayer hall, with a twelve-metre commemorative pillar before it. Back the prayer hall, a large Turkish-style hammam crouches low in the ground.
Inside it is an intestinal jumble of dim corridors and rooms with sunken pools. The pools originally had copper lids and water was heated by refracting sunbeams from the skylights onto it. The hammam is called ‘bhool Bhula Diya’ because of its winding hallways, which the imagination effortlessly fills with aromatic steam and wazirs sighing over the deadest military challenge. Catch the glimpse of this beauty by visiting Jaunpur.