Near Aurbindo Ashram, In Delhi Mehrauli Road
Khan-Jahan Junan Shah
One of the Seven Known Mosques Built By Khan-Jahan.
A narrow road by the side of Aurobindo Ashram (Delhi Branch), 15-km from Delhi on the Delhi-Mehrauli
Road, now known as Sri Aurobindo Road, leads to the village of Begampur. Within the village is the
Begampuri-Masjid, one of the seven mosques reputed to have been built by Khan-i-Jahan Junan Shah,
Feroze Shah Tughluq's prime minister.
With a large courtyard, 94m by 88m, enclosed by arched cloisters on the sides and a three-aisle deep prayer-hall, the rubble-built structure of the mosque rises from a high plinth. Its corridors are pierced with gates on the north, south and east, with rows of windows on their either side, the last named gate functioning as the main entrance.
The fašade of the prayer-hall is broken by twenty-four arched openings, the central one being the highest and flanked by tapering minarets in the
Tughluq style The central compartment of the prayer-hall is surmounted by a large dome, while small low domes, characteristic of the
Tughluq architecture, rise on the roof from the central aisle and from the corridors. At the rear the location of the
minhrabs in the interior is indicated by five projections.
The Colossal Fort Walls
Whatever left of it has been swallowed up by grasping tentacles of the ever-expanding south Delhi. The walls of
Jahanpanah are surprisingly huge; some even have rooms built into them to store provisions and war equipment. You can spot some sections of the wall at
Satpula, near Khirkee Village.
As one climbs up to the masjid, its massive pointed dome suddenly pops out of the towering doorways that it had been hiding behind. There were originally forty-fur smaller domes too, however some of these have either fallen or are crumbling. These used to be atop the riwaq (cloister), strewn across the courtyard above the porticos.
An interesting fašade of twenty four arched openings greets the visitor to this mosque. On either side of the mosque you will see tapering minarets which are characteristic Tughlaq material. Architecture freaks don't miss the core of the courtyard, which is akin to the Jaunpur Mosques and the only example of its kind in Delhi.
One wonders why this mosque was ever abandoned, considering that India is teeming with medieval mosques that still in worship. There are steps which can take you right to the top of mosque; you can get an excellent view of the Bijai Mandal next door.