Imartis, Masjids and Qilas: Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh

Rajesh 1

Located at a distance of roughly 66 kms from Varanasi, the ancient town of Jaunpur gets ignored due to its larger counterpart. While looking for places to visit near Varanasi, I chanced to come across it. What drew my towards it was the fact that it is the birth place of the popular sweet Imarti.

Jaunpur, historically known as Sultan, having its historical dates from 1359, when the city was founded by the Sultan Feroz Shah Tughlaq and named in memory of his cousin, Muhammad Bin Tughluq, whose given name was Jauna Khan.

Jaunpur is a travelers paradise with a number of tourist attractions. With good communication and some standard hotels visitors to Jaunpur will have no issues. Since most of the attractions are close to one another, they can be reached easily.

Places to visit in Jaunpur

Shahi Bridge or Munim Khan’s Bridge or Akbari Bridge is a 16th-century bridge over the river Gomti. Completed between 1568 and 1569, this bridge is still in use even though it is an ASI protected monument. During my visit I found quite a few hawkers and vagabonds crowding the footpaths and handbills pasted all around.

Shahi Qila (English: Royal Fort), also known as Karar Fort or Jaunpur Fort, was built during the 14th century by Ibrahim Naib Barbak. It is well maintained and boasts a mosque as well as a Turkish Hamam. It is a popular haunt of locals many of whom can be seen having picnics in the lush lawns.

Atala Masjid or Atala Mosque constructed in 1408 A.D. by Ibrahim Shah Sharki after destroying a Hindu temple dedicated to Atala Devi. The remains of the temple can be seen in the beautifully crafted pillars and brackets on the ground floor.

Jama Masjid or Badi Masjid, one of the largest mosques in India, was built in the 15th-century by Hussain Shah Sharki. It is one of the most popular destinations for tourists.

Lal Darwaza Mosque (Red Portal mosque or Ruby Gate mosque) of Jaunpur, was built in 1447 by Queen Rajye Bibi and dedicated to Sayyid Ali Dawood Kutubbudin a saint. The mosque served as a private place of worship for the Queen.

Beni Ram’s Imarti Wale, is added to the list of must visit places in Jaunpur due to the fact that it is considered the birthplace of the world famous Imarti. Freshly made melt in the mouth Imarti’s are not to be missed.

All in all, Jaunpur is a mix of the very best, a place out of the annals of history exiting alongside the present times. So next time you plan to visit Varanasi, do take time out to visit Jaunpur.

 

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