THOUGH LARGELY bypassed by visitors, Jaunpur has a wealth of medieval Islamic architecture. Located along the Gomt river, Jaunpur was established by Feroze Shah Tughluq  in the late 14th century and soon grew into an important trading post. It was subsequently ruled by the independent Muslim rulers of the Sharqi dynasty who held sway for much of the 15th century, until Ibrahim Lodi conquered the city in 1479. It eventually fell to the Mughals in the early part of the 16th century.

Jaunpur’s many rulers each left a distinct architectural stamp on the city. The Mughal emperor Akbar built the great Akbari Bridge across the river, which still stands. To its north is the Old Shahi’. Fort from the Tughluq era. It contains a mosque, built with yellow and blue enamelled bricks, and an exact replica of a traditional Turkish bath or hamam . The most striking mosque, the Atala Masfid, just outside the fort, dates to the Sharqi period. It is embellished with recessed arches and ornamental fringes, and square courts surround the central structure. Though built on a grander scale, the 15thcentury Jai Masjid borrows its basic architectural inspiration from the Atala Masjid.

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