Agra Jama Masjid

Made a short trip to Agra and visited the 17th c. Jama Masjid that’s close to the western gateway of Agra Fort, on the edge of Agra’s old city. The eastern boundary wall and arcade of the mosque were torn down by the British after the 1857 uprising, to make way for the railway line and station that sit just in front of the mosque, giving this mosque an “open” feel on one side. Continue reading

Restoration Photos

Here are a few examples of monument restoration from Agra and Ajmer, all of Mughal-era structures from the 16th and 17th c AD. The usual impression we get when we visit historic monuments is that we are looking at structures that have come down over the centuries in the state we see them in presently, but in reality many of these structures have been restored and rebuilt, some multiple times. While there are a lot of arguments and positions regarding the whys and hows of restoration among the conservation/preservation community, from an architectural history viewpoint what’s important is how we can interpret historic monuments when the monument is not all as historic as made out to be. At a general level it entails analyzing the structure keeping in mind and “seeing around” the restoration. Continue reading

Agra Trip

In the first half of April I went to spend a few days with a friend at Agra, and also visited some sites in Agra that I hadn’t been to before, especially Agra Fort. Agra Fort (as it stands now) is a Mughal fort built during the 16th and 17th centuries. Successive Mughal Emperors built different palaces within the fort. The Jahangiri Mahal, built by Akbar (and not by Jahangir as the name would suggest) is an absolutely awesome structure. The decorations on red sandstone are just amazing. Continue reading