Indo- Islamic Architecture of Kashi
Ratna Shankar Pandey
Deptt. Of History of Art,
Banaras Hindu University,
Kashi, Banaras or Varanasi is one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world ,where the contributions of Vedic-Puranic and Shramanic (Buddhism, Jainism ) have been enormous, both in the language of words and visual. The present paper deals with all together different stream of Islamic art, apparently in the forms of architecture in the Kashi which developed here from 12th century to present day. The development of Islamic architecture in Kashi, baring few examples where the monuments were built on the demolished remains of earlier temples
(Rajghat Masjid, Gyanvapi Masjid, Alamgir Masjid), to reflect some unpleasant historical truth, developed independently. It is quite interesting to note at the outset that although Kashi did not enjoyed any direct Muslim rule like Jaunpur, Allahabad, Sasaram, possibly to avoid trouble between the armed forces and Banaras Pundits, yet it being the seat of cultural activity and confluence the Islamic monuments of all the types and forms with brilliance and splendidness namely Masjid, Maqbara, Bagh, Serai, Palace, Haveli etc. are found spread over the entire city. Islam was undoubtedly the fourth religious practice in Kashi and was introduced here in 1021-1030CE with the invasion of Mahmud of Ghazanawi. In 1194CE, Kutubuddin Aibak was the first Muslim King who overpowered the city and later on in Slave dynasty, many clashes were held between local authorities and Delhi Sultanate but very soon, they strengthen their power and Deen (religion) in Kashi. All the Mughal Kings ruled over the city, Babar was the first Mughal Badshah who won the city after defeating Sultan Mahmood. Humayun also have posted Mir Fazli as his governor. In 1538CE Shershah Suri captured the city. From 1538 to 1554 Kashi was in Sur dynasty. After Sur’s Adil Shah ruled...