Shahi Qila (Royal Fort) also known as Karar Fort or Jaunpur Fort has a chequered history. The earlier version was built upon a mound and was called Kerrar Fort. It was reconstructed by Ibrahim Naib Barbak, a chieftain of Firoz Shah Tughlak in the years 1376-77.
The fort is located close to the Shahi Bridge on the Gomti river. Most of the material used to build it once belonged to the temples and palaces of the Rathore kings of Kannauj. These temples were destroyed by the Muslim marauders.
The fort was destroyed by the Lodhis who succeeded the Tughlaqs a hundred years later. It was, however, extensively repaired and renovated during the reign of Mughal emperors Humayun and Akbar. The fort was taken over by British government but was again destroyed during the First War of Indian Independence in 1857. Situated 2.2 km from Jaunpur, the fort is one of the main tourist attractions of the city.
Shahi Bridge, variously known as Mughal Bridge, Akbari Bridge or Munim Khan’s Bridge, was built by Munim Khan, the governor of the state of Jaunpur during the reign of Mughal emperor Akbar.
Designed by an Afghan architect, Afzal Ali, the bridge was built over the river Gomti during 1568-1569. It is one of the few important landmarks of Mughal style architecture currently existing in Jaunpur.
The bridge, standing upon ten openings or gateways for the flow of water, is built upon huge pylons. There are hexagon-shaped chattris or umbrella-like pavilions erected upon the pillars. These are projected beyond the bridge and are supported by brackets. These roofed structures enable people to stand securely from the traffic and watch the picturesque grandeur while enjoying the scenic flow of water under its arched gateways.
Shahi Bridge is situated at a distance of 1.7 km in the north of the city of Jaunpur and is still being used for traffic.
Also called Bari Masjid, Juma (Friday) Masjid or Jami Masjid, Jama Masjid is situated 2.2 km in the north-east of the city of Jaunpur. The 15th-century monument was built during the reign of Firoz Shah Tughlak in India. The design and style of its architecture bears close resemblance to Atala Masjid in the city as well as Mughal monuments in Delhi. The mosque is built on a six-metre-high platform, which can be reached by a flight of steps. It can be entered through a pylon-shaped gate which has two arches above it.
The main prayer hall of the mosque has tunnel vaults on its sides. Its huge dome has a diameter of 11.4 metres. It has small windows that enable the sunlight to enter the interior of the mosque. The interior and exterior of walls of the mosque are covered with typical Mughal style decorative art work.
Located 2.2 km in the north-east of Jaunpur, Atala Masjid was built by Sultan Ibrahim Sharqi, the ruler of Jaunpur in the year 1408; although, its foundation was laid in 1377 during the time of Firoz Shah Tughlak III, the Sultan of Delhi.
A Hindu temple dedicated to Atala Devi was first destroyed and the mosque was built at the place. The mosque takes its name from the temple and also bears a strong resemblance.
The architectural design and style of the mosque, its niches, beams, pillars and walls bear close resemblance to the mosques, tombs and other monuments constructed by Sultan Muhammad Shah Tughlaq and Firoz Shah Tughlaq in Delhi. It has a remarkable similarity to the Begumpur Masjid.
The mosque can be accessed through a magnificent arched portico which leads to a spacious prayer hall. It is roofed with three domes of various sizes. Atala Masjid is one of the landmark monuments in Jaunpur.
Lal Darwaza Masjid or the Ruby Gate Mosque is situated on the outskirts of the city of Jaunpur. It was built by Bibi Rajni, the queen of Sultan Mahmud Sharqi in 1447 and was dedicated to Maulana Sayyid Ali Dawood Kutubuddin, a Muslim saint of Jaunpur. The mosque was built specially for the Begum to serve as her private prayer hall.
The architectural style and design of the mosque substantially resembles Atala Masjid, though it is smaller in size as compared with the latter. It can be entered through three gates situated in the north, east and south of the monument.
Its eastern gate is built of red sandstone. Moreover, the mosque is situated adjacent to the Lal Darwaza or the Ruby Gate of the royal palace of Queen Bibi Rajye. This explains how the mosque got its name.
A large part of the construction material of Lal Darwaza Masjid was appropriated from the Hindu palaces, temples and other monuments that were destroyed by the Muslim fanatics.