Saturday, 23 November 2019

119 - A Lodhi Era Mosque in Eminabad (district Gujranwala)!

Eminabad is a small town in the district Gujranwala, about 50 kilometers north of Lahore. Its old name was Saidpur. In the late middle ages and the Mughal period, it was a place of considerable importance. It still has many old buildings, that tell us about its historic past. Some of them I already have covered, and you can see the details on the following links:

Traces of its old history can still be seen in and around this city. One such building is an old mosque. Not much is known about its history. But it is generally known that it was constructed during the period of Lodhi dynasty of Delhi (1451 - 1526 AD). It is of considerable size and very solidly built. Plaster and other decorative work have completely disappeared but the main structure is still in good condition. It has three arched passages in the front and one each on right and lefts sides, and one huge dome. It is located in an open place about half a kilometer in the south east of the town near a big pond at 32° 2'18.32"N, 74°16'7.39"E.

An old mosque in Eminabad, built probably during the Lodhi period. (23.07.2019.)

The view from the west.  (23.07.2019.) 

The mosque is located between an open field and a big pond. (23.07.2019.) 

A closer view. (23.07.2019.)

A view from the north. There are three arches in front and on each on both sides. (23.07.2019.)

A view from the south east. (23.07.2019.)

The mosque has a big dome. (23.07.2019.)

Mehrab of the mosque. (23.07.2019.)

Another view of the mehrab. (23.07.2019.)

The mosque is quite spacious. (23.07.2019.)

The inner view of the dome. (23.07.2019.)

A window. (23.07.2019.)

An arch on the left side. (23.07.2019.)

A view from inside. (23.07.2019.)

A view of the pond. It is a big pond spread over an area of about 10 acres. It must have been a well-maintained pond in the past, as we still can see brickworks around the pond. (23.07.2019.)

محفوظ یادگار عمارت
یہ عمارت قدیم مقامات / عمارت کے تحفظ کے قانون (۱۹۸۵ء) کے تحت محفوظ قرار دی جا چکی ہے۔ کوئی بھی شخص جو اسے نقصان پہنچائے گا یا خراب کرے گا،یا اس کے پاس ۲۰۰ (دوسو) فٹ کے اندر کوئی عمارت تعمیر کرے گا یا بصورت دیگر مذکورہ قانون کی کسی شرط کی خلاف ورزی کرے گا تو وہ ایک سال تک قید یا جرمانہ کی سزا یا دونوں سزاوں کا مستوجب ہوگا۔ 

                                                                                                        ڈائرکٹر جنرل آثار قدیمہ                                                                                            حکومت پنجاب
This building is a Protected Monument under the Punjab Special Premises (Preservation) Ordinance 1985. Any person who destroys, damage, defaces this building or raises any structure within 200 feet of this building or otherwise contravenes any provision of the said Ordinance, shall be liable to punishment which may extend to one year or with or with both.                                                                                                                           DIRECTOR GEENRAL ARCHAEOLOGY                                                                     GOVERNMENT OF THE PUNJAB
Gazetteer of the Gujranwala District of  1893-94 provides the following information about the history of Eminabad.
It is said to have been originally founded by Salhahan (Salween), the famous Rajput Raja of Sialkot. The old town, known as Saidpur, was destroyed by Shere Shah, Afghan, in the 16th century, and a new city Shergarh, the ruins of which are still visible, was founded 1 1/2 was founded to the south west of the present site. The Afghan garrison was expelled after a long siege by Emin Beg, one of Humayun's Generals, who, under the order of Akbar, razed the old city and founded with the materials the existing one which has never been destroyed in the subsequent invasions,
In Mughal times Eminabad was the head-quarters of a Pargana in the Lahore suba, bringing in a revenue of 9 lakhs. The Mughals were expelled about 1760 by Sardar Charat Singh. Under Ranjit Singh, the estate was held in Jagir by Raja Dhiyan Singh, one of the Jammu brothers. 
After the fall of the Sikh state in 1849, Eminabad like the rest of Punjab passed into British control. Traces of old structures still can be seen in and around the town. A portion of an old boundary wall still exist about a kilometer to the west of the mosque. This wall perhaps belonged to a garden or Serai, for Eminabad lied on the main road from Lahore towards the north western areas of the empire. 

A portion of an old wall. (23.07.2019.)

Gate of the garden or serai (or perhaps a fort). (23.07.2019.)

Another view of the wall. (23.07.2019.)

A fairly long stretch of the wall still exists. (23.07.2019.)

A closer view of the wall. (23.07.2019.)

Another old structure that draws your attention, exists near the mosque just a hundred meters to the south east of the mosque. It is now in complete ruins. It could be a haveli. But no details are available. 

The ruins of a building near the mosque. (23.07.2019.)

A closer view of the ruins. (23.07.2019.)

Another view of the ruins. (23.07.2019.)

A small cupola is still intact. (23.07.2019.)

A closer view of the cupola. (23.07.2019.)

Ruins of a room. (23.07.2019.)

Another view of the ruins. 

 Debris of the ruins. (23.07.2019.)

This mosque is a very important historic building. I wonder why the department of archaeology or other concerned departments have not paid more attention to this building. Its structure is very solid and its original decorations can still be restored to their original shape. Its design belongs to the middle ages and certainly, it is one of the oldest mosques in Pakistan. We can say that it is not too late and this great specimen of old architecture can still be saved. 

Tariq Amir 
November 23, 2019.
Doha - Qatar. 

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