The Varanasi Heritage Dossier/Aurangazeb Mosque at Pancaganga Ghat

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Dharhara Mosque built by Aurangazeb

Detailed description of each heritage Site - Scindhia Ghat to Pancaganga Ghat


Aurangazeb Mosque at Pancaganga Ghat

Location[edit]

25º 18.909’ North and 83º 01.074’ East (Aurangazeb Mosque).

Exact location on a map[edit]

Pancaganga Ghat.

Area[edit]

0.108ha (the mosque compound)

Historical/cultural/natural significance[edit]

Aurangzeb Mosque, Varanasi

In the Gahadavala period (11th-12th century) this was a popular and prominent ghat, patronised by the royal family. Since then there was a famous temple of Vindu Madhava, which was demolished and converted into a mosque in 1673, that is how the ghat was called Veni Madhava Ghat. The landmark in this area is the Alamgir mosque (K 22/ 28), which in fact is converted form of a 11th century Vishnu temple. After its first destruction in the 15th century it was re-made in 1585 by the king of Amber, Raja Man Singh, but finally demolished and transformed into a mosque in 1673 by the bigoted Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. There is a high wall, next to the street running by the western side of the mosque, which is continued round to the north-east corner. A door in the northern wall opens the way into the enclosure, in full front of the mosque; the latter being situated on its southern side. From the eastern side commences the long flight of stone stairs descending to the river. In 1868 (p. 111), says Sherring, “The mosque itself exhibits nothing striking, and, indeed, can hardly be called beautiful. It is plain and common-place; and, were it not for the minarets rising above, it would not be accounted a noticeable object in Banaras”. One of the minarets fell down in 1948, and the other one got crack resulting to pull it down in 1954. This latter date seems arguable however, as Eric Newby, in his book "Slowly down the Ganges" (page 216) states that during his visit to Varanasi in the winter of 1963/4, the remaining high minaret of the mosque was still there, although "more than a foot out of true".

Present state of conservation[edit]

There is no such specific organisation to take care of preservation and conservation.

Specific measures being taken for conserving the specific property[edit]

No specific measures are taken to conserve and preserve the area.

Ownership[edit]

The area is administered and managed by the Sunni (Muslim) Wakhf (or Waquf) Board, a charitable trust, and represented by Mutawalli, a representative, who serves as Priest-cum-Administrator.