The Varanasi Heritage Dossier/Razia Mosque

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Detailed description of each heritage Site - Adi Vishvanatha, Vishvanatha, Vishalakshi Kshetra


Razia Bibi Mosque

Location[edit]

25º 18.695’N and 83º 00.658’E

Exact location on a map[edit]

Godaulia-Chauk road, Bansphatak.

Area[edit]

0.06ha

Historical/cultural/natural significance[edit]

The first original site of Vishveshvara or Vishvanatha (Golden) Temple is an issue of historical investigation. However it is accepted that the first destruction took place in 1194 by the order of Qutb-ud-din Aibak, including demolishing the temple of Visheshvara which was at the presently existing Razia Mosque. During her reign Razia Sultana (1236-1240) had built a mosque on the deserted site of the above temple. In 1448 Muhmud Shah Sharqui demolished the debris existing there and expanded the Razia Bibi mosque. The mosque is on a high raised mound. On every Friday a considerable number of Muslims assemble here to offer prayer (namaz).

6.Authenticity (as according to article 24 to 34 of operational guidelines): The mound on which the Razia Bibi mosque stands is surrounded by houses, so that the courtyard of the mosque is practically at the same level as the house terraces. However an old flanking wall with a round buttress on top is still visible on the west side.

=== Description === (as under columns 5 and 6): The laonet of the prayer Hall in the Razia Bibi Mosque is unusual, the middle of the façade thrusts forward the central gate (A) with three flanking arcades to either side. The interior is divided by a thick wall with openings provided by three arcades. The two hall thus formed are built of pillars lintels and slabs made from stone taken from a building dating back beyond CE 1000. Originally, the northern wall opened directly out onto a garden, there was no intervening wall but only two double columns bearing lintels in the east (D). This was clumsily walled up in relatively recent times. It is obvious from the close study of the architectural design and plan that mosque was not completed and that the south hall was originally supposed to be at the centre. The structure of the south hall is of 13th century (Razia Sultana)and the planned extension is probably 15th century (Mahmud Shah Sharqui). This could be confirmed by the style of the extension in the back (C) of the qibla (direction of the Mecca) wall and the niches in the north wall. 8.History and development - As No. 5 above.

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.