THE EMERGENCE OF THE DOUBLE DOME IN INDO-PAKISTANI REGION – BULBOUS DOME VERY DIFFERENT FROM PREVIOUS SULTANATE DOMES
A certain kind of dome on Mughal building is evident from the architecture of those who built same. Some of the domes which come in mind are related to the Taj Mahal of Agra, Mausoleum of Rabia Durrani in Aurangabad, Mausoleum of Asif Khan in Lahore, as well as the Badshahi Mosque of Lahore. A study of these domes show that these domes are generated by the same family of Ustad Ahmad Mimar Lahori. But these are all later dated. If we try to go back to the origin of all of them, we come to the Pirzada Masjid, in Haryana, India. And here is the first bulbous dome of the region. And who made it, it is no other than Ustad Yusuf Mimar, who came to this region with Emperor Babar.
Very few creations of Babar are known in this region, and the Babari Masjid has become controversial under the hands of extremist Hindus. But there is another Babari Masjid in Haryana, Punjab, and rather unknown by most. It is not even a protected monument, although two inscriptions found on it, record it as having been made in 1529. Milk sellers surround the place, with their cattle (cows and buffaloes), bent upon bringing it down, and occupying the place. Not only they are in a qabza frenzy, they have made walls, and literally destroyed the inscriptions. If it was not for Professor S.R. PHOGAT, who recorded same, everything would have been lost. One of the inscriptions is recorded in the professor’s book on Haryana. The other seem totally lost. Let us first study the one saved:
“In the time of the reign of his Majesty the king of kings, the refuge of the world Zahiruddin Muhammad Babar. “Ghazi Badshah-may God perpetuate his kingdom and his reign!
The slave of the court of the Sun,
“The humble, base Janyu Sunu Agha, son of Shaikh Sunu, an inhabitant of the town of the joy, (Hisar)
“Through the grace of God Almighty found grace to build the mosque of the town of Mahim-May God Almighty, “Make him accepted and favoured through His kindness and His wisdom-
On the fifth Rabi’al awal 936, (7th November 1529].”
Strangely although the other is lost, it is remembered and written by most people, as having the name of Sheikh Yusuf of Hisar as the builder of the mosque. Hisar-e-Firoza is the name of the Fort of the Tughlaq period. Now who is Janyu Sunu Agha. Agha is a title given by Turks to their Military and Civil Officers, so here we have a link to Turkey. Turkish historians record two architects who were students of Ustad Sinan of Turkey, and it seems with Babar here in 1529, these two are linked to the same. And who was Sheikh Yusuf of Hisar? Simply Yusuf, the fugitive architect, who was trying to find patrons in this region. Ended up in Lahore and getting married here. He begotted a son here, who he named Ahmad. Not knowing that this child would make waves in this region, by becoming Ustad Ahmad Mimar Lahori, the architect of the Taj Mahal of Agra.
Now the shape of the domes can be better understood. Bulbous domes the specialty of the Mimar family of Lahore. This was the new addition to the architecture in the region. Starting from a square base, the same evolved into octagonal settings. Innovation part of any evolution. Lutufullah Ahmad Muhandis in an exercise in his famous book Khulasat ul Hisab, gives the fundamentals of making a bulbous dome in architecture. Well done family!