Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Front view of the Mehtar Mahal, Bijapur--Photographer: Cousens, Henry Medium: Photographic print Date: 1880

Front view of the Mehtar Mahal, Bijapur.

Photograph of the Mehtar Mahal, Bijapur from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections taken by Henry Cousens in the 1880s. The early 17th century Mehtar (mihtar) Mahal, though modestly sized, is one of the city's most beautiful structures. A gateway leading to the Mehtar Mosque, the graceful three-storey building is surmounted by two slender minarets and covered with delicately carved birds and rows of swans. Balconies projecting over the street are supported on angled struts carved as if they were made of wood.
Cousens Wrote, "….It is a building of no exceptional design, yet, nevertheless, the clever treatment of its parts and its decorative detail, make it one of the prettiest structures in Bijapur. Though called a mahall, or palace, it is really the gateway to the inner courtyard of a mosque...It is however, a little more than a mere gateway, for it has upper rooms and balconies above the entrance, where men might assemble and spend an hour lounging in the bays of the windows and enjoy the pleasant views of the city...'' Henry Cousens, 'Bijapur and its architectural remains' (A.S.I., Imperial series, vol. XXXVII, Bombay, 1916), pl. lxv, pp. 84-87

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