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Stone Cutter's Mosque

Introduction

Stone Cutters Mosque in Fatehpur Sikri Stone Cutter's Mosque was the oldest place of prayer in Fatehpur Sikri. Stone Cutter's mosque is situated to the west of the Jami Masjid among a number of residential houses. Said to be a copy of the mosque at Mecca, it contains elements of Persian and Hindu design. It was built near Sheikh Salim Chishti's cell which was later incorporated into it by stonecutters who settled on the ridge when quarrying for the Agra Fort began. It has carved monolithic 'S' brackets to support the wide sloping eaves. It has some beautiful architectural traits marking the incorporation of indigenous architectural styles in the construction but has remained neglected and is lesser-known monument in Fatehpur Sikri. It can be said to be the prototype of the other later monuments that were built here. Legends attribute its construction to the few stonecutters, who built it at their own expense. However, the idea does not seem to be real.

Stone Cutter's Mosque

This monument was built from red sandstone; this mosque is very simple in architecture with an open courtyard and no dalan or minars like the other mosques of the time. Using beams and lintel construction, its main hall is divided into seven bays with the help of simple square and octagonal pillars. The arches are carved on stone slabs and are merely ornamental. It has mihrab adorns its western wall in Toran shape as in the Hindu Temples, decorated with floral fringes and sporting sunken arch. The arch of the main fašade is beautified with fringe of floral motifs and has carved russets on either side. The flat roof has no dome or superstructure but the monolithic struts of serpentine brackets on the fašade that support the slanting chajja attract attention. These brackets are adorned with jali art in floral and geometrical designs that look splendid. There are Arabic inscriptions from Quran too carved on the stone panels above the arches of the fašade and the mihrab on the western wall that tell us about the attributes of god.

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