Varanasi City
Jaunpur, in modern Uttar Pradesh, was once the capital of the Sharqi kingdom.

Varanasi : Excursions : Jaunpur


Jaunpur district is located to the northwest of Varanasi. Jaunpur's history dates from 1388 when the Sultan of Delhi, Feroz Shah Tughlaq, appointed Malik Sarwar, a eunuch, as governor of the region. The Delhi Sultanate was weakened by the 1398 sacking of Delhi by Timur and Malik Sarwar declared independence. Malik Sarwar and his son founded the Sharqi dynasty. During the Sharqi period the Jaunpur Sultanate was a strong military power in Northern India, and on several occasions threatened the Delhi Sultanate.

Jaunpur was then a major center of Urdu and Sufi knowledge and culture. Slowly Jaunpur flourished as an important cultural center. Jaunpur's independence came to an end in 1480, when Sikander Lodi, the Sultan of Delhi, conquered the city. The Sharqi kings attempted for several years to retake the city, but ultimately failed. Though the Jaunpur Kingdom did not last long yet it left its mark, particularly, in realms of culture and music. The period saw the construction of many great and beautiful buildings.

Although many of the Sharqi monuments were destroyed when the Lodis took the city, several important mosques still remain. The most important one of them are the Atala Masjid, Jama Masjid and the Lal Darwaza Masjid. The Jaunpur mosques display a unique architectural style, combining traditional Hindu and Muslim motifs with purely original elements. The old bridge over the Gomti River dates back to year 1564 AD.