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QUILA-I-KUHNA, OLD FORT, MATHURA ROAD, NEW DELHI, INDIA.

The mosque of Sher Sha Sur

Inside the cavernous praying hall of the Qila -i-Kuhna, visitors gaze in awe at the work of Indo-Islamic artisans who with chisel, hammer and sweaty palms brought the huge structure to life some 400 years ago. Built on the orders of Sher Shah Suri, the ill fated Afghan king who died in a gunpowder explosion at the height of his power, the mosque is considered to be the apex of Afghan sponsored architecture, before the entry of the Mughals in the field.

In his book Eastern and Indian architecture (published 1876), Fergusson overwhelmed by the sheer size and exquisite work of Sher Shah’s constructions, though it true of the Pathans – they build like giants and finish like goldsmiths…

The book mildly criticized the ruling government for pulling down many ancient buildings to make place for more functional dwellings.