Rediscovery of Our Diverse Culture in Jaunpur
Posted on January 25, 2020 by Ghoomophiro
The historical city of Jaunpur is an important part of our heritage from Mughal times. In medieval times, Jaunpur was an important center of Sufi and Urdu culture and an example of good relations between Hindus and Muslims, an attribute still visible in the city’s art and architecture. Today, The city located in the district of Jaunpur in the state of Uttar Pradesh and is known for its wealthy and fertile land. The architecture in the region depicts an amazing blend of Islamic and Hindu elements that can only be found in a culturally diverse country like India.
Here, we shall tell you all you need to know for getting a maximum of attraction this little city has to offer.
History of Jaunpur
Historically known as Sheeraz-e-Hind, it was created by emperor Feroz Shah Tughlaq of the Tughlaq dynasty of Delhi Sultanate and named in memory of his cousin, Muhammad bin Tughluq, whose nickname was Jauna Khan.
Feroz Shah Tughlaq appointed Malik Sarwar, a eunuch, who was notorious for also having been the lover of Feroz Shah Tughlaq’s daughter, as the governor of the region in 1388. This was the time when the Delhi Sultanate was also declining because of factions forever fighting amongst each other for power and Malik Sarwar took advantage of the condition and declared independence. He adopted a son named Mubarak Shah and started what came to be known as Sharqi dynasty or the dynasty of the East. The dynasty was a big military power within the region – an empire extending from Bihar in West to Kanauj in the East. About a century later, Jaunpur was conquered back to Delhi Sultanate in 1493 by Sikander Lodhi of the Lodhi dynasty.
When to visit Jaunpur?
The best time to visit Jaunpur is during the winter season, which is the months from November to February as the weather is quite pleasant with the temperature ranging between 9 degrees Celsius and 25 degrees Celsius. Monsoon seasons see lots of heavy rain and Jaunpur remains wet and humid while temperature might rise to 40 degrees in summers.
How to reach Jaunpur?
The city of Jaunpur is located 228 km southeast of state capital Lucknow. The small city does not have an airport of its own. And the closest airport is in Varanasi, 42 kilometers away – the Lal Bahadur Shastri Airport. The airport enjoys good connectivity to nearby major cities as well as megacities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Hyderabad, etc. Air India, IndiGo, Vistara, Jet Airways, SpiceJet, etc are some of the air travel services which operate at the airport.
The city boasts of 4 major railway stations Jaunpur City Railway Station(JOP), Jaunpur Junction (JNU), Shahganj Junction (SHG) and Janghai Junction, Kerakat railway station (KCT) and enjoys good railway connectivity to all major cities of India.
The road transportation connectivity is equally brilliant. Besides Lucknow and Varanasi, some other major cities nearby include Patna which is around 275 km away, Allahabad at a distance of 102 kilometers, Kanpur at a distance of 302 kilometers.
There are no city buses but you can use state buses connecting the city to other cities to roam around in the city as these buses stop at different points. However, you will have to book advance tickets – this is what we did. Other options like rickshaws are easily available.
Where to stay in Jaunpur
Jaunpur has hotels catering to people of budgets and finding accommodation won’t be really different here. Though we ourselves didn’t stay here overnight.
What to buy in Jaunpur?
Jaunpur is gaining popularity for its indigenous art. Though people are skilled in jewelry making and ivory carving, we highly recommend buying perfumes as your souvenirs. Perfumes are Jaunpur’s specialty. They make perfumes from jasmine flowers, vetiver, saffron, Korea, Agar, etc. You can also go for some silver-based jewelry.
What to eat in Jaunpur?
Awadhi cuisine is easy to be found in restaurants around Jaunpur and you must definitely give this delicious food a try. Don’t forget to give a try to savor Imarti – a sweet delicacy made from urad puls which is one of Jaunpur’s best dishes.
Places to see in Jaunpur
Some of Jaunpur’s most popular landmarks include:
The Gomti River flows through the center of Jaunpur. It is visited for its Hindu and Muslim religious places. The old bridge over the Gomti River in Jaunpur is known as Shahi Bridge. It dates from 1564, the era of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. The street crossing the bride has a sort of mini-market with many shops on it mostly jewelry shops. A good play to buy souvenirs.
The major mosques include Atala Masjid, Jama Masjid (which is now known as the Bari Masjid or big mosque) Masjid), Khalis Mukhlis Masjid, Khokri Masjid, and the Lal Darwaza Masjid. These mosques are characterized by their unique blend of architectural style showing a combination of Hindu and Muslim motifs.
Shahi Quila Jaunpur Fort
This old fort also Known as Jaunpur Qila is a from the Tughlaq era but retains a good form. The fort has an old mosque inside. Mostly though, it is just wilderness and trees. It is a good place to take panoramic views of the city.
Jaunpur has a number of museums Some of the most famous ones include the Botany Museum, Archeological Museum, and Zoological Museum.
Hindu Places of worship
There are some lesser-known places of worship in Jaunpur that you might consider visiting. These include Yamdagni Ashram. Sheetala Chaukiyaa, Maihar Devi, Trilochan Mahadev Temple, and Yamdagni Ashram.
That is all from us. Jaunpur was like a little cookie of historical tourism for you. What about you? Do tell us about your experience in the comments below. 🙂