Jama Masjid Project - At a glance
Professor, Department of Architecture
Heritage Cell &
Work, Jama Masjid Project
Jama Masjid, Aligarh Muslim University is one of the
oldest structures established in the campus. The construction of mosque was
started in 1879 by Sir Syed Ahmad Khan (the founder of the University) and was declared open on 1 February 1915. The mosque is almost prototype
the elegant Jama Masjid of Shahjahanabad, Delhi. The only difference being in
scale and magnitude.
Masjid is having three multifoilated
domes resting on the drum. In addition,
it has two lofty minarets, longitudinally
stripped with red sandstone and Dhaulpur stone. The white marble strip,
on which the calligraphic inscription from Holy Quran is engraved, enhances the
central Iwan. The interior is highly ornamented with white Araish plaster
having Calligraphic inscriptions
from the Holy Quran and golden floral patterns.
carved pillars, ingraved minarets, single piece stone screens (jalis), stone
inlay, multicolored glass doors, sarasenic parapet walls, the calligraphic
inscriptions, and a series of arches ranging from multi foil, trifoil, four
centered, semicircular, jack arch and
pointed arch are enhancing the beauty of this architectural marvel of
nineteenth century in the campus.
are various problems associated with this marvel piece of architecture. The age
related decay of the building is one of the crucial factors since this building
was built more than hundred years ago. With the passage of time it requires
restoration and conservation to retain it in its original form.
Fortunately, the structure of Jama Masjid is still intact
though more than hundred years have been elapsed since its construction. This
magnificent piece of architecture is getting deteriorated due to lack of expert
management and maintenance as well as negligence and unawareness.
Consequently, there is improper placement of new services,
addition of new toilet block, filling up of arcaded openings, the plant and
vegetation growth, choking of spouts and thereby water logging on the roof
causing dampness from the top, algal growth, peeling plaster. Rising dampness
on exposed brick external walls and placement of cement mortar on these lime
pointed walls to stop dampness results in the rise of dampness level above the
cement plaster. On the internal walls of the mosque, the Araish plaster was
replaced by cement plaster upto 4 feet height during previous efforts probably
to control rising dampness at the ground level which enhanced the scaling up of
dampness above the cement plaster causing further damage of Araish work. The ceilings
were repainted by using enamel colors which has lost the original beauty of the
ceiling. The floral pattern was
repainted by golden colour which turned black during course of time.
About the Project:
The conservation of Jama Masjid of Aligarh Muslim
University is the first
conservation project initiated under the aegis of Heritage Cell, AMU. The
Heritage Cell was established after the 10 years of rigorous efforts of the
convener Mr. M. Farhan Fazli in 2012 under the meticulous aspiration of the
Vice-Chancellor, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah. This conservation project
is funded by the alumni of the University and astiring under two teams, "AMU
Jama Masjid Conservation Committee" and "Working Committee" for the restoration
work of AMU Jama Masjid, approved by the Vice-Chancellor, AMU.
AMU Jama Masjid Conservation
1. Mr. Rashid Ghani Khan (Convener)
2. Mr. Javaid Said
3. Dr. Md.
4. Prof. M.M. Sufyan Beg
5. Ar. M. Farhan Fazli
for the Renovation Work of AMU Jama Masjid:
Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Zameer Uddin Shah, Vice-Chancellor,
AMU, Aligarh (Chairman)
Prof. S.M. Jawed Akhtar, Officiating Finance
Prof. M.M. Sufyan Beg, Principal, Z.H. College
of Engg. & Tech.
Prof. Mohammed Arif, Chairman, Department of
Civil Engineering, ZHCET
Prof. Anwar Khursheed, University Engineer (Building
Dr. Md. Kalimuddin Ahmad, OSD, Jama
Prof. Parvaiz Talib, OSD, New Management Complex
8. Mr. Mohammad Farhan Fazli, Assistant Professor,
D/o Architecture, ZHCET and Convener of Heritage Cell (In-Charge of Work)
Mr. Mohd Khalid Hasan, Assistant Professor, D/o
Dr. Orus Ilyas, Assistant Professor, D/o
Mr. Rashid Ghani Khan, Samanzar, Lal Diggi, Aligarh
(As a Representative on behalf of
1. Mr. Arvind Kumar (Conservation Scientist)
2. Ar. M. Farhan Fazli (Conservation
3. Ar. Tanzeel Ahmad (Trainee Architect)
Beside these conservation professionals, a team of skilled and
semi-skilled workers like conservation assistants, craftsmen (stone carvers,
inlay artists, calligraphers etc), painters, carpenters, electricians, masons
(specialized in traditional works) have been engaged on the project.
a) Detailed documentation and research for the
commencement of conservation work to ensure the
quality of restoration in Jama Masjid, AMU.
b) Architectural elements and structural systems
are to be retained and restored in their original form as much as possible.
c) In case of severe damage, if retention is not
possible then such elements have to be repaired or replaced retaining the
features of that element.
d) Total reconstruction in Jama Masjid is against
the international conservation practices accepted worldwide, therefore selective replacement should be done if
e) Original structure is to be retained by
strengthening and repairing the structural elements while doing the
conservation of Jama Masjid.
f) Additions and alterations in the mosque or
strengthening of elements is to be done with similar material, style and
g) Strengthening of heritage cell for developing an
expert team to monitor every stage of conservation work and to provide
technical inputs for the judicial completion of the project.
Present Status of Jama Masjid:
The age, weathering
and negligence have become the major source of deterioration. Another problem
associated with this heritage building was the previous efforts to repair and
restore which were threatening the mosque due to the lack of expertise about
the conservation of heritage structures. The provision of new services in an
inappropriate manner are destroying the aesthetics and beauty of this
incredible building. This Heritage mosque is sound in its structural stability apart
from few structural cracks which can be easily repaired. Jama Masjid can still
withstand for centuries with the help of a regular management and maintenance
Documentation of the building
Removal of cement plaster at lower
level of walls and measures against rising dampness
Reintegration and revival of floral patterns
and calligraphic inscriptions
Cleaning, consolidation and
re-adhesion of the Araish plaster
Treatment for flaking of paint layer
Reintegration of lacunae in plaster
Application of protective coating
Cleaning of stone elements
Repair of inlay work of manuscripts written on exterior
Removal of lime coatings/splashes of
cement on stone pillars/carvings
Repair of Lime plaster with traditional lime
Lime pointing of exposed brick walls
Restoration of original roof drainage system
Repair and maintenance of roof and
Restoration of entrance wooden doors
in its original form.
Restoration of stone inlay in
Consolidation of structural cracks
Strengthening of facades
Consolidation of stone
Repair and consolidation of minarets
Re-electrification for illuminating the
interior walls and ornamentation.
Spotlights and floodlights for
illuminating the façade of the building.
Installation of mechanized canopies
in the courtyard of Jama Masjid as are installed at Al-Masjid an-Nabawi in
7. Formulation of Annual
8. Tentative Estimate of
Kindly see the report at http://amu.ac.in/pdf/masjid/report.pdf