Raised in the historic city of Isfahan, Mohammad Gharipour received
his Ph.D. in Architectural Theory and History from Georgia Institute of
Technology in 2008 and Masters of Architecture from the University of Tehran in
2000. He teaches architecture at Morgan State University and is the Director and Founding Editor of the International Journal of Islamic Architecture. His
areas of research include Japanese traditional and contemporary architecture,
Persianate gardens and architecture, and restorative environments. He is the
recipient of Spiro Kostof fellowship award from the Society of Architectural
Historians (SAH) in 2008 and the author of several publications including Persian Gardens and Pavilions: Reflections in
Poetry, Arts and History(I.B. Tauris, 2013). in 2014, Dr. Gharipour was presented with the National Endowment for Humanities Faculty Award for his research on Synagogues of Isfahan, Iran.
Sharma, Jyoti Pandey. "From Marrakesh to India: A Colonial Maharaja’s Pursuit of Architectural Glory in Kapurthala." In International Journal of Islamic Architecture, Volume 1, Number 2 (pp. 269-300), edited by Mohammad Gharipour, Bristol: Intellect, 2012.
This article explores a case of feisty internationalism in India's Islamic architecture during the colonial era. An Indian ruler with a passion for building, Maharaja Jagatjit Singh (1872-1949), ruler of the princely state of Kapurthala, commissioned a mosque in his capital, Kapurthala, in the early decades of the twentieth century. Departing from convention, the archetype was not drawn from the subcontinent's mosque-building tradition, but from Morocco in the Maghrib (Muslim North Africa). The patron was an inveterate traveller and tourist who frequented Europe and also visited its colonies including Morocco. He was impressed by Marrakesh's landmark twelfth-century Kutubiyya Mosque that became the prototype for Kapurthala's Jami Mosque. Designed by a French architect, Kapurthala's Jami Mosque is a complete aberration in the subcontinent's Islamic history owing to its allegiance to a Maghribi prototype. It represents a unique, idiosyncratic endeavour by a non-Muslim ruler subscribing to western cultural practices and seeking inspiration beyond the scope of his home in order to raise a mosque for his Muslim subjects. The article asserts that the Maharaja's endeavour, sadly neglected both by the public and academia, deserves a place in the subcontinent's vast corpus of Islamic built heritage as an invaluable cultural resource to be safeguarded for posterity.
Keywords: Jami Mosque; Maghrib; built heritage; colonialism; princely patronage; travel