From the same period as the Shrine of Ibrahim, the Sola Khamba Masjid, dating to 1166-1177/8, is one of the oldest mosques in India. Although in an advanced state of deterioration, extant remains are sufficient to determine the layout of the building. The mosque is based on a courtyard plan, with a portico at its eastern side. The addition of a portico that is almost equivalent in area to the main building is an unusual feature, one that is also seen in the Shrine of Ibrahim. This arrangement appears to have been influence by local Jain and Hindu temples.
The portico covers an area of 1,001 square feet (93 square meters) while the roofed space of the main building is almost 1,399 square feet (130 square meters). The flat roof that covers the mosque has mostly collapsed. The portico is formed by four rows of eight columns each. The roofed area on the west side (qibla wall) is supported by two rows of columns running parallel to the qibla wall. The colonnade has only a single row of columns that frame the courtyard.
The mosque is mostly built of stone. The columns are monolithic structures that are divided into three parts. The base is square, the shaft octagonal, while the top portion is circular. These divisions in the columns are also found in the Shrine of Ibrahim, but while those were still highly ornate, these columns are simple. The ante-capitals have Hindu-style brackets that support the lintels of the roof. These brackets vary from two to four depending on the number of lintels it supports.
The mihrab in the qibla wall no longer exists, but remains reveal a semi-circular form projecting beyond the outer wall line. Such outward projecting mihrabs were used in early Umayyad architecture providing an example of links between the Arabs and the Muslims of this region, allowing buildings to be influenced by western Islamic architectural styles. A secondary mihrab can be found to the south of the main entrance under the portico. The north wall is still intact and has two large windows. The south wall is in ruins but displays similarities with the north wall with its two windows.
In the portico there are traces of later additions. An alter found in the southern portion of the portico suggests that the mosque may have been used as a temple. Three of the original columns on the north side of the portico appear to have been removed to create space for an entrance that must have been attached when the building was being used as a temple. The remains of a secondary wall built around the portico can also be found. An interesting element is a pillar found in the portico with a band of floral decoration at the top. The pattern of this decoration resembles the anthemion decoration found on many Ashokan columns. The discovery of this column gives credence to Bhadresvar existing as an important city during the second century and that ancient monuments belonging to an earlier age existed in the vicinity. This column was probably found and erected at the time when the mosque was converted to a temple.
Alfieri, Bianca Maria. Islamic Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent. London: Laurence King Publishing, 2000. 107.
Shokoohy, Mehrdad. Bhadresvar: The Oldest Islamic Monuments of India. Leiden, Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1988. 19, 21, 22, 23.