Khan-i Khanan Muhammad Mun'im Khan was appointed the governor of Jaunpur by Emperor Akbar in 1567. A dedicated and diligent administrator, he set to restore a great number of buildings that were destroyed by the Lodis. To encourage the building of civic amenities by his nobles, Mun'im Khan set a personal example by commissioning a number of civic structures around the city. The Akbar Bridge at Jaunpur built over the Gumpti River is one such example and is one of the most significant and picturesque of Mughal structures in the city.
The bridge comprises ten arched openings that are supported on massive pylons. There is an additional extension of five arches that were built to cover the diverted channel. The bridge originally had a hammam (public bath house) at the northern end, which is no longer used and is permanently closed. Chhatris (small pavilions) line either sides of the bridge, providing points on the bridge for people to stop and gaze over the flowing river below. The Collector of Jaunpur added these to the bridge in 1847. Each chhatri lines up with a pylon below. The chhatris project beyond the bridge and are supported below by brackets that transfer the weight to the pylons. The pylons are elongated hexagons in plan with the longer sides supporting the bridge and the skewed sides supporting the chhatris above. The skewed sides of the pylons have recessed rectangular niches with blind arches, preventing the pylons from appearing like solid masses rise up from the river.
Alfieri, Bianca Maria. Islamic Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent, 103. London: Laurence King Publishing, 2000.
Asher, Catherine B. Architecture of Mughal India, 87. New York: Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge, 1992.