Kachpura Masjid
Agra, India
This mosque is located on the left bank of the River Jumna, where the Taj Mahal was later built. The mosque follows the lines of a traditional courtyard mosque, a contrast to Humayun's clearly more innovative taste. Appearing in very few texts, this is the only structure that clearly ascribes itself to Humayun's reign. There are two informative inscriptions. One dates the mosque to 1530, the year Humayun acceded to the throne. And the other names the client who commissioned the construction, Shaikh Zain of Khaf, a scholar, prominent noble and a friend of Babur.

Today, the mosque is in ruins, with only the main prayer hall intact. The southern wing has collapsed entirely making it difficult to determine how many bays originally composed the double-aisled north and south wings. It is thought that the side wings were once covered with eight cupolas. Influenced by Timurid architecture, the arch of the central bay takes the form of an iwan and is twice the width of the two arches flanking it. The central bay is capped by a dome that is supported on the interior by kite-shaped pendentives and net squinches. The smaller domes of the side wings had similar supports.

This brick and limestone mosque displays eight-pointed stars and lozenge patterns in plaster on the façade. These patterns were painted, possibly to evoke the brilliant colors of Samarqand. Traces of decorative glazed tile are also found.


Alfieri, Bianca Maria. Islamic Architecture of the Indian Subcontinent. London: Laurence King Publishing, 2000. 188.

Asher, Catherine B. Architecture of Mughal India. New York: Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge, 1992. 34.
Agra, India
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Associated Names
1530-1531/936-937 AH
Style Periods
Variant Names
Humayun's Mosque at Kachpura
Kachpura Masjid
Building Usages