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Juma Masjid, Sira

LOCALITY: Sira (Lat. 130 44' N; Long. 760 56' E)

The foundation of the town and the fort is attributed to Rangappa Nayaka, a chief of Ratnagiri, during post¬ Vijayanagara period. Before the fort was completed, the region was conquered by Ranadulla Khan, a commander of the Adil Shahis of Bijapur. Malik Hussain who was appointed as provincial governor by the Adil Shahis, completed the fort and enclosed the town with mud walls. He was also responsible for constructing a palace at this place. The capture of Bijapur by Aurangazeb in 1687 was followed by the conquest of this region and Sira was made the capital of the new province south of Tungabhadra, with Kasim Khan as its governor in 1690. Sira rose to prominence and prosperity under Dilavar Khan (1724-56 AD). Subsequently, it came under the control of the Marathas, and still later under the rule of Mysore kingdom under Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan.  

The Juma Masjid was built in 1696 AD in dressed masonry and has all the characteristic features of the Adil Shahi architecture. Facing east, the mosque is built on a terrace. The courtyard in front has a tank for ablution. The front courtyard has a low parapet with entrances in the north and south. In the mosque proper there are 15 bays raised on symmetrical cusped arches, the arches on either side are flanked by floral medallions. At the extreme north and south ends are octagonal tall minarets. At the centre, three circular domes in north-south alignment rise above the central arches over the circular drum. The central dome is larger than the other two and all of them have brass finials. A prominent offset in the western wall marks the Qibla projection of the central mihrab inside the mosque.