Mosques in India are not typifyed as mere religious centres or prayer chambers but as grand architectural feasts for the eyes of the beholders. Starting from the time of Ghurid Dynasty to the days of Mughals, most of the famous mosques were constructed to create political influence or to exhibit the opulence of the rulers. But, there are Islamic Religion Places in India like the Bara Imambara in Lucknow which was constructed to provide shelter to the famine-stricken sufferers. Though, the dome, minaret and arches are some of the common features among the Indian mosques, a distinctive characterstic is observed amongst the shrines of Kashmir Valley. Spacious, mysterious, and above all highly auspicious mosques in India are mostly open to common people (except prayer time) and generate a soothing feel among the visitors.
Mecca Masjid, Hyderabad
Mecca Masjid, Also called Makkah Masjid, is one of the popular tourist spots of Hyderabad attracting not just devotees but almost everyone. The construction of Mecca Masjid Hyderabad involved close to 8000 masons who worked round the clock. This construction went on for almost 77 years. Located in the Old City, at a distance of 100 metres from the Charminar which is another popular place for sightseeing in Hyderabad, Mecca Masjid is one of the largest mosques not just in India but also in the world.
The mosque has approximately 75-foot-high hall with dimensions of 220 feet by 180 feet. Interiors of the mosque are also beautifully decorated. It is believed that the main hall alone can accommodate 10,000 worshippers at a time.
Along with this, there are 15 intricately designed arches supporting the roof of the prayer hall. On each side there are five arches, along with a wall which offers Mihrab on the 4th side. The pillars are carved out of single slab granite which increases their exclusivity. The two octagonal columns that majorly constitute the Mosque construction have been created from a single granite stone
How to Reach ?
Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad is one of the oldest and largest mosques in the city. Commissioned in 1614, it was built through the efforts of by Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah, however, the construction saw completion only in the year 1694. Together with the Chowmahalla Palace, Laad Bazaar, and Charminar, the mosque forms the four very important heritage attractions in the city. Located near the famous monument – Charminar – it can be easily reached from any part of the city.
With a capacity to accommodate as many as 10,000 people at any given time, the imposing facade of the Mecca Masjid is indeed a humbling sight to behold. Its interiors are a testament to the grandeur of the rulers of the Quli dynasty. However, please note that, at present, only followers of Islam religion are allowed to enter the mosque.
Jama Masjid, Agra
Everything about the Jama Masjid is surreal, from its design to its architecture. Maybe that is why it has been compared to Baitul-Mamur, a pearls and rubies studded mosque believed to be located in jannah (heaven). Built by Shah Jahan in 1648 AD, it was dedicated to his daughter, Jahanara Begum. The perfection in its art and design make it one of the most visited tourist attractions in Agra.
Located just opposite the Agra Fort, the Jama Masjid is one of the largest mosques in India. It is constructed on a large platform which is accessible by a flight of 35 steps. Indeed, its enormous size makes it visible from a distance and attracts the believers from afar. It is a monument which evokes wonder and awe, and is of immense cultural and historical importance.
How to reach ?
Jama Masjid is located right opposite to the Agra Fort Railway Station and is thus easy to reach. You can hire an auto rickshaw from any part of the city to reach the mosque.
Jama Masjid , Delhi
The Jama Masjid, another favorite tourist attraction is situated opposite the Red Fort in the capital city- Delhi. Built by Shah Jahan, the Jama Masjid exhibits another Mughal architectural splendor. The mosque is known to be one of the largest and oldest in India. The Jama Masjid is open to tourists on all days except the prayer intervals. At the mosque the tourists are requested to open their shoes and cover their feet and arms before entering Jama Masjid. It is done as an act of reverence for the Muslim faith. The Id-ul-Fitr and the Id-ul-Zoha are the two very special events attract tourists and devotees from all over the world
Jama Masjid stands on a raised platform and opens out to the city through the three double storied gates on the north, east and south which leads the tourists into the courtyard of the mosque. The eastern gate which is the largest was used by the royal family. Tourists are permitted to enter the mosque arena through the northern and the southern gates. The mosque is about 80 meters long and 27 meters wide and 130 feet in height. The Jama Masjid faces the west.
The roof of Jama Masjid is designed in white and black stripes of marble and the top is covered in gold. 25000 people can be accommodated in the 100 square meters courtyard.
The prayer hall is decorated with arched marble structures inscribed with detailed history of the mosque. The floor structure of Jama Masjid is similar to that of Moti Masjid in Agra. The northeast part of the mosque is considered to be very holy because of the elaboration of the Quran in deerskin and the relics of Muhammad – the prophet. The southern minaret offers a view of the entire expanse of old Delhi marking the locations of some of the very popular tourist attractions.
How to reach ?
The mosque has a station by its own name on the Heritage Line of Delhi Metro. One can also get down at Chawri Bazar metro station on the Yellow Line and either walk or take a cycle rickshaw to reach the mosque.
Moti Masjid, Bhopal
The city of Bhopal is often called the city of mosques due to the presence of a number of historical mosques and monuments within its walls. One such mosque, relatively smaller in size but not less important is the Moti Masjid. Built by Sikander Begum in the year 1860, the beautiful Moti Masjid is an important historical landmark of the Muslims in Bhopal. The architectural design of the Moti Masjid has a striking resemblance to the famous Jama Masjid in Delhi.
Behind the history of Moti Masjid lies the history of one of the most significant characters in the history of Muslim women in India, Sikander Begum. Being a relatively liberated and progressive woman compared to the time in which she lived, Sikander Begum had built roads, bridges and a number of graceful and elegant monuments such as the Moti Masjid in Bhopal .The Moti Masjid was built in 1860 and since then it is one of the most significant landmarks in Madhya Pradesh.
The Moti Masjid, Bhopal is a relatively smaller sized monument hat was built in the year 1860 by Sikander Jehan. The mosque has two dark red towers with golden spikes. The architecture of the Moti masjid resembles the Jama Masjid in Delhi. Because of the sparkling white façade, The Moti Masjid is also called the Pearl Mosque.
How to Reach ?
Bhopal can be easily reached by regular flights and trains from different important cities such as Delhi, Gwallior, Mumbai and Indore. There are also daily buses to Bhopal that take the tourists to this walled city. Moti Masjid inside the city premises of Bhopal can be easily reached by any transport, local or private.
Hazratbal Shrine, Srinagar
The Hazratbal Shrine is a Muslim shrine set on the left bank of the Dal Lake. The shrine is considered the holiest Muslim shrine in Kashmir valley. The shrine was actually built as a pleasure house by Sadiq Khan, Subedar of Shah Jahan. Later, the pleasure house was converted into a house of prayer with the orders of Shah Jahan. Today, the place is a well known shrine which is visited thousands of people every year.The Hazratbal Shrine takes its name from Kashmiri language where the word ‘Hazrat’ stands for holy and ‘bal’ stands for place. The shrine is considered extremely sacred among the Muslims.
The Hazratbal shrine is known as an epitome of love and respect of Muslims for their Prophet Mohammad. Visitors get to have a great view of the Dal Lake and the mountains around. The shrine houses Moi-e-Muqqadus which are the preserved sacred hair of Prophet Mohammad. The hair is presented before the public only on religious occasions. Visitors know the shrine by different names including Assar-e-Sharief, Madinat-us-Sani and Dargah Shari. The Hazratbal Mosque is a beautiful structure which is made using white marble. The mosque looks more beautiful with that captivating Himalayan mountain range in the backdrop. Also, the mosque features a great blend of Mughal and Kashmiri architectural styles which were used during its construction back in the 17th century.
How to reach ?
It can be reached by a shikara on the Dal Lake or by road through the city. Hazratbal Shrine is important because it holds a sacred relic, a hair, of Prophet Muhammad, referred to as the Moi-e- Muqqadas
Adhai Din ka Jhopra, Ajmer
Adhai Din ka Jhopara is a Masjid built by Qutub-ud-Din-Aibak, first Sultan of Delhi in AD 1199.
Rumor has it that this Indo-Islamic architectural site was constructed in two and a half days and that’s where it gets its name. Adhai Din ka Jhopra is a relic of an old mosque which was constructed with remains of Hindu and Jain temples. Though most of the ancient temple is in ruins today, the area of the mosque is still used as a place of worship. Complete with arched screens, ruined minarets and distinct beautiful pillars it is an amazing place to visit.
How to Reach ?
Ajmer does not have airport but the nearest international airport is Sanganer airport of Jaipur which is around 130km away from Ajmer. Tourists who want to visit Adhai Din ka Jhonpra can come to Jaipur by air and then catch a train or bus or hire a taxi to come to Ajmer.
Ajmer is well-connected to many cities in India through railway network. Rajdhani, Shatabdi, Janshatabdi, Garib Rath superfast and fast trains along with passenger trains have stoppage here. Many trains also originate and terminate here. The trains connect Ajmer to all the metropolitan cities except Chennai.