A mosque or a masjid as we commonly call it, is a place for worship for the followers of Islam, all over the world. They have come to play a crucial role in today’s times, by serving as centers for education, information and community dialogues.
There are centuries old mosques in India that are brilliant pieces of architecture and have stood through the passage of time, and stand as tall and proud as the day they were built. The basic design generally includes a central dome, minarets and columns. The call for prayer or azaan is the calling for every devout Muslim to stop what he is doing and be present in the service of the Almighty.
Like any other place of worship, when visiting a mosque be silent, try to focus on the grandeur and the purpose of the structure. Today we look at five of the grandest majestic mosques in India.
5. Jama Masjid, New Delhi
Jama Masjid in New Delhi is one of the largest mosques in India. Almost 25,000 Muslims can pray at a single time in its courtyard. The construction of this massive structure was started in 1644 and can easily be regarded as an architectural marvel from Shah Jahan’s period.
The grandeur of the mosque has to be seen to be believed, it has massive three gates, four huge towers and 40 minarets that are set high up. The building is mostly made of red sandstone and marble.
4. Haji Ali Dargah – Tomb of Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari – Mumbai
The Dargah of Haji Ali is one the most religious sites in India. It is actually situated in the sea at a distance of 500 yards from the cost of Mumbai. It is a place of worship for people of all religions. In the early days it was a smaller structure that had been constructed on top of the rocks. The Trust has been responsible for it development and upkeep since 1916.
At high tide in the previous decade, a part of the mosque actually got submerged underwater. Almost fifteen thousand people pay a visit to this Dargah on a daily basis. The white dome and minarets are hard to miss from far away. The Pir Baba is supposed to grant your wishes irrespective of whether you are a Christian or Hindu or a Sikh.
3. Malik Dinar Mosque, Thalankara, Kerala
This historic place of worship is believed to have been founded by, Malik Ibn Deenar. It is very well maintained and regularly gets visitors in huge numbers. It is believed that it was Malik Ibn Deenar who brought Islam to India in 624 AD.
The mosque is said to be the resting place of the peer and is very sacred to Muslims. It is believed to be one of the first ten mosques built in India. The building has a typical architectural style of Kerala.
2. Mecca Masjid, Hyderabad
The mosque is the biggest in the city of Hyderabad and is at a distance of 100 yards from Charminar. It is called the Mecca masjid as the design is inspired from the Grand Mosque in Mecca. Ten thousand devotees can say their prayers at one time. The Sultan Mohammed Wutb Shah had got it constructed by employing almost 8,000 laborers and masons.
It took a mammoth 77 years to finish and was finally inaugurated during the regime of Aurangzeb. The architecture is very Mughal with large spaces and halls that can accommodate as many followers.
1. Hazratbal Shrine, Kashmir
The Hazratbal Mosque can been seen on the western side of the Dal Lake. The reflection of the white marble in the clear waters is a sight to be seen. The mosque has the unique distinction of housing the hair of Prophet Muhammad. It is the only mosque in Kashmir that has a dome, while others are constructed with pagoda type roofs.
The shrine is believed to be a palatial building built by Shah Jahan that was converted into a mosque in 1634. The holy relic is for public display only on special occasions and is otherwise kept in high security.