Begumpuri Masjid

Begumpuri Masjid

  • New Delhi
  • India
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Begumpuri Masjid, New Delhi Overview

A very famous Iranian architect Zahir al-Din al-Jayush designed the Begumpur Mosque in tune to the Iranian design. Called as a remnant of the old city this Mughal monument occupies an area of 90 m × 94 m which has an inner courtyard that measures 75m × 80 m. It served dual purpose of being a Madrasa which is an administrative centre for supervising the treasury and also as a social community hub that is encompassed by a market area. It has a unique layout that consists of a "three by eight" deep nine bay prayer hall on the west that also has paved passages with an arch as well.

The temple houses a number of shrines; the shrine of Lord Narayan and Hindu Goddess Lakshmi being the main ones and smaller shrines as well which are dedicated to Lord Shiva, SLord Ganesha and Hanuman. A very different feature of the temple is the presence of a shrine of Lord Buddha. Moreover, there is a dome on the left side temple which is called Shikhar and is the home to Devi Durga an epitome of Shakti or power. The temple covers an area of 7.5 acres (30,000 m2) approximately out of which only 0.52 acres (2,100 m2) has been developed. The Mosque is being considered to be a masterpiece of the field of architecture as it has an interesting layout that has three gates that are installed in the three covered passages, one in each.

The Mihrab of the West wall has minarets that are tapered in Toghluqi style and lining the central high opening which is ultimately covered by a big dome. There are 25 passageways in the whole of the west wall and also the Mihrab has put five projections to display. On one hand, the prayer has been interestingly designed and on the other the columns and walls are monotonous. The gate on the east side could be reached after going through a flight of stairs which takes one to the raised platform that marks the location of this mosque which in turn has a four lawn layout. The four arcades also flaunt the “Chajjas” (balconies) which have been strengthened using stones as the building material.

The entry to the Mosque from the North is supposed to link it to the Bijayamandal Palace and is also perched on a rising of 1m. The stucco plastering work done on the walls remained intact for centuries that have passed, even till date some of the walls have residual tiles fixed on them. The mosque has housed human life till the 17 century which has witnessed Jahanpanah's existence. However, later also encroachers tried to dwell here but were then removed by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in 1921.

A well covered lane was also found that must have been functional to the womenfolk of the Sultan's family and must have been used to direct them to the mosque for attending the prayers. People with historically biased interests will find relief here as it will reveal a lot about the legendary people who were once in rule.

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