Delhi Journals

Historic Delhi Part 3: Mosques

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A January 2006 trip to Delhi by phileasfogg

Bada Gumbad Masjid Photo, More Photos
Quote: With over thirty centuries of eventful history and more than two thousand historical monuments, Delhi lives and breathes history. India’s capital has a tomb, a mosque, a ruined wall almost every few yards. Nearly all are worth seeing, for one reason or the other.

Historic Delhi Part 3: Mosques

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Overview

The Qila-e-Kuhna Mosque Photo, Delhi, India
Quote:
If you’re in Delhi only one day, visit the city’s two World Heritage sites, the exquisite Qutub Minar and Humayun’s Tomb. If you have a few days, chalk out itineraries that let you delve deeper. The most popular circuit is the Shahjahanabad one. Begin at the sprawling Lal Qila, the Red Fort, its red sandstone walls surrounding picture-perfect palaces of white marble. Cross the main road to the triple-domed Jama Masjid, then head for Chandni Chowk. Stroll down the bustling market, past Sunehari Masjid to Fatehpuri Masjid; or wander into the shops of the bylanes, where attars, jewellery, and silks have been sold for over 300 years. Or see th...Read More

Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque

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Attraction | "12th century: The Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque"

Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque Photo, Delhi, India
Quote:
This mosque was built by Qutb-uddin Aibek. May God’s mercy be on him, and on him who prays for a blessing on the faith of the founder of this blessed (edifice).  Inscription on the eastern gateway of the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque. Sultan Qutubuddin Aibak, the man who began the construction of the Quwwat-ul-Islam (the 'Might of Islam’) mosque in 1192 A.D, was a successful invader, and a man who made no bones about the fact that he found Hinduism and all its manifestations utterly alien. Which was why, when he decided to build a mosque, he made it by summarily demolishing some 27 Hindu and Jain temples. The Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, also known as the Masjid-e-Jami (`Congregational Mosque...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on December 30, 2006

Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque

Delhi, India

Khirki Masjid

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Attraction | "14th century: Khirki Masjid"

Khirki Masjid Photo, Delhi, India
Quote:
Once (in the late 1300s, to be precise), there lived a man called Khan-e-Jahan Junaan Shah Telangani. Telangani was Prime Minister to Feroze Shah Tughlaq (reign: 1351-1388), and while the Tughlaq constructed tombs and added to the Qutub Minar, Telangani concentrated on mosques. And concentrated so hard that he churned out- according to popular belief - seven of them. This urge to build mosques may have stemmed from the fact that Telangani was a convert from Hinduism, and felt a need to prove himself. Whatever the reason, he did make a lot of mosques, and the majestic Khirki Masjid, built in 1375, is one. The Khirki Masjid can be hard to find, so you have to look out for it. I have to admit...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on December 30, 2006

Khirki Masjid
Khirki Village, Opposite Press Enclave, Saket
South Delhi, India

Moth Ki Masjid

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Attraction | "16th century: Moth Ki Masjid"

Moth Ki Masjid Photo, Delhi, India
Quote:
The Moth Ki Masjid is adjacent to the Uday Park DDA Market; it’s also close to South Extension, so you can approach from either neighbourhood. At first sight (which, from the direction in which we approached it, was the back), the masjid looks unlike a mosque. The solid sloping walls are of grey stone, with curving turrets and chhatris (small rounded pavilions) at the corners. A small fortified palace, not a mosque, was my first thought. We persevered, however, and made our way round the encircling wall and up the steep steps to the gate. Inside, the mosque was the very epitome of tranquility: heaps of yellowing leaves swirled in the breeze, and a flock of blue rock pigeons pecked at birds...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 30, 2006

Moth Ki Masjid
Behind Dda Market, Uday Park, South Extension 2
Delhi, India

Jamali Kamali Mosque and Tomb

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Attraction | "16th century: The Mosque and Tomb of Jamali-Kamali"

Jamali Kamali Mosque and Tomb Photo, Delhi, India
Quote:
Jamali was the pen name of a traveller, poet, and mystic called Sheikh Fazlullah Khan (d. 1536), who served at the court of Sikandar Lodi. Jamali was much revered; his tomb therefore is one of the finest ever built for a commoner in Delhi. The mosque of Jamali Kamali was built in about 1528 and is an imposing example of pre-Mughal architecture. It’s a combination of grey Delhi quartzite, red sandstone, and traces of white marble. The latter is used mainly in the ornamentation of the facade, which consists of a set of five arches flanked at either end by unusual turrets. The sehan or courtyard in front of the mosque contains a fairly deep hauz (tank), which was full of scummy water w...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on December 30, 2006

Jamali Kamali Mosque and Tomb
Mehrauli Archaeological Park, Near Andheria More
Delhi, India

On Mosques

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Story/Tip

Bada Gumbad Masjid Photo,
Quote:
There’s a delightful couplet in Urdu that goes something like this: Jahan gaaye the khushiyon ke taraane,Muqaddar dekhiye, roye waheen par.Masjid se ghum hue joote hamare,Jahan paaye the, khoye waheen par. Where I had once sung songs of joy,See my fate: I now weep there.At the mosque were my shoes taken;Lost, where they were once found. That, of course, gives you a fair idea of the very first rule of visiting a mosque: take off your shoes before you venture in. Unfortunately, it also tells you what may happen if you’re unlucky, or if your shoes catch the fancy of an unscrupulous passerby. The solution, interestingly, is one tha...Read More