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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Jamia Masjid (Mosque) - Srinagar


After having visited Hazratbal, we thought of going to the Jamia Masjid (Mosque) at Srinagar. However, our driver had some reservations. He informed that the Mosque is at the centre of the old part of the city and is a disturbed area. Cannot be considered to be very safe. Then he remembered that it was a Thursday and not a Friday. Fridays are special  when the area is fully crowded for the prayers at the Mosque. (Before I could make out a post, there was a news that a 300 year old “Dastagir Sahib”a holy shrine of the Sufi order, went into flames under mysterious circumstances. To contain the violence that followed, curfew has been clamped through out Kashmir. Even people have been restrained from offering their Friday prayers at Jamia Mosque on the 29th June) Therefore the driver obliged us and took us through the streets of the old city. From an otherwise thinly populated areas we were proceeding  towards high density area. 





The houses and buildings on our way  had a an old world charm and we could not resist clicking our cameras. Soon we noticed a tall tower at a distance resembling that of a church but then our driver corrected us saying that it is the Jamia Masjid.



We were now crossing a main road to go down. The mosque was at a lower elevation and now it was in full view. The main entrance is from the Southern side. The mosque seems to have had entrances from North and East as well. There is a broad lane surrounding the mosque with show rooms and shops on one side stocking items ranging from cloth, utensils, handicrafts and other domestic needs. It is said that the market here is cheaper as they primarily cater to the needs of the local population.


The arched doorway is huge but then the pagoda type superstructure  resembles that of a Buddhist shrine. There are no domes and minarets which we generally find associated with mosques. Practically all mosques in Kashmir are devoid of domes. The mosque is supposed to be a unique representation of the Indo-Saracenic architecture.






On entering through the main doorway, we find a magnificent square courtyard with well maintained lawns and ornamental trees. Towards the West is the main prayer hall wherefrom the Imam (Head Priest) directs the congregation. Just in front of the main prayer area there is a large square pool with flowing water used for ritual washing of hands before entering the hall for praying. There is a LED display board inside which shows the exact timings for the 5 times a day  prayers. This main complex is surrounded by a very broad corridor on the other three sides with fully carpeted flooring.


The Jamia Masjid is located in the Nowhata area of Srinagar. This was got constructed by the local ruler Sultan Sikandar in the year 1400. Later extensions were carried out by his son Jain-ul-Abidin. As said earlier the architecture is of Indo-Saracenic type. As a matter of fact it is an amalgam of Gothic, Mughal and Indian styles. Here they have used fully baked bricks for the whole construction. It has a wooden ceiling over which corrugated tin sheets have been placed angularly to facilitate easy clearance of snow during winters. the ceiling is supported by 370 very tall pillars made of pine timber. The mosque has a capacity to accommodate a congregation of 33333 people under its roof. Unfortunately this mosque too had to suffer great amount of loss due to fire which broke out at least thrice so far. The last renovation after a major fire was carried out by a Hindu ruler Maharaja Pratap Singh during the later part of 16th century.

Amongst all the mosques we have seen in India, this one is unique and justly called the pride of Srinagar.

24 comments:

  1. Dear PNS Sir
    Nice of the taxi driver to take you to the mosque in spite of the inherent dangers involved. Magnificent monument with superb architecture.600 years old - This is amazing. Thanks for sharing detailed and interesting information and charming pics.
    Warm Regards Ram

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  2. We did not visit this mosque during our visit to Srinagar but thanks to you we could get a feel of the visit because of your description and pictures. It is a unique mosque .

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  3. Without the dome, this mosque looks different indeed. It can accommodate 33,333 people? Should be a large mosque then... Should visit it one day... The houses look different and are nice.

    Destination Infinity

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  4. Very interesting. I have never heard or seen a mosque without minarets or domes. This is special and it looks quite calm. I am glad you all made it, so that we could have this beautiful virtual tour here.

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  5. I have not been there but looks interesting place to visit.

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  6. Beautiful captures of the old city and the lovely mosque

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  7. Yes, this mosque does look different from other mosques. It appears to be a very stately structure.

    Great pics!

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  8. Good visuals and description .Thanks .

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  9. Great info

    photos are good

    thanks for sharing

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  10. Beautiful post :) I bet this place will be so colorful during Ramadan.

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  11. Fascinating reading, I always find such posts interesting and informative and especially so when they have such wonderful accompanying photos.

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  12. i know about srinagar after i read a novel by Javed Sharif , The Homecoming.

    It's look very interesting place to visit beside the conflict history indeed :)

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  13. What a wonderful mosque. Such pretty doorways!
    Wishing you a beautiful weekend.
    And thank you for visiting my blog the other day. :)

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  14. Beautiful, wish I could see it in person.

    Thanks for sharing Sir!

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  15. at least we tried and retained some of the buildings of the past in N India. In most of South India, especially kerala they are all gone..

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  16. few of the buildings resemble that of Europe. The mosque is so beautiful and so well captured, Sir.

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  17. Hello PNS,

    I enjoyed your interesting and elaborate write up and the lovely photos. You have packed this post with abundant information so that sitting in my house, I can visualize your trip. Many thanks.
    Joseph

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  18. I enjoyed while reading your blog. Your content is really recommendable. The information which you have mentioned above is really good and useful for those people who are searching information on Srinagar Holiday Packages

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  19. i am born kashmiri that too in srinagar kashmir called tankie mohalla srg jamia masjid in kasmiri language tankie means money that was the place where silver,gold & copper coins were made but am now settled abroad from last 25 yrs,in this mosq we all my peer groups were relaxing when we were tired off after playing foot ball.those days will never come again nor will i return to India

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