Informative, Innovative and Interactive Site of MP & Chhattisgarh
Un Site Informatif, Innovatif et Interactif de MP & Chhattisgarh
Taj-ul-Masajid, Bhopal - The biggest mosque in Asia

Taj-ul-Masajid (the crown of mosques, also spelt as Taj-ul-Masaajid and Taj-ul-Masjid) is a mosque situated in the City of Lakes, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, the very heart of India. 

The mosque is also used as a madrasah (Islamic school) during the day time.'Taj-ul-Masajid' literally means 'The Crown of Mosques'. 

The construction of the mosque was started by Sultan Shah Jahan, Begum of Bhopal (1868-1901). 

However, the mosque was not completed due to lack of funds, and after a long lay-off, construction was resumed in 1971 by great efforts of Allama Mohammad Imran Khan Nadwi Azhari of Bhopal.

Architecture

The mosque has a pink facade topped by two 18-storey high octagonal minarets with marble domes. The mosque also has three huge bulbous domes, an impressive main hallway with attractive pillars and marble flooring resembling Mughal architecture the likes of Jama Masjid in Delhi and the huge Badshahi Mosque of Lahore. 

It has a courtyard with a large tank in the centre. It has a double-storeyed gateway with four recessed archways and nine cusped multifold openings in the main prayer hall. The Quibla wall in the prayer hall is carved with eleven recessed arches and has fine screens of trellis work. 

The massive pillars in the hall hold 27 ceilings through squinted arches of which 16 ceilings are decorated with ornate petaled designs.

The Taj-Ul-Masajid is the biggest covered area mosque of Asia. The other big mosques of Asia are Sahi Masjid of Lahore, Jama Masjid Delhi, Mecca Masjid Hyderabad and Masjid Tipu Sultan Deccan, which are all bigger then Taj-Ul-Masajid of Bhopal only if open area is included. The Taj-Ul-Masajid of Bhopal covers an area of 23,312 sq. ft. the height of the minarets touching 206 ft. 

It was a project of breathtaking proportions with the expenditure touching sixteen lakh rupees during life time of the begum. Crystal slabs, designed for the floor were prepared in England at a cost of seven lakh rupees. 

Ironically, as their polished surfaces would have reflected the forms of the worshippers, their use in the mosque was forbidden. 

The mosque could not be completed during her lifetime due to the costs involved. Work on completion of this great mosque started in 1971, through the efforts of donors like Maulana Mohammad Imran Khan. 

The 4-feet thick roof of the mosque, and other incomplete constructions were completed by donations amounting to about 75 lakh rupees. Elevated well above ground level the mosque is visible from a considerable distance as also from the palaces that surround the three lakes around which the development of Shahjehanabad was planned. 

Monumental flight of stairs ascends to the high pistaq octagonal eastern entrance from Kaiser embankment, inspired by the Buland Darwaza. The external eastern facade ends in pavilions at the two ends that are set high on octagonal towers. 

Like the Delhi Juma Masjid, smaller square entrances from the south and north open into the central courtyard for the general public. 

The large prayer chamber composed mainly of 12 carved sandstone pillars is surmounted by three domes covered with broken tiles and constructed much later. 

Seven entrance arches pierce the eastern chamber's eastern facade, the central one within a high pistaq of red sandstone with marble inlay around the arch. The three arches are framed on either side by smaller arched opening with an entrenched jharokha above. 

A band of white marble arches with sandstone jail railing crowns the three arches and is finished by sandstone crenellations. 

Two octagonal minars on either side of the eastern facade go several floors high to provide a vantage point from where the Upper Lake (several meters away) can be viewed. 

The domes of the prayer hall are crowned with crystal finials that glitter in the morning sun.

 Annual Congregation

 Aalmi Tablighi Ijtima, (an annual three-day congregation) that draws people from all over the world was held at Taj-ul-Masajid. But due to the shortage of space, it has been to shifted to Ghazi pura, a place outside the city.


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