BY MALEEHA TAK | AUGUST 2018
Picture: Mike Prince
In the middle of the Old City, Sultan Sikandar Shah Miri on the order of Mir Mohammad Hamdani built
the majestic Jamia Masjid, in Nowhatta, Srinagar, Jammu, and Kashmir. This architectural wonder was
built in 1394 CE, and Sultan Zain-ul-Abideen added an extension to it in the form of a turret. The
historical location of Jamia Masjid has made it the cardinal point of the people’s religious and political
life. Architectural significance:
The total area of the mosque is 1,40,000 square feet or 13,000 square meters. The style of architecture is
Indo-Islamic and Indian and mostly referred to as Indo-Sarcenic. This mosque consists of a splendid
courtyard and has a total of 370 pillars. There are three big entrances to the mosque on the northern,
southern and eastern sides of the mosque facing three minarets (towers) of the mosque. Each minaret is
supported by eight towering pillars 66 feet high and 7 feet in girth.
the mihrab of the mosque ( the niche in the wall of a mosque which indicates the Qibla, where the
Imam stands), is built of glazed black stones, arched beautifully, with 99 names of Allah inscribed on it
and Surat al-Jumah engraved around it in the Arabic language.
The total capacity of the mosque is to hold 33,333 people besides the Imam in a single prayer
The roof of the mosque has 4 minarets each having a staircase leading to their lounges from the interior
of the mosque. From these high minarets, one can capture a breathtakingview of the bustling city of
Srinagar. The roof of the mosque has been constructed from timber and iron bars and over the roof
have been placed furrowed iron sheets.
Inside, the courtyard of the mosque presents four lawns which are ornate with Chinar trees.
The renovations in the mosque have been carried out by many rulers throughout the historical timeline
including Sultan Sikandar, Kashmir Shahmiri, Sultan Hassan Shah, Jehangir Shahand Maharaja Pratap
Jamia Masjid is an architectural wonder which has managed to endure through huge destructions,
revolts and revolutions which have taken place in Kashmir.
It is one of a kind, the architectural marvel which has managed to seep into the Kashmiri Heritage and
culture throughout the timeline of its construction. The belief that by offering prayers in this mosque
the sins are forgiven is popular not only among the Muslims of Kashmir but also Muslims all over India.
The believers visiting this mosque offer prayer here and recite the verses of holy Quran.
And for the believers from Downtown Srinagar, men, and women, it has become a part of their routine
to offer Friday prayers here
Being located amidst a busy marketplace Jamia Masjid resonates peace and tranquility and that is what
the people who visit feel, irrespective of whether they follow Islam or not.