Architecture · Art · Daily Life · Heritage · Monument · People · Reflections

Reflections, silhouettes and arches

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Architecture · Heritage · Still Life · Windows

Simplicity usually is very captivating. I often like to capture details in architecture, esp when they are graphic. This monument has its own story to tell too, but it shall have to wait till the next few posts!

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Architecture · Monument

Not a large mosque, but certainly a unique one. While most mosques have inscriptions in Arabic, this mosque had inscriptions in Turkish.

The arches inside were unique. This is a privately owned mosque so permission to click photographs inside can be obtained by speaking to the owners.

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Architecture · Monument

Mosque of the Moors

Text Courtesy: http://www.hindu.com/mp/2004/03/17/stories/2004031700550300.htm

A STRIKING feature of the mosques in the city is its sheer variety. From the oldest Jama Masjid, then the Mecca Masjid, the Toli Masjid, the Ek Minar Masjid, the Ek Khana Masjid, the Badi Masjid to the ones named after rulers and nobles, they are all known for different architectural styles and the tales that go with them.

Even within this range, some of them stand out for their peculiar style so much so that they are classified as “others”, not the usual Qutb Shahi and Osmanian architectural styles that one comes across. You must have seen and heard about most of them. But ever heard of a “mosque resembling a church?” The devout may scoff but the Spanish Mosque (Jama Masjid Iqbal-ud-Dowla) on the Paradise-Begumpet Airport Road falls into this genre, though heritage experts disagree with its similarity to a church. At best it looks very European, as the name suggests.

A small mosque with unique plan elevation, it was built by Sir Vikhar-ul-Umra Iqbal-ud-Dowla, the Paigah noble, in 1906. It is believed to be the only one of its kind in India, with pointed arches, a pointed main roof composed of two truncated octagonal pyramids placed one above the other intervened by octagonal domes. The minarets aesthetically placed at corners of the parapet are in the same style, very unusual from those seen in other mosques in the city and elsewhere. And it is difficult to miss them as you climb on (from Paradise side) to the flyover opposite the Airport.

The other notable features are Moorish arches inside the prayer hall, Quranic verses in exquisite calligraphy inscribed on the inside walls, the absence of an ablution tank and a courtyard. In plan, the mosque comprises a main prayer hall, two rooms in front of it and a central corridor for entering the hall. It is over this central corridor or the entrance porch that the octagonal dome stands.

The mosque is built with stone masonry in lime mortar up to the basement and the superstructure in brick masonry in lime mortar. The roof is of Jack arch type on iron girders with brick and lime concrete. The domes, minarets and small turrets are built with brick and stone masonry and the outer face plastered with lime mortar. The central dome has a perforated screen.

Believed to be a copy of a similar mosque in Spain, it might have caught the attention of the Paigah noble, either during his eight-month long tour of Europe or he may have stumbled on a photograph. Whatever the source, the Nawab lived up to his reputation of being a great builder having a penchant for creating something unique, as seen from his magnificent hilltop palace of Faluknuma.

Spain, once part of the Ottoman Empire is inundated with mosques. The Turkish influence can be seen in many of its buildings especially the religious ones.

The Spanish Mosque here formed part of the sprawling 340 acres of wooded estate of the Paigah nobles studded with seven palaces, all built in European and Indo-European styles. Some of them are the Paigah Palace or the Iqbal-ud-Dowla palace that has now become the Hyderabad Urban Development Authority’s office, the Devdi Nazir Nawaz Jung, part of which has been leased to Chiraan Fort Club and the Vikhar Manzil, overlooking the Hussain Sagar Lake.

This was just one of the several estates given the honorific title of Paigah (meaning pomp and high rank) for the first time by the second Nizam, Nawab Nizam Ali Khan to the Paigah family’s founder, Nawab Abul Fateh Khan Taig Jung Bahadur.

It is listed for conservation as a Grade II A structure, comprising buildings of regional or local importance possessing special architectural or aesthetic merit, cultural or historical value. They are the local landmarks contributing to the image and identity of the city deserving intelligent conservation and the regulation governing them allows adaptive reuse internally but external changes are subject to scrutiny. Yet the colour scheme of the mosque has been changed from pure white to pastel green in recent years.

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Architecture · Heritage · Monument · People

Mahboob Chowk Mosque

Mahboob Chowk is  slightly ahead of the Lad Bazaar area, and gets its name from the Nizam VI Mahboob Ali Pasha. It has a clock tower and mosque beyond it. The shops near the clock tower sell metallic decorative pieces, locks, tools, books.  The mosque was built in 1817 and has a definite old world character. The mosque is situated on the top floor, and at the lower level there are many shops that sell fruits, and food, naan and kebabs. The expenses of mosque are met by the rent paid by these vendors to the mosque committee. This is a tradition that has continued for many years.

On a days leading upto Eid-ul-Fitr,  I was in search of a place where an iftar party would occur and asked a few shop owners at Lad Bazaar. They informed me of a few places but the closest was at Mahboob Chowk mosque. I went to the mosque at the specified time and climbed the flight of stairs after asking if it was alright to do so. As I reached the topmost step I looked around to ask once again (just to be doubly sure).  A gentleman took my query and just as he was about to answer, the mosque lit up and he was awe -struck and gasped “mashaallaah”. As a monument, the mosque is neither huge nor grand in comparison to many others in the vicinity. But the festive mood and the time of the day(twilight) in addition to the illumination made it all the more charming. I took a few shots -(but I am yet to see a photograph that can give you goose-bumps). After I took a few pictures at the start of the Iftar party, I was invited to join them. Not quite sure if I should, I politely thanked them. They insisted I accept at least the dates. (Dates are often eaten to break the fast during Ramazan) I accepted, said my silent prayers and was grateful for the experience. Some experiences do not need a camera to document, and sometimes a camera is not capable of documenting entirely.

All the images on this blog are protected by copyright. Please do not copy, blog or repost in ANY way. If you wish to use them please get in touch with me through email.