Masjids of Bhopal
Commissioned by Nawab Shahjehan Begum(1868-1901), this is one of the largest mosques in Asia. Built around a vast courtyard with a large tank in the middle, it has an imposing double storeyed gate-way with 4 recessed archways and 9 imposing cusped multifold openings in the main prayer hall. The Quibla wall in the prayer hall is carved with 11 recessed arches, while the mimber is made of black basalt.
The massive pillars in the hall create 27 ceilings through squinched arches and of these, 16 ceilings are decorated with ornate petalled designs. Some of the remarkable features of this great mosque are the 18 storey high octagonal minars, onion-shaped marble domes and the gossamer-fine screens of trellis work in the prayer hall. The structure is enlivened by the limpid expanse of water in the tank outside the northern wall. The monumentality of this structure was much greater originally when it faced the towering bastions of the Fatehgarh Fort. A three-day Ijtima congregation held here annually draws people from all over the country.
This handsome Friday mosque is crowned with minarets that have spikes made of gold. It was built by Qudsia Begum in 1837 and remains a popular place of worship.
The architectural style of this mosque is reminiscent of Delhi’s Jama Masjid. It was commissioned in 1860 by Sikandar Jehan, daughter of Qudsia Begum.
Shaukat Mahal and Sadar Manzil
Shaukat Mahal is a French curiosity amidst a sea of overwhelmingly Islamic architecture in the Chowk area. Located in the heart of the walled city, Shaukat Mahal was designed by a Frenchman, and its post Renaissance and gothic styles are clearly evident. Nearby is the elegant once-opulent Sadar Manzil, Hall of Public Audience of the former rulers of Bhopal.