Nov 022009
 

Moth ki Masjid in Delhi

moth_ki_masjidMoth ki Masjid is situated between Uday Park and the plush South Extension Part 2 area of New Delhi. An interesting legend is attached to the origin of the Moth ki Masjid, or the Lentil Mosque, of India. About 500 years old, it was built by Sikander Lodi. According to the legend, one day Sikandar Lodi gave a grain of moth (a type of lentil) to his loyal minister Miyan Bhuwa as a reward for fun. The witty minister planted the seed carefully years after years until it multiplied so many times that it could finally finance the construction of the mosque. He then went to the sovereign to ask his permission to build the mosque.

The king was quite impressed. He then laid the foundation of Moth ki Masjid himself, which was built conforming to the Indo-Islamic style of architecture. The mosque is small and simple and is deprived of any minarets or any profuse calligraphic decorations and embellishments that are part of the traditional mosques. However, it marks the revival of architectural activity during the time of the Lodi dynasty. The square red sandstone structure has a small semicircular dome and latticework screens in its windows.

Moth Ki Masjid has three domes. At the rear end of the roof there are double storied towers with arched openings. The domed octagonal chhatris on the corresponding walls are no less impressive.

However it is the prayer chamber of the mosque which fascinates us most. There are five arched openings and all of them are exquisitely decorated. The mihrab has verses from the Koran inscribed in it.

If you are visiting Delhi and you do not visit the Moth Ki Masjid then you are certainly missing a monument that is emblematic of the remarkable architectural dexterity of the Mughals. A great stride forward was taken by Mughals when they designed this splendid mosque. It is indeed a glorious marvel of this era.

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