Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Nakhoda Mosque, largest in Kolkata

Kolkata is home  to a large community of Muslims and the Muslim presence dates back to several centuries. Once under the Nawob of Bengal, a representative of the Moguls, the undivided Bengal was taken over by the East India company under Rober Clive in 1700s. In the state of west Bengal there are several historical mosques that are reminiscent of the dominant Muslim rule centuries ago.

The Nakhoda Masjid( Nakhoda meaning Mariner) is not only an important mosque of  Central part of Kolkata, at the intersection of Zakariya Street and Rabindra Sarani, but also considered the largest mosque in Kolkata.
Nakhoda Mosque, Calcutta night view. /en.wikipedia.org
Another view of Nakhoda Mosque, Calcuttaen.wikipedia.org
The mosque was built on the model  of the inspirational mausoleum of Mogul Emperor Akbar at Sikandra, Agra by Kutchi Memon Jamat, a small community of Sunni Muslim community from Kutch, Gujarat. Abdur Rahim Osman, a leader of the Kutchi Memon Jama'at, and a shipping magnate took keen interest in building a mosque and generously  funded the construction work.  In 1926 the total cost incurred for the construction was  roughly Rs.1,500,000; indeed, a huge amount.
ablution tank, The Nakhoda Masjid, Kolkata. en.wikipedia.org
The mosque has  three big domes and two minarets which are 151 feet high. There are an additional 25 smaller minarets whose height ranges from 100 feet to 117. The amazing feature about this Masjid is the huge prayer hall  has a capacity of 10,000 devotees.
entrance Nakhoda Mosque, Calcutta.en.wikipedia.org
The majestic gateway to the Masjid reminds us  of the impressive and beautiful  Buland Darwaza at Fatehpur Sikri. Granite stones of striking quality were specially  brought from Tolepur for the construction of this structure with particular reference to the facade. Inside the Masjid one will be overwhelmed by the  superb exhibition of exquisite ornamentation, artistic extravaganza and creativity of the human mind which was made it possible by the Indian skilled workers of exceptional ability.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nakhoda_Masjid