India is home to some of the world’s biggest mosques. In this article, we will know about the 10 largest mosques in India and their photos. These masjids hold tremendous importance in the cultural heritage of the country. Let’s see the list of the most beautiful and largest mosques in India.
When it comes to historical and religious monuments, India is certainly among the most incredible countries. Owing to a rich and diverse history, the South Asian nation has been known as the world capital of great empires and cultures. Islamic kingdoms ruling the Indian subcontinent throughout the medieval era built some of the most beautiful mosques in India. These mosques have been the symbol of the country’s religiosity and astonishing past. In modern times, Indian mosques are not just places of worship but also tourist attractions. Without wasting much time, let’s talk about some of the largest mosques in India and uncover some historical facts about them.
List of the Biggest Mosques in India
1. Taj ul Masjid, Bhopal
Taj ul Masajid (or Taj ul Masjid) is the largest mosque in India with a seating capacity of over 175,000. Meaning Crown of Mosques, it is located in Bhopal, the capital city of Madhya Pradesh. The construction of the famous Indian masjid was started during the reign of Shah Jahan Begum in 1871 and continued till the end of her daughter Sultan Jahan Begum’s tenure. Due to lack of funds, however, Taj ul Masjid’s construction was stopped and was finally completed in the 1970s.
The design of Taj up Masjid is inspired by Mughal Indo-Islamic architecture. Spread over an interior area of about 23,000 sq meters, the mosque is a center of attraction in the city of Bhopal. One of the important features of this masjid is the presence of a Zenana (women’s gallery), where ladies can pray. Normally, this is not found in mosques of that era. If you are interested in visiting the beauty of one of the biggest mosques in India, get a flight to Raja Bhoj Airport — one of the largest airports in Madhya Pradesh.
2. Jamia Masjid, Srinagar
In the beautiful city of Srinagar, sits the historic Jamia Masjid — the second largest mosque in India. Apart from being the center of Friday prayers in the city, it is one of the most incredible places in Kashmir. The 15th-century mosque was commissioned by Sikander Shah, the sixth sultan of Shah Mir Sultanate of Kashmir. One of the unique characteristics of Jamia Masjid is its architecture, which is highly influenced by the Indo-Saracenic style, imitating Buddhist pagodas in some sense. Unlike many other South Asian mosques, there are no domes and minarets here.
Jamia Mosque has been a center of political activities in the Kashmir region for more than a century. The capacity of the mosque is estimated to be over 33,000, making it one of the biggest mosques in the world. It is located in Srinagar’s Nowhatta region. Along with Vaishno Devi Mandir and nearby places, Jamia Mosque is among the most popular tourist destinations in the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
3. Jama Masjid, Delhi
The historic Jama Masjid of Delhi finds itself in third place on the list of the largest mosques in India. One of the finest examples of the indo-Islamic architectural style, the masjid was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. It is probably the most significant iconic Islamic in the country, thanks to its location in the national capital. For much of the Mughal period, British Raj, and even after independence, Delhi’s Jama Masjid has been an Islamic power center across India. One of the last monuments built under the reign of Shah Jahan, the magnificent mosque is located in Old Delhi, Chandani Chowk area.
Thousands of people come to pray here during Eid and other Islamic festivals, offering a picturesque environment of festivity and joy. Jama Masjid is also famous for three huge sandstone gates. The eastern gate was built to be used only for royal entry, while the other two, northern and southern gates were used by locals.
(FYI: If you visit Jama Masjid, don’t forget to have kebabs in the nearby food-maniac market.)
4. Makkah Masjid, Hyderabad
Wanna witness the spectacular beauty of Islamic architecture in India? Well, Makkah Masjid (or Mecca Masjid) is where you should be. Located in the heart of Telangana’s capital Hyderabad, the iconic mosque was built in the 17th-century during the rule of the Qutb Shahi Dynasty of Golconda Sultanate. Hyderabad’s Makkah Masjid is one of the largest mosques in India, with the capacity of over 10,000 worshippers. The mosque, along with many other Deccani monuments in the vicinity, is on the tentative list to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
An interesting story about its name is that the bricks used in the mosque construction are made of soil brought from Saudi Arabia’s Mecca — the holiest place for Muslims around the world. Emperor Muhammad Qutb Shah laid the foundation stone of the Makkah Masjid in 1617, while it was completed by Mughal king Aurangzeb.
5. Nizamat Imambara, Murshidabad
One of the world’s biggest Shia mosques, Nizamat Imambara was built in 1740 by Nawab Siraj ud-Daulah. It had to be rebuilt in 1847 by Nawab Mansur Ali Khan after it was destroyed by fire. The present building was architected by Sadiq Ali Khan. Located just opposite the Hazarduari Palace on the bank of River Ganga in the state of West Bengal, the Imambara is one of the largest mosques in India.
Nizamat Imambara is one of the favorite tourist destinations in the state. Visiting the area gives you rich knowledge about the history of India. If you are interested in uncovering the truths of Bengali nawabs, you should visit Murshidabad. Currently, it is under the supervision of the Archaeological Survey of India. Some of the other Islamic monuments in the vicinity you might be interested in are Chawk Masjid, Madina Mosque, Nizamat Fort, etc.
How many mosques are in India?
There are more than 3 Lakh mosques in India. This number of Indian mosques is even more than what many Islamic nations have. This is mainly due to the fact that India is home to around 20 crore (204 million) Muslims, ranking third among the nations with the highest population of people adhering to Islam faith.