Timings : 5:30 AM - 9:00 PM
Time Required : 1-2 hours
Entry Fee : No entry fee
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The Thousand Lights Mosque of Royapettah, Chennai is among the most esteemed mosques of the city as well as the state of Tamil Nadu. Built in the early 19th century by the Wallajah family of the Carnatic rulers, it is till date a popular gathering place for the daily prayers and festive occasions like Muharram. The site gets its name from the legend that to illuminate the entire prayer hall, right about a thousand oil lamps used to be lit back in the days. One can only imagine how beautiful that outline must have looked against the dark black sky.
The mosque is built in the traditional Islamic pattern with domes and high minarets. It has a large prayer hall for men and a separate smaller one for women. The shrine or Dargah of the mosque is dedicated to Imam Hossein, the grandson of the first prophet Muhammad and a revered figure of the Shia Muslims around the world. The walls of the grand mosque are ornamented with lines taken from the Quran.
The Thousand Lights Mosque is respected among all the Muslim sects, but it is of special significance for the Shia Muslims as it is the home to the chief of the Shia sect of Tamil Nadu. It also has a burial ground inside for the Shia Muslim families. Albeit the mosque is visited throughout the year by men and women offering prayers. It lights up with more noise and grandeur during the revered month of Muharram and even more so on the day of Annual Muharram Festival.