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Fatehpuri Masjid, Delhi Overview

Situated at the western end of Chandni Chowk in Delhi, Fatehpuri Masjid is a 17th century mosque named after the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s wife- Fatehpuri Begum. Built in 1650, the mosque is constructed entirely of red stone and boasts of a fluted dome and towering minarets. A masterpiece of Mughal architecture, the mosque has a vast central prayer hall designed with seven enormous arches. The monument is famous as it was used to station the Indian troops during the war of 1857. Later, it was also auctioned by the British to a local merchant.

Boasting of spectacular architectural expertise of the bygone Mughal era, the mosque has three huge entrance gates, one of which opens across the road from Red Fort and the other two are located towards the North and South. The mosque is thronged by devotees and tourists alike owing to its heritage and historical significance. The most popular festivals celebrated at the place are Id-ul-Fitr and Id-ul-Azha when the edifice is beautifully decorated and is a sight to behold.

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History of Fatehpuri Masjid

The mosque was built by Fatehpuri Begum- wife to the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1650. Later, it was used to station the Indian troops during the Sepoy Mutiny Movement of 1857. Post the war, the British sold the mosque to a local trader Rai Lala Chunnamal for INR 19000, who preserved and protected the mosque till 1877 when it was again acquired by the government in exchange for four villages. When the Muslims were allowed to reside in Old Delhi- the acquisition of the monument was handed over to them at the Delhi Durbar. As of now, Maulana Mukarram Ahmad has been serving as the chief imam and mufti for the last 42 years and he continues to do so. Before him, his father was the chief priest.

Architecture of Fatehpuri Masjid

Fatehpuri Masjid has been built on an elevated platform of three and a half feet. Capped by a gigantic dome, the mosque is guarded by two towering minarets. The chief prayer hall has seven arches, the central of which is the highest. Both the dome and the arches have been made out of lime mortar and are striped black and white. Made entirely in red sandstone, the mausoleum has three entrance gates- the biggest of which open across the road from Red Fort and the other two opens towards North and South ends. The monument also boasts of a central courtyard which houses more than twenty graves of prominent Islamic scholars; single and double-storeyed apartments flank the courtyard. A very large tank grace the courtyard, the water from which is used for ablution.

Festivals at Fatehpuri Masjid

1. Id-ul-Fitr is the grandest festival of the Muslims celebrated with a whole lot of zeal and enthusiasm. Also known as the ‘Festival of breaking the fast’, the festival is celebrated after a month of fasting when the new moon appears. Thousands of devotees gather at the mosque on the day of Id mostly wearing white kurta-pajamas; a grand prayer is held in the morning post which people hug each other and greetings are exchanged.
2. Id-ul-Azha is the second most important festival celebrated at the mosque. The festival is also known as the ‘Festival of Sacrifice’. A grand prayer meet is held at the mosque which ends with a special ‘Dua’ for the peace and prosperity of the believers. People exchange greetings and donate food.

How To Reach Fatehpuri Masjid

The nearest metro station to Fatehpuri Masjid is Chandni Chowk situated on the red line. After getting down, you will have to take a sharing auto or rickshaw to reach your destination. Alternatively, you can travel in one of the state-run buses which regularly ply on this route.

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