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Timings : 3:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

Entry Fee : No entry fee

Jamia Masjid, Srinagar Overview

Located in Nowhatta in the heart of the city of Srinagar, the Jamia Masjid is a famous mosque that is more than 600 years old. The quaint mosque is located in a historic area which has witnessed numerous historical events of great importance. In fact, it can be stated with confidence that the history of the Jamia Masjid is a reflection of the history of the political uprisings of Kashmir.

The mosque was built by Sultan Sikandar Shah Kashmiri Shahmiri in the year 1394, under the orders of Mir Mohammad Hamadani, who was the son of Said-ul-Auliya Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani. Sultan Sikandar's son, Zain-ul-Abidin, later on, extended the Jama Masjid by including turret in the primary structure. The architectural style of the Jamia Masjid is inspired by the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture, and also bears similarities to Buddhist pagodas. The Jamia Masjid is also the largest mosque in Kashmir that is known for its peaceful atmosphere, and the mosque becomes especially crowded on Fridays when thousands of people come here to pray. 

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History of Jamia Masjid

The foundation of the Jamia Masjid was laid down by Sultan Sikandar Shah Kashmiri, who was the father of Sultan Zainulaabdin, a ruler of Kashmir in 1398 AD. The exalted mosque was completed in 1402, and the structure has been facing numerous tragedies and accidents ever since. This colossal structure has been damaged by fire thrice, but luckily restoration work was carried out after each mishap to correct the damaged portions.

The first fire that damaged it was in 1479, and the then ruler, Sultan Hasan Shahm, immediately began the reconstruction work. Unfortunately, he passed away before the repair work was done, and Ibrahim Magre, Commander-in-Chief of Kashmir forces under the rule of Muhammad Shah and Fateh Shah took over the task and completed it successfully by 1503 AD.

In 1620, when Kashmir was under the rule of Jehangir, a fire broke out yet again and destroyed a total of 12,000 buildings, the splendid Jamia Masjid sadly being one of them. The king ordered the reconstruction of the elevated mosque, and Malik Haider, a famous historian, was delegated this duty. The entire repair work took 17 years.

The third fire that distorted the structure occurred in 1674. It is said that when Aurangzeb heard about the accident, he only inquired if the chinars were safe, for 'the mosque could be rebuilt in a short time. A full-grown chinar can never be replaced.' He got together all the bricklayers and masons of the city, and Jamia Masjid was restored within three years. Under the reign of Maharaja Pratap Singh, the last refurbishment work at the mosque was carried out.

Architecture of Jamia Masjid

Jamia Masjid of Kashmir is heavily influenced by the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture and has been constructed in the Persian manner, with some similarities to the Buddhist pagodas. The structure occupies a total area of 384 x 381 feet and is quadrangular in shape with four minars. The minars are in the middle of each side and covered with pyramidal roofs that end in an open turret. All of the minars are interconnected by spacious halls, and a total of 378 wooden columns support the roof. Bright yellow poppies cover the brick paths and the green lawns, and welcome visitors in a cheerful mood.

The Jamia Masjid Complex

The Jamia Masjid can accommodate a total of 33,333 people for prayer at a single time. The structure is surrounded by wide lanes on all four sides and has a square garden in the middle. The entrance on the southern side of the mosque comprises of a recessed portico which further leads onto an inner courtyard. This courtyard is based on the traditional Chaar Bagh plan and has a tank in the centre. The western wall of the cloister has a black marble 'mehrab' which is adorned with beautiful calligraphic work and has engraved on it ninety-nine attributes of Almighty Allah. The entire courtyard is made up of pointed arched, brick arcade, and is a sight to behold.

Best Time To Visit Jamia Masjid

The best time to visit the Jamia Masjid is in the early morning when the Fajar prayers are held, enveloping the mosque with a tranquil feel. 

Tips For Visiting Jamia Masjid

1. The adjoining market is good for buying dry fruits. 
2. Follow the usual etiquette of wearing long-sleeved clothes with trousers, kurta for women with the head covered. 
3. Don't be intimidated by the army personnel roaming the compound as the mosque is usually tightly guarded due to security reasons.

How To Reach Jamia Masjid, Srinagar

The majestic Jamia Masjid stands in the mind-stirring land of Kashmir, in the Nowhatta region (in the middle of the old city). Since it is a well-known place in Srinagar, you can easily reach it by hiring a cab and asking the locals for direction.

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