Top 10 Famous Mosques in Uttar Pradesh (UP)

Top 10 Famous Mosques in Uttar Pradesh (UP)

Uttar Pradesh is the home for many famous historic places in India. The tourist places of UP attracts a large number of both national and international tourists. The state is one among the most populous states in India.

Uttar Pradesh contains a large number of historical monuments and places of religious significance. The cities and towns in Uttar Pradesh are not just popular on account of the temples, but also have other pilgrim sites and mosques.

There are many famous mosques situated in the Uttar Pradesh and some are built during mughal emperors and other famous people. They are not only considered as a pilgrim site but also as most beautiful and marvelous place for us to visit during holidays. Here is top list of famous mosques in Uttar Pradesh.

1. Bara Imambara

Bara Imambara complex in Lucknow is the India’s largest unsupported structure built by Asaf-ud-Daula, Nawab of Awadh in 1784. The construction of this building was started in 1785, a year of a devastating famine and completed in 1791. About half a million rupees to a million rupees was the total construction cost of this building. It is also called Asfi Imambara after the name of the founder of the building. The complex also includes the large Asfi mosque, the bhul-bhulaiya (the labyrinth), and bowli, a step well with running water.

The architecture of the complex was inspired by the maturation of ornamented Mughal design, namely the Badshahi Mosque. It is one of the last major projects not incorporating any European elements or the use of iron. A large vaulted central chamber containing the tomb of Asaf-ud-Daula is located within the main imambara. Bara Imambara is one of the largest such arched constructions in the world that has no beams supporting the ceiling.

To enter bara Imambara there are two large gateways, one of them will pave the way to Asafi Mosque and the other side is the large baori. Beyond the small entrance, to the left of the central hall, lies the intriguing labyrinth leading to the Bhul Bhulaiya which is the major attraction of this imambara. It has large underground passages which have been blocked up.


2. Jama Masjid

Jama Masjid was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan especially for his daughter Jahanara, between 1644 and 1656 at a cost of 1 million rupees. The mosque is situated in the heart of Old Delhi and is one of the largest mosques in India. It was inaugurated by an imam from Bukhara, present-day Uzbekistan. It was originally called as Masjid-i-Jahan-Numa which means “mosque commanding view of the world”.

The mosque has three great gates, four towers and two 40 m high two minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble. The courtyard can accommodate more than 25,000 persons. There are three domes on the terrace which are flanked by the two minarets. On the floor, a total of 899 black borders are marked for worshipers. This mosque houses the collection of relics of Muhammad, the Quran written on deerskin, red beard hair of the Prophet and also his sandals and footprints on the Northern gate placed in a cabinet.

3. Nagina Masjid

Nagina Masjid or Gem Mosque was built by Mughal King Shahjehan in 1635-36 AD for the personal use of ladies of the Royal family. It is a masjid located in the north-western corner of the Macchi Bhawan in the premises of Agra Fort that is constructed with pure white attractive marble and encloses the prayer chamber exquisitely designed. The mosque constructed with three domes on its top and well adorned arches. The central one is higher than the side domes. Nagina Masjid is 10.21 meter broad and 7.39 meter deep, facing a lined patio.

There are ornamental marble railings in the court adjacent to the prayer hall. The mosque is elegant though very simple when compared with its successor Moti Masjid made of chaste marble in Red Fort Delhi, built by Aurangzeb in 1658-59.

4. Chota Imambara

Chota Imambara, also known as Imambara Hussainabad Mubarak is one of the most beautiful and attractive monument located in the city of Lucknow. The building was built by Muhammad Ali Shah, the third Nawab of Awadh in 1838 as an imambara or a congregation hall for Shia Muslims.The monument is ornate in design with gilded dome, several turrets, and exquisite chandeliers that is brought from Belgium, gilt-edged mirrors and colorful stuccos which adorn the interiors. Due to the decorations and chandeliers during special festivals, Imambara was referred by European visitors and writers as The Palace of Lights.  This monument lies to the west of Bara Imambara.

The tombs of Muhammad Ali Shah and other members of his family are inside the imambara. This includes two replicas of the Taj Mahal, built as the tombs of Muhammad Ali Shah’s daughter and her husband. Chota Imambara also has a small and very beautiful white mosque. Outside the Imambara there is another very unique looking building, which is unfinished that is Satkhanda or tower of seven stories. It has only four stories, as the construction of the tower was abandoned when Ali Shah died.

5. Moti Masjid

The Moti Masjid in Agra was built by Shah Jahan as a place of worship for his members of royal court. The mosque is located to the north of Diwan-i-Am complex inside Agra Fort. Construction of mosque was started in the year 1648 and it took six years to be completely finished. Masjid is named Moti Masjid because it resembles the white color of the pearl.  It stands on ground that slopes from east to west to the north of Diwan-i-Aam complex in Agra Fort. This mosque is made of red sand stones and the three domes on the top are made from white marbles.

The mosque is located near the banks of river Yamuna. The courtyard of the mosque has several arched recessions and side arcades. Other mosques have three steps in the podium, but this mosque contains only four steps. The prayer hall has an arcade decorated with seven elegant arches. It has three main gates out of which the eastern gate is the grandest entrance designed. Both the northern and southern gateways consist of ornamental designs and are crowned by three square chhatris.

6. Mina masjid

Mina Masjid or the Heavenly Mosque was built by Shah Jahan during 1631-40 near Diwan-i-Khas in Agra Fort for his personal use. The mosque was built, entirely of white marble. There are three small arches in its façade and a small mihrab in the western wall of the prayer chamber. The small window from this chamber overlooks Machhchi Bhawan. The only ornamental elements used here are squares of marbles and tiles that pave its court.

It is enclosed and secured on all sides by high walls and, it appears that, Shah Jahan used this mosque during his imprisonment in the adjoining apartment of Musamman Burj, also called shah-burj, from 1658 to 1666 A.D.

7. Lal Darwaza Masjid

Lal Darwaza Masjid of Jaunpur, was built in 1447 by Queen Rajye Bibi and dedicated to Sayyid Ali Dawood Kutubbudin a Muslim saint of Jaunpur. But the mosque was especially built for the Begum to serve as her private prayer hall. The mosque got its name from the fact that the gateway at the entrance of the mosque was painted red in color. Queen Rajye Bibi also established a religious school in the area surrounding the Lal Darwaza in Jaunpur for all the local Muslim residents. The school (or Madrasa) was named Jamia Hussainia and it exists till date.

The mosque is similar to the Atala Masjid but smaller in size. There are three gates present in the north, east and south of the monument. The eastern one and main gate way is the largest and most important.

8. Atala Mosque

Atala Mosque is a 15th-century mosque in Jaunpur that was built by Sultan Ibrahim (1402–1436), Sharqi Sultan of Jaunpur on foundations laid during the reign of Tughluq Sultan Firuz Shah III (1351–1388). Construction started in 1377 and was completed in 1408. It is located 2.2 km north-northeast of Jaunpur, 7.3 km northwest of Zafarābād, 16.8 km north-northeast of Mariāhū, 26.3 km west-northwest of Kirākat. The mosque was built on the site of the Atala Devi temple. The materials of Atala temple along with those of other temples were used in its construction. So, the Masjid shows a lot of influences of Hindu architecture.

A Madarsa named Madarsa Din Dunia is housed in central courtyard of the mosque. Atala Mosque consists of decorated double-tiered corridors, gigantic main prayer chamber, very large arch, three different sized, the niche or ‘mihrab’ existent in a wall domes and several other spectacular structures. The architecture and design of atala mosque resembles the numerous mosques, tombs and other structures built by Muhammad Shah Tughlaq and Firoz Shah Tughlaq.

9. Gyanvapi Mosque

Gyanvapi Mosque was constructed by prominent Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb, in 1669 CE located in Varanasi near the Kashi Vishawanath Temple or the Golden Temple. The mosque is constructed after destroying the original Kasi Viswanath temple located on the site, using the remnants of the temple. So the architecture of the mosque is a blend of Hindu and Muslim style. The major attraction of the mosque is its 71 m tall towering minarets, above the Ganges and was constructed using columns from the Bineswar temple.

The mosque has 2 minarets and 3 domes. Entrance of the mosque resembles Taj Mahal in Agra. Today, Kashi Viswanath Temple and Gyanvapi Mosque exist close to each other, reflecting religious harmony and peace.

10. Teele Wali Masjid

Teele Wali Masjid is one of the last groups of monuments built by the Mughal dynasty in Lucknow, which was built by Sultan Ali who was Governor of the province of Avadh during the reign of Aurangzeb. It is also known as Alamgiri Mosque, is located to the north of the Imambara complex. The mosque stands on a mound or a Teela and that is why it is called as Teele Waali Masjid which means the Mosque on the mound. The mosque has three domes and tall minarets and can accommodate 6,000 namazi crowds in the prayer hall.

20 metres east of the Teele Wali Masjid, lay the tomb of saint and scholar Shaikh Pir Muhammad, who died in 1674. The mosque is kept with lot of flowers that keep on blooming round the year. Teele Wali Masjid is renowned for its outstanding architectural symmetry and equilibrium.

Leave a Comment