Delhi has always been a city of mosques, temples and monuments, with a rich cultural heritage. Edifices constructed by the Mughals as well as the British have gifted the city with an extraordinary blend of Persian and European architecture, and this is what makes it a major tourist attraction. Here we’re talking about the pretty Sunehri Masjid in Old Delhi - scroll away!
The name of the Sunehri Masjid raises a few questions - there being two mosques by this name and both located in close proximity to each other. Sunehri Masjid in Chandni Chowk was constructed in 1721 by Roshan-ud-Daula, a Mughal noble, during the reign of Muhammad Shah and is also known as the Golden Mosque. The other mosque, its namesake, is located just 100 metres away from the Red Fort. Built by Nawab Qudsiya Begum, the wife of Emperor Ahmad Shah in 1751 and a connoisseur of art and architecture, its construction was executed under the supervision of Jawed Khan, a eunuch in Qudsiya Begum’s court.
Many tales abound the Sunehri Masjid in Chandni Chowk, the most popular being that back in 1739, Nadir Shah, the invader from Persia, sat on the roof of the mosque and witnessed his soldiers kill and plunder. The mosque is located on a bustling street of Chandni Chowk and is almost camouflaged by the buildings surrounding it. However, the beauty of the Sunehri Masjid has stood the test of time and the magnificence of the architecture remains unquestioned.
The mosque in Chandni Chowk got its name from its three distinct domes that have been constructed with gilded copper. The architecture of the Sunehri Masjid is unique, with green flower-shaped patterns engraved on the pillars and the roof is covered by a carved wire mesh balustrade. Floral designs and mini domes cover the three arched entrances and enhance the beauty of the mosque.
The marble courtyards of the Sunehri Masjid are cool, tranquil and serene, with one of them facing the Sis Ganj Gurudwara, a shrine built on the site where Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru was beheaded. They offer a sense of calm and refuge from the hustle bustle of the crowds in Chandni Chowk. There are three prayer chambers, which hold numerous copies of the Quran and the timings to offer prayers here are fixed. In 1852, Bahadur Shah II replaced the copper plates that covered the dome with sandstone layering. Two minarets, as tall as 60 feet, can be seen on the exterior.
The Sunehri Masjid is easily accessible by metro, the nearest metro station being Chandni Chowk and the most prominent landmark is the Gurudwara Sis Ganj. The Golden Mosque’s beauty is unparallelled and its architecture extraordinary. The exquisite carvings, coupled with domes and arches lend it a majestic appearance. Entry to the mosque is free of cost and people from all over the country visit this mosque to offer prayers.
If you’re tired of gazing at the same old streets and bumper-to-bumper car traffic everyday, come here for a bit of heritage glory some time!