With the light rapidly fading and having already visited Bhimbetka, Bhojpur, Taj-ul-Masajid and the Taj Mahal Palace that day, my visit to the Moti Masjid was all too brief. So much so that I completely missed the grand eastern entrance to the mosque, if you visit this place make sure you don’t do likewise !
The Moti Masjid was built in 1860 by one of the foremost women monarchs of Bhopal, Sikandar Begum. She was the daughter of Qudsia Begum who took the throne after her husband’s assassination. She seems quite an interesting character, very much driven by modern ideologies and practices. She never used the veil in her entire lifetime, claiming to be against the purdah system, abolished slavery, and was in favour of equal right for everyone. She built many of the roads, bridges and monuments that you can still see in Bhopal, and the Moti Masjid is perhaps one of the finest examples of her legacy in the city.
Moti Masjid translates to ‘the pearl mosque’, so named because of the shimmering white facade of the building. Although much smaller in size, the architecture is reminiscent of the Jama Masjid in Delhi.
Situated right in the heart of Bhopal, it’s within easy walking distance of the other main monuments you might want to see in the city.
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