Situated close to the banks of the Upper Lake, the Gohar Mahal (or Gauhar Mahal) is Bhopal’s earliest surviving city palace. Prior to my visit I had heard that there were plans to turn this heritage building in to museum and center for handicrafts, but in Feb 2018 […]
The Shaukat Mahal was constructed in the 1830s as a wedding gift for Sikander Jahan Begum, the first female ruler of Bhopal. Architecturally it is a bit of an oddity compared to other buildings in the heart of Bhopal, the building has many western elements combining both gothic and islamic themes. This is due to the design being attributed to the Bourbons of Bhopal, widely considered to be descendants of renowned French kings.
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 !
If I told you I had just visited the Taj Mahal that was built by Shah Jahan whilst I was staying in Bhopal, you could quite rightly claim I’ve perhaps had a couple of Kingfishers too many. But I did exactly that, although this monument was built by his namesake Shah Jahan, she was the begum of Bhopal in the late 19th century.
Taj-ul-Masajid (which translates to “the crown of mosques”, and also spelt Taj-ul-Masaajid or Taj-ul-Masjid), dominates the center of Bhopal and so it should. It is one of the largest mosques in Asia, often reported as the largest mosque in India although I believe that particular accolate goes to the Jama Masjid in New Delhi. Ironically, just a stone’s throw away from the Taj-ul-Masajid is the Dhaai Siddi ki Maszid, the smallest mosque in India.