Moti Masjid (Red Fort)

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Not to be confused with Moti Masjid (Agra Fort).
Exterior view of the Pearl Mosque (Moti Masjid) of the Red Fort
Painting of the mosque in the 1850s, by Ghulam Ali Khan
Painting of the mosque in the late 1880s, by Vasily Vereshchagin

The Moti Masjid (Hindustani: موتی مسجد, मोती मस्जिद) is a white marble mosque inside the Red Fort complex in Delhi, India. The name translates into English as "Pearl Mosque."[1] Located to the west of the Hammam and close to the Diwan-e-Khas, it was built by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb from 1659-1660.

History[edit]

The mosque was built by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb at the Red Fort complex in Delhi, India, from 1659-1660 for his personal use. The mosque was also used by the ladies of the Zenana. The mosque was constructed at a cost of Rs. 160,000.[2]

The prayer hall has three arches, and it is divided into two aisles.[2] It is surmounted with three bulbous domes, which were originally covered in gilded copper.[3][4] The gilded copper was probably lost after the Indian rebellion of 1857.

The outer walls are oriented in symmetry with the outer walls of the fort, while the inner walls are at a slightly different orientation to align with the location of Mecca.[3] The eastern door is provided with copper-plated leaves.

The mosque is plastered in white on the outside. Inside is the white marble courtyard and a prayer hall, which stands on a higher level than the courtyard. The floor of the prayer-hall is inlaid with outlines of small carpets for prayers (musalla) in black marble. In the middle of the courtyard is a small, square ablution fountain. The courtyard measures 40 x 35 feet.[2]

Another small mosque by the same name was built for private prayer by Aurangzeb's son, the Mughal emperor Bahadur Shah I (r. 1707-1712), close to the Ajmere Gate of the Dargah of Sufi saint Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki, which is located in Mehrauli at the Jahaz Mahal. It is an imitation of the one inside the Red Fort.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Moti Masjid of Red Fort - World Heritage Site - Archaeological Survey of India." Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Feb. 2014.
  2. ^ a b c Murray, John (1911). A handbook for travelers in India, Burma and Ceylon (8th ed.). Calcutta: Thacker, Spink, & Co. p. 198. ISBN 978-1175486417. Retrieved 2014-01-25. 
  3. ^ a b India. Lonely Planet. 2011. pp. 61, 63. ISBN 9781741797800. 
  4. ^ "Moti Masjid of Red Fort". Archaeological Survey of India. Retrieved 2013-12-28. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Moti Masjid (Red Fort) at Wikimedia Commons


Coordinates: 28°39′25″N 77°14′35″E / 28.656815°N 77.243142°E / 28.656815; 77.243142