Alamgir Mosque, Varanasi

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Alamgir Mosque, Varanasi
Beni Madhav ka Darera
Aurangzeb's Mosque
Alamgir Mosque by the Ganges ghats, Varanasi.jpg
Alamgir Mosque, Varanasi is located in Uttar Pradesh
Alamgir Mosque, Varanasi
Location in Uttar Pradesh, India
Basic information
Location Varanasi, India 25.31 N 83.01 E
Geographic coordinates 25°18′40″N 83°00′36″E / 25.311°N 83.01°E / 25.311; 83.01Coordinates: 25°18′40″N 83°00′36″E / 25.311°N 83.01°E / 25.311; 83.01
Affiliation Islam
State Uttar Pradesh
Ecclesiastical or organizational status Functional
Architectural description
Founder Aurangzeb

The Alamgir Mosque, Varanasi, also known as Beni Madhav ka Darera and Aurangzeb's Mosque, is a mosque built in the 17th century by emperor Aurangzeb over the ruins of a Hindu temple in Varanasi in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.[1][full citation needed][2]


The mosque is located at a prominent site above the Panchganga Ghat, which is a funerary ghat. The ghat has broad steps that go down to the Ganges.[3]


Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the Hindu temple, built by Beni Madhur Rao Scindia, a Maratha chieftain, was demolished when the emperor Aurangzeb had captured Banaras and had then ordered the total destruction of all its Hindu temples. Aurangzeb then built a mosque over the ruins of the temple in 1669[4] and named it as Alamagir Mosque in the name of his own honorific title "Alamgir", which he had adopted after becoming the emperor of the Mughal empire.[5][6]

Non-Muslims are not allowed to enter the mosque.[7] The mosque has a security cordon ensured by the police.[8]


Aurangzeb Mosque or Alamgir Mosque

The mosque built over the ruins of a Hindu temple is architecturally a blend of Islamic and Hindu architecture, particularly as the lower part of the walls of the mosque were built entirely from the remains of the Hindu temple.[5] The mosque has high domes and minarets.[9][6] Two of its minarets were damaged; one minaret collapsed killing a few people and the other was officially brought down owing to stability concerns.[6] The Panchaganga Ghat where the mosque is situated is where five streams are said to join. In October lamps are lighted on top of a bamboo staff as a mark of guidance to the ancestors.[9]


  1. ^ Gupta 1987, p. 38.
  2. ^ Crowther, Raj & Wheeler 1984.
  3. ^ Hussain 1999, p. 70.
  4. ^ Dunlop, Sykes & Jackson 2001, p. 135.
  5. ^ a b Kumar 2003, p. 90.
  6. ^ a b c Betts & McCulloch 2013, p. 213.
  7. ^ Fodor's essential India : with Delhi, Rajasthan, Mumbai & Kerala. New York: Fodor's. 2015. ISBN 9781101878682. 
  8. ^ Vit-Suzan 2014, p. 11.
  9. ^ a b Shetty 2014, p. 73.