Taj-ul-Masajid, Bhopal – The Largest Mosque in India

If you thought Jama Masjid is the largest mosque in India, face the fact – it is not. The largest mosque is in fact, the Taj-ul-Masjid or the Darul Uloom Tajul Masajid located in Bhopal known for its massive structure and spectacular construction spread over a huge area to hold a total of 175,000 people.

Taj-ul-Masjid – A Quick Glance

Famous for: Massive structure, religious experience

Built in: 1868 - 1901

Built by: Sultan Shah Jehan Begum

Chief architect: Allarakha

Timing: 6:00am – 8:00pm

Visit duration: 1 hour

Area: 430,000 square feet

Entry fee: Free

Extra information: Non-Muslims not allowed on Fridays


Taj-ul-Masjid – An Overview

The famous Taj-ul-Masjid, Bhopal, built in the 19th century, is a sprawling construction situated in the heart of the city. The meaning of the name, “The Crown of Mosques” truly speaks for its imperial structure which tops every other mosque in India in visual appeal as well as in dimensions. It is the largest mosque in India, the second largest in Asia, and the third largest in the world.

The Taj-ul-Masjid is a famous tourist attraction which appeals the visitors from all over the world with its impressive views contributed by the huge structure made in red sandstone. The two gigantic white minarets with domes on their top make it a well-proportionate construction. The entire mosque is placed on a pink façade and it looks like as if the Bhopal Taj-ul-Masjid is praying to the Almighty up the heaven.

The Taj-ul-Masjid is also known as Taj-ul-Masajid with an extra “a” to highlight the magnificence of the monument as the Mother of all Mosques.   

History of Taj-ul-Masjid

The construction of the Taj-ul-Masjid in Bhopal began in the 1800s during the reign of Bahadur Shah Zafar, the Mughal Emperor. The queen of Nawab Syed Siddiq Hasan Khan of Bhopal, Nawab Shah Jehan Begum started the construction, though it was continued under the supervision and reign of her daughter Sultan Jehan Begum who took her entire lifetime to get the mosque done.

Shah Jehan Begum ruled the princely state of Bhopal from 1868 to 1901. During her tenure, she did contribute in building many mosques and palaces, along with several important infrastructure like schools, dams, postal service, and lakes. In fact, the railway service running between Hoshangabad and Bhopal was also built under the reign and instructions of Shah Jehan Begum. She also contributed in improving the royal military and worked towards giving a face-lift to the existing tax revenue system.

The spree of construction resulted in a severe fund crunch, and hence the construction of Taj-ul-Masjid in Bhopal came to an abrupt halt.

After a long pause till the War of 1857, the mosque construction was resumed by Allama Mohammad Imran Khan Nadwi Azhari and Maulana Sayed Hashmat Ali Sahab in 1971. Finally, the construction was completed in 1985 and a grand entrance gate was put up to mark the boundary and establishment as a whole.

Architecture of Taj-ul-Masjid

The construction of the Taj-ul-Masjid in Bhopal is a visual treat mainly for its massive spread over a total area of 430,000 square feet. The mosque premise is so huge that it can allot 175,000 people together for prayers.

The basic concept of design has been inspired from the ancient motifs of Syrian mosques built under the initiative of Emir of Kuwait dedicated to his demised wife. The mosque holds significance and striking similarities with the architecture and design of the famous Jama Masjid of Delhi. The interior decoration and minute details too are found too similar to those of Jama Masjid.

Made of red sandstone, the mosque has a beautiful pinkish tone contrasted by the white domes standing on a huge façade in pink flanked by domed minarets made in white marble on both the corners. The entrance of the mosque is ornamented with archways that lead to a bathing tank at the courtyard and stretches to the main monument.

The floor of the main hallway is made of marble and is decorated beautifully with trellised screens with fine artwork. There are a total of 11 arches that make way to the Quibla wall which is remarkably noted for its huge pillars touching up the ceilings designed in petal motifs made in ornate.

The mosque is nestled near a lake named the Motia Talab.

The Courtyard of the Taj-ul-Masjid

The courtyard is gigantic in size with a capacity to accommodate 175,000 people during prayer. With the tank inside the premise, and at proximity with the prayer ground, it gives easy access to water availability during ablution (wazu). The courtyard gets festive on Fridays and during a conglomeration held for three days when thousands of people flock at the mosque from all parts of the country, and from outside.

Please note that no non-Muslim tourists are allowed inside the Taj-ul-Masjid, Bhopal on Fridays. However, on other days, tourists are free to take a visit to check out the marvellous construction.

How to Reach the Taj-ul-Masjid

Airways:

Nearest airport: Raja Bhoj Airport, Bhopal
Distance from airport to Taj-ul-Masjid: 15 km (9.3mi)

You can take a cab from the airport to reach the mosque.

The airport is well-connected with major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Indore and Gwalior. The connectivity from cities like Sharjah and Dubai to Bhopal via flight is also quite easy and convenient.

Railways:

Nearest railway station: Bhopal Junction
Distance from railway station to Taj-ul-Masjid: 7 km (4.3mi)

Bhopal Junction is well connected with all the metro cities and other major cities in India. Shatabdi Express runs daily between Bhopal and Delhi.

You can take a public bus, or can avail private transport from the railway station to reach the Taj-ul-Masjid.

Roadways:

The Taj-ul-Masjid is easily reachable from anywhere in Bhopal city by private or public transports like buses, cabs, rickshaws or app cabs.


See More in Bhopal:

Birla Mandir

Moti Masjid – The Most Gorgeous Shrine

National Archives of India – The Custodian of Records

Vidhan Sabha