Mosques, as we all know that it is a place where Islams perform their namaz (prayers). Mecca masjid, which is also known as Makkah Masjid is a mosque which is located in Hyderabad. The main speciality of this mosque is that it is among the largest mosques in India. There is an historical importance behind its name, a ruler from the Qutb shahi dynasty named as Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah brought soil from Mecca to make bricks which was used for the construction of the central arch, and this is the reason why the mosque is known as Mecca Masjid. The ruler Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah planned his city around the mosque making it the nucleus.
As told earlier the construction of the mosque was initiated by Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah and it was completed by Aurangazeb the last powerful ruler of Mughal Empire. The construction of the Mecca Masjid was completed in the year 1694. It is believed that around 8000 workers were there for the construction of Mecca Masjid. We have seen the historical importance of this building now let us have a close look at the design of the Masjid which became one of the gorgeous buildings in India.
The mosque has got a main hall which is having a volume of 75 X 220 X 180 feet (height X width X length). This hall is being used by around 10000 worshipers at a time. The three sides of this hall consist of 15 arches (five for each side) which provide great support for the roof of the hall and the fourth side there is a wall which provides Mihrab. At the vortex of the four walls there are minarets which make it an exquisite structure. The doors and arches of the masjid is imbibed with quotes from the holy Quran. The masjid is situated in between two big octagonal columns which are carved out of single granite piece. As we check the design we could find certain features of this masjid is similar to that of the Golkonda Fort and Charminar. The drawings and motifs of flowers which are used for decorating the arches attract a lot of tourists to this Masjid. The masjid has a courtyard at the entrance which was built later by the Asaf Jahi rulers. This courtyard is more important than any other part of this Masjid since it contains the graves of Asaf Jahi rulers (tombs). It has got a pond in front of the masjid, on the banks if this pond there are two slabs and a myth says that if aperson sit on it then he/she will come back to sit on that slabs again. It is believed that a hair of Mohammed (the Islamic prophet) is preserved in one of the rooms in the courtyard.
The Mecca Masjid is opened only to the Muslims. A great number of Muslims pilgrims come to this place for worshiping. Some non Muslims or tourists also come to this place to have a glance at the beautiful design of the Masjid. Most pilgrims coming here feed the pigeons near the pond, which is considered as a good deed by Muslims.
The Mecca Masjid does not have a splendid look now because of the damages caused by pollution and lack of maintenance of the building. During the 1995 it had got a chemical wash. The masjid is protected by the government of Andhra Pradesh, which had declared Charminar a traffic free area which had helped in reducing pollution. A case of bombing had taken place in this masjid on 18 may 2007, which was a Friday; a day on which Islam cast their prayers.
This place provide a good time for both the pilgrims and the tourists, so travelers visiting Hyderabad should not miss a chance to visit this beautiful mosque which reflect the skills of early architects and builders and also the efforts made by the rulers of those days whose had presented such a stunning gift to us.