Hyderabad, the heart of Telangana is well known for its age-old mosques, which were prominent places of worship for the people of this region, for many centuries. One such impressive mosque that is considered to be among the grand mosques in the world is Mecca Masjid, located in the heart of Hyderabad’s bustling old city.
The historic Mecca Masjid is located adjacent to Charminar in a south-west direction. The construction of this mosque was reported to have started in the year 1614 by Sultan Muhammad Qutub Shah and it was Aurangzeb who had then completed the construction in the year 1693. Made of local granite, Mecca Masjid finds place among the largest mosques in India and is the most important and largest one in Hyderabad city.
The arched gallery here displays the tombs of all the Nizam’s right from the year 1803. The mosque has a length of 225 feet and is 180 feet wide with a height of 75 feet. The name of this impressive mosque is derived from the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia on which it is modeled. The hall of the grand mosque has a dimension of 67 metres x 54 metres x 23 metres. The massive roof here is rested on a total of 15 arches. There is a high blocking wall on the western side for Mehrab. This features two huge octagonal columns, which were created exclusively from a single piece of granite and is considered as one of the highlights of this mosque. This is inturn topped by an arched gallery crowned by a dome.
Mecca Masjid can accommodate 10,000 worshipers at any time. It is located at a distance of nearly two hundred yards from Charminar, in close proximity. The construction of the mosque was believed to have included bricks which were brought all the way from Mecca. A room in the courtyard is believed to house a sacred relic of Prophet Muhammad, the revered prophet of Muslims all over the world.
According to history, Sultan Muhammad Qutub Shah had once invited the entire devout religious elders in the city to lay the foundation stone for this mosque but since no one was believed to have come forward, Sultan Muhammad himself reportedly volunteered to lay foundation. It is also said that he never missed his midnight prayer in life, right from the age of 12. Visitors coming to Charminar also visit the holy mosque, which lends a divine aura to the Muslim worshippers in the old city of Hyderabad. It is also a testimony to the reputation of Hyderabad as a multi religious and tolerant city, whose culture has been influenced by many religions and traditions.