Monday, 3 October 2011

Sunehri Masjid

One day last winter, I was walking from Nili Chhatri Mandir towards Chandni Chowk when from amongst the leaves of a large tree, I saw a small bronze dome right next to the road. A small detour to the right, up and down some steps and through a large iron gate, I finally landed at the Sunehri Masjid. It was built in late Mughal period by Qudsiya Begum, mistress of the infamous Muhammad Shah 'Rangila', the Nero of Delhi. They say the three domes were gilted with copper. The copper was stolen, possibly during one of the many foreign sweeps of Delhi. Eventually Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal emperor, had the remaining metal replaced with sandstone.

Today it stands a little away from the Red Fort, very close and yet very far from the road. The inside has 3 arches with reed mats laid below. In one corner are some taps for performing ablutions before the namaz. Once in a while, someone walks in to pray. The noise of traffic outside is drowned out by the sound of a broom scrubbing the floor.

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