Monday, 26 December 2011

Qudsiya Bagh

 In my last post about the wanderings on the ridge, I made a brief mention of Qudsiya Bagh and then promptly forgot about it. That was until this Sunday. Browsing the internet for something random, I came across a website of old Indian photos. It had a photograph of the Qudsia Bagh masjid from just after the mutiny (war of independence) of 1857. Taken in 1858 by Dr. John Murray from the Western side, it shows the collapsed or collapsing arches of a bridge on the right and the main building of the mosque, all holed and battered perhaps by the gunfire.
The Qudsiya Masjid in 1858
In some ways, the Qudsia Bagh of today stands in a very similar setting. First of all, it is, amazingly, still a bagh i.e. a garden. It still is an island of silence and serenity right next to the bus station. Unusual for such a setting, there are no amorous couples here. All we came across were the caretaker of the mosque and a couple of old ladies sitting under an old gate. The mosque is still alive, the domes in the exaggerated late Mughal style. The damage to the standing walls has been covered up with plaster but none of the collapsed walls have been rebuilt. The gate has ornate red sandstone carvings and decorations with floral patterns and vines.

Qudsia Bagh is not a place I would recommend a standalone visit to. However, if you are around the bus station with a few minutes to spare, do walk over. It is short, it is sweet and it is stunningly serene and detached. The mosque, the old gate, and one later structure (which looks like a mansion but we could make nothing further of) are the bonuses.

Qudsiya Masjid in July 2011
The gateway
Floral patterns on the arch


  1. Superb blog. The photographs are simply beautiful. And I'm literally hooked to your writing style.

    I highly appreciate your efforts.
    Great going, all the best.


  2. I second Sunil's comment.
    By the way, it would have been surreal if you had clicked a photo from the same angle as the one from 1858!

  3. I remember wandering around Kashmere Gate on my first trip to India looking for this garden. Unfortunately I never managed to find it so am glad I found these photos here to see what I missed.