Mecca Masjid of Hyderabad
History of Mecca Masjid in HyderabadThe fifth ruler of Qutub Shah Dynasty, Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah commissioned the importing of soil from the holiest pilgrimage place of Islam, Mecca. This soil was used to make bricks for the construction of the central arch of the mosque in Hyderabad. Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah planned a city for which the Makkah masjid was supposed to be the centre piece. There are three facades that are arched and have been carved out of the same granite piece. It took a total of five years to quarry this huge piece of granite. The complete construction of the mosque took 77 years beginning from the time when Muhammad Quli Qutub Shah started the construction till the time when Aurangzeb completed it. This was approximately between 1617 to 1694. Around 8,000 or more workers were recruited during this period to build the Makkah masjid.
Architecture of Mecca Masjid in HyderabadThe prayer hall in the mosque is 180 ft. in length and 220 ft. in width. It is a good 75 ft. in height and makes a massive and elegant place for prayers. Arches are known to be one of the main structures of the Muslim architecture. One can find a total of 15 arches in the hall. There are three walls with five arches each. On the fourth side, the wall providing the Mihrab rises. The granite that took a total of five years to quarry has been used not only to make the beautiful arched facades of the mosque but also the two pillars which are octagonal in shape. These are placed at either sides of the old mosque. There are some seating arrangements near a small pond close to the mosque. The octagonal pillars support balconies that are arched and are at the same level as that of the mosque roof. These octagonal columns continue until they are topped by a dome and a spire. The courtyard of the mosque houses the tombs of the Asaf Jahi rulers. The courtyard of the mosque houses a museum which has preserves of ancient and sacred relics. It is said to have preserved Prophet Muhammad's hair.
Mecca Masjid which is listed as a heritage building in Hyderabad is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Hyderabad. Situated at the centre of the city it is also easily accessible by any of the modes of public transport.