The Only Moorish (Hispanic) mosque in India. Hyderabad has long been an eclectic mix of people and cultures from Central Asia, Iran, Arabia, and North Africa. This extends to food, architecture, living customs, language, and, of course, the warmth and laid-back quality that is typically Hyderabadi. There are many treasures to be unearthed. I'm here at a Special Mosque popularly called as Spanish Mosque.
Popularly known as the ‘Spanish Mosque,’ the building is believed to have been constructed under the orders of Vikar-ul-Umra, Iqbal ud Dowla in 1906. Under the rule of Nizam Mir Mahbub Ali Khan Bahadur, who ruled from 1869-1911, the Executive Council of five ministers – among whom were Salar Jung, Shams-ul-Umra (1846-1849), Asman Jah, Khurshed Jah, and Vikar-ul-Umra Iqbal ud Dowla (1894-1900) – formed the forefront of administration. These ministers formed the next tier in the hierarchy as Paigah nobles, linked to the Nizam’s family through marriage and recipients of titles such as Shams-ul-Umra and Vikar-ul-Umra.
Legend ties this mosque to the ‘Moorish’ style, derived from the Iberian Peninsula and based on the examples of hybrid architecture that dot historical Spain: Roman engineering, basilical halls, and aspects of ‘Islamic’ architecture such as minarets, qibla walls, mihrab, and maqsuras.
It is believed that Iqbal ud Dowla, on a foreign tour of Europe, came across certain monuments that entranced him, or that he had carried photographs of sites that he wished to re-invent in his homeland.
Despite stories of the Spanish Mosque being based on the Great Mosque at Cordoba, even a cursory look at the two structures does not suggest imitation. The present proprietor, Faiz Khan – who is also a descendant of the family – links the different elements of this mosque to Seljuk, northwest African Islamic apart from Hispanic- Islamic architecture borrowing also from Anatolia and Turkey.
Info credits: Culture Trip.
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