A much needed inspiration!
There has been developing so much hatred and intolerance among people following different religions since the past decade, that it got me thinking, this is not how things always were. We have risen out of the shackles of colonisation and the so called “Third World Stigma” together as a nation and not as a cult that follows and accepts only a certain religion or kind of people. India has cultivated such diverse cultures and as its citizens we could learn a thing or two about co-existing in diversity.
One such beautiful example of Harmonious Co-existence is right in the heart of this nation. Bhopal, the administrative and cultural Capital of Madhya Pradesh has served as a melting pot for a rich and varied culture from the very beginning of its discovery!
Edged by two beautiful lakes, the city of Bhopal is nestled among the Shyamala, Idgah, Arera and Katara hills. Bhopal with its vivid cultural and historical treasure thrives today with a great deal of Islamic tradition ingrained in the very life and blood of the town. The city has evolved with Islamic culture and values from as long as seventeenth century. The present day Bhopal offers a perfect blend of Hindu and Muslim cultures portraying the very essence of India – a land of Diversity!
Lined by old Mosques and Havelis, the city of lakes nurtures a 40 percent Muslim population. Bhopal holds a prestigious place for the Muslims of India which can be credited to the rich culture that it has cultivated through the years. Not only the Art and Culture but the Architecture and Cuisines, all reflect a harmonious equilibrium between the Hindu and Muslim cultures that have prevailed over the years.
The cityscape of Bhopal is a witness of the priceless heritage bestowed by Ancient Tribal Kingdoms, Hindu Kings and Muslim Dynasties. Be it the Rock Shelters of Bhimbetka a World Heritage Site or one of Asia’s largest Mosques: Taj-ul-Masajid, From Lakshminarayan Temple to Moti Masjid the architecture speaks for itself and the captivating amalgam of civilizations!
ANOTHER JEWEL IN THE ARCHITECTURAL CROWN: TAJ-UL-MASAJID
Living up to its name (The Crown of Mosques) Taj-ul-Masajid in Bhopal is an enormous pink edifice sprawled over an area of 23,312 sq. ft., adorned with lofty white-domed minarets. This beautiful structure draws thousands of people to worship one God and towards a religion of peace and equality. Created around a large courtyard with a massive tank in the centre, the prayer hall is ornate with beautiful carved pillars with marble floors. The eighteen storied marble domed pillars can hold one in awe and spell bound with the serenity and peace the place renders. The exquisite Trelliswork on the pillars and floral designed ceilings with crystal slabs for floors add to the grandeur and novelty of the largest Mosque in India.
SMALL YET SOULFUL:
Sitting on top of a stone turret forming a corner of what can be called ruins of a watchtower is Asia’s smallest mosque: Dhai Seedhi ki Masjid (2.5 Stepped Mosque). Initially erected as a makeshift mosque for the guards deployed at the Fatehgarh Fort, This turns out to be the First Mosque built in Bhopal, the city which now holds more than 400 mosques. The dainty structure has been named after the two and half steps that lead to the main prayer hall.