Monday, May 31, 2010



Khanqah is an important institution for Muslim society. Salat, religious assemblies and other Islamic functions are held here. Often established as a place of shelter for a large number of sufis, khanqahs generally had residential buildings, mosques, madrassahs, and mazaars (tombs), and various annexes and ancillary buildings, which made virtually independent complexes. In most cases, khanqahs were built on rent-free lands under government patronage.

In the past Khanqahs served as hospices for Sufi travelers (Salik) and Islamic students (Talib). Khanqahs are very often found adjoined to Dargahs (shrine of a Sufi saint), mosques and madrassas (Islamic schools).

Khanqah Maula is the first ever mosque in Kashmir built by Sultan Sikandar in 1395 AD in memory of Mir Sayyed Ali Hamadani, the famous Persian saint who popularized Islam in Kashmir, Ladakh & the surroundings. 

The mosque is situated on the banks of the famous river, Jhelum.

The mosque is made of wood and has fine papier mache work on the walls & roof. The balconies are ornamented with finely carved wood and small columns. 

The shrine is one of the finest examples of beautiful lattice work in deodar wood, pinjrakari & elaborate wood carving, all in deodar wood. Wooden ceilings are characterized by geometrical paneling, khatambandi, originally from Iran, but now peculiar to only Kashmir.

The aesthetic appeal of the hospice lies in its beautifully carved eaves and hanging bells; the richly carved and painted interiors and some antique chandeliers lend to it an air of lavishness. The chamber in the northwest corner of the big hall contains the renowned saint’s tomb.

No comments: