Zinat Un Nisa Masjid: Which was used by the British as barrack and later as a bakery.
Also called Ghata Masjid is one of the famous historical mosques of Shahjahanabad (Dehli). The name of the mosque is after the person who commissioned it. Another name, ‘Ghata masjid’ may be derived from the close proximity to the riverside (ghat) of Jamuna in the past or after the cloud covering the minarets of the mosque. Winter fog in photograph gives some resemblance and justification to the later name.
Below is another name of the mosque, recently I learned from a book ’The status of Muslim women in Medieval India’ by Sudha Sharma.
“Zinat un Nisa Begam, the daughter of Aurangzeb, built 14 caravanerais. Norris confirmed to have visited on of these caravanserais when he arrived at Navapur. She constructed Zinat ul Nisa Masjid (Kuari Masjid) at her own expenses and was buried there after her death. The Masjid became the meeting place for Urdu poets in early 18th century.”
During the 1857 rebellion, the mosque was desecrated and her grave was levelled. It was used by the British as barrack and later as a bakery. Another account of this mosque is in ‘Twilight of the Mughuls’ by Percival Spear.
“The Beautiful ‘Ornament of Mosque’ in the Daryaganj quarter, built by a daughter of Aurangzeb, suffered still longer. After the mutiny it was used partly as dwelling place and partly as a bakery until 1875. The mosque was then closed and neglected. Lord Lytton’s vigour did not quite extend to this building and the mosque had to wait for rehabilitation nearly twenty years longer, until it caught the eye of Lord Curzon”.
These are few photographs taken in winter 2010, during my one of many visits to this mosque and grave of Zinat in Nisa Begum. The Black&white photograph is from my personal collection; from a private album of an English serviceman stationed in India. More details written under each photographs.