Incredible Taj-ul-Masajid – Bhopal’s Crowning Glory

Tajul Masajid

Taj-ul-Masajid is one of the biggest mosques in Asia and is a symbol of the history and heritage of Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.

Tajul Masajid

As you cross the threshold of the outer wall, you are mesmerized by the sight that greets you. Three domes reflect the rays of the sun and glisten like white pearls. Two other magnificent, albeit smaller domes sparkle atop the two minarets that flank the main domes and rise to the skies in benediction. A large squarish pond stands before this exquisite edifice as if kneeling in obeisance. The waters of the pond reflect the shining domes like a painting on canvas when the light is just right.

Overlooking the domes is a massive open courtyard that stretches out towards the other end which has an ornamental gate that leads to large circular steps beyond. We stood in front of the Taj-ul-Masajid in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India, awed by the sheer magnificence of its architecture and the finesse of its design. It is the largest mosque in India!

Taj-Ul-Masajid – India’s Largest Mosque

Tajul Masajid
Taj-ul-Masjid

The Taj-ul-Masajid seemed the perfect place to begin our exploration of the heart of India, Madhya Pradesh on the exciting odyssey on wheels, the Times Passion Culture & Heritage Trail organized in partnership with Madhya Pradesh Tourism.

Bhopal
ताजुल मसजिद – ताज उल मस्जिद भोपाल

Young students dressed in spotless white churidars and light blue kurtas and white skull caps scampered through the huge courtyard towards the Madrasa. They looked like tiny specks from one end of the courtyard, dwarfed by the grand proportions of the Taj-ul-Masajid. There was a palpable tension in the air. It was the examination day!

The Begum And Her Dream

Taj-ul-Masajid in Bhopal
Taj-ul-Masajid in Bhopal

If the grand domes and beautiful arches of the Tajul Masajid could speak, they would whisper the story of a queen and her labour of love. They would tell the fascinating story of the Begums of Bhopal who were shining beacons of women’s empowerment way back in the 18th and 19th centuries. Bhopal was ruled by the Begums during this period and one of the most noted of them all was Begum Shahjahan.

The Begum was a connoisseur of art, architecture, and literature and had aspired to be a poetess. In fact, she is credited with writing an exclusive manual for women which is regarded as the first encyclopedia of its kind and contains valuable information on the status of women in Islam in those times. Begum Shajahan was one of the earliest crusaders for women’s empowerment and contributed a lot towards the upliftment of women in her kingdom.

During her reign, the Begum built many temples, palaces, and mosques. But her dream project and labor of love were undoubtedly the Taj-ul-Masajid which she commissioned. In a travesty of fate, she never lived to see her dream completed. Today the magnificence of the “crown of mosques” or the Taj-ul-Masajid stands as a glorious paean to her vision.

The Genesis of The Tajul Masajid

Tajul Masajid
Taj-ul-Masajid

Begum Shahjahan had begun the construction of a palace in Bhopal when a Fakir accosted her in the streets and beseeched her to first create a palace to God. The Begum seemed to sense the prophetic nature of the Fakir’s words and immediately put her palace-building plans on the back burner.

Instead, she ordered the construction of a Mosque, one that would be known far and wide for its divine beauty, a true crown of mosques, the Taj-ul-Masajid. At the site chosen for the proposed mosque, remains of some Hindu temples were discovered, Begum Shahjehan in keeping with her secular nature had these temples restored and moved the site of the mosque. A new site at an elevation was selected and the construction of what would turn out to be one of the finest mosques in the world started in earnest.

Tajul Masajid
Image for Tajul Masajid

The poetic and artistic qualities of Begum Shahjehan gave her the vision of the mosque as an edifice of unparalleled beauty, she wanted it to be the most beautiful mosque in the world. With this end in sight, she summoned an architect by the name of Allah Rakha Khan. Legend has it that she asked the architect if he had ever visited the Jama Masjid in Delhi.

The architect smiled and said that it was at the Jama Masjid that he regularly did Namaz. Begum fired another question at Allah Rakha Khan. Had he seen the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore? Allah Rakha Khan replied with a vehement yes. The Begum was pleased with the answer and asked Allah Rakha Khan to blend the best of the two great mosques in his design for the proposed mosque in Bhopal.

The blueprint of the Taj-ul-Masajid had already started to take shape in the mind of its architect, Allah Rakha Khan.

Taj-ul-Masjid History

Taj-Ul-Masjid - India's Largest Mosque
Taj-ul-Masjid – India’s Largest Mosque

The dream in stone that was conceived by Nawab Shahjehan Begum and the architect Allah Rakha Khan took many, many years to blossom into reality. The Begum herself died without seeing her vision of the mosque take shape. It was then the turn of her daughter Sultan Jahan Begum, to work on the construction of the Tajul Masajid during her lifetime.

Photo of Tajul Masajid
Photo of Taj-ul-Masajid

Wars and lack of resources ensured that the dream of building the most beautiful mosque dreamt by the Begums of Bhopal lay unfulfilled for a long time. It was only during the later part of the 20th century that construction resumed and the mosque was completed. The souls of the Begums must have felt a sense of satisfaction on seeing their dream come to life, albeit after their own transition to the other world. Taj-ul-Masajid lives on as one of Asia’s biggest Mosques.

An Architectural And Engineering Marvel

Tajul Masajid
Tajul Masajid

The aura of the Begums of Bhopal seems to envelop the Tajul Masajid in a benign halo. Each and every stone speaks the story of the Begums. The pearl-like domes, the tall minarets that flank them, and the graceful arches that open into the main building all seem to reverberate to the silent sounds of the vision of Shahjehan Begum. The Taj-ul-Masajid is sure to remind you of the Jama Masjid in Delhi and the exquisitely designed balconies that grace the upper portion of the mosque provide a glimpse of the design elements of Lahore’s Badshahi Mosque.

Tajul Masajid
Tajul Masajid

As you enter the main section of the Tajul Masajid, the reverberating sounds of the Quran recital by young boys greet you. Exquisite pillars line the long hallway. One of the distinctive features here is nine hollow-shaped domes that have been constructed at nodal points. These serve to amplify the sound and add to the acoustics of the building.

The Tajul Masajid today houses a modern madrasa where students learn English and Mathematics apart from the Quran. It is but befitting to note that the Tajul Masajid has a separate section for women to do Namaz after all the mosque is a standing testimony to the Begums of Bhopal who stand as enduring icons of women empowerment straddling the dark chapters of history when women everywhere were not given their due.

Tajul Masajid
Tajul Masajid

The massive dimensions of the Tajul Masajid ensure that you can focus on only one element at a time. But imagine if you were a bird, your bird’s eye view of the perfection of the design of the mosque would surely blow your mind. On one end is the main structure with its gleaming domes and minarets. A wall that runs on all sides encloses a huge rectangular courtyard with a pond in the centre.

The main gate stands opposite the main structure that houses the Madrasa towards the east and the mosque, with impressive steps that remind one of the Spanish Steps in Rome that lead to the gate which is ornamented with lovely balconies and arches. Small rooms with arched doorways can be seen along the walls that enclose the courtyard. These rooms have the names of donors inscribed on their doors. The Tajul Masajid is magnificent in every nook and cranny. The mosque is a glowing statement of aesthetics visualized by a Begum and an architect.

Tajul Masajid
Tajul Masajid

As we make our way out of the Taj-ul-Masajid, a young student of the Madrasa looks at us and gives a smile filled with the innocence and joy of a child who is one with his surroundings. A strange glow of serenity envelops him as he looks at the shining domes of the mosque with a sense of pride and ownership. The dream of Nawab Shahjehan Begum lives on for posterity in the cold stones that give shape to the Taj-ul-Masajid.

How To Get To Tajul Masajid, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India

Taj-ul-Masajid
Taj-ul-Masajid
  • Tajul Masajid is located in the city of Bhopal, the capital of the central state of India, Madhya Pradesh
  • Bhopal is well connected to other cities in India by air, rail, and road
  • Bhopal is served by the Raja Bhoj Airport
  • Tajul Masajid is at a distance of about 6 kilometres from the airport

If you are planning a trip to Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, India to see the Tajul Masajid, one of the biggest masjid in Asia then you can book a cheap flight right here through Cleartrip or Makemytrip or CheapAir or Priceline . If you are planning to travel by road to Bhopal, some of the options to reach Bhopal are by self-drive car or cab or bus.

Other Must-See Places In And Around Bhopal

Other top things to see when in Bhopal are:

  • Tribal Museum
  • Bhojtal – Upper Lake
  • Van Vihar National Park
  • Gauhar Mahal
  • Bhimbetka at a distance of 45 kilometres from Bhopal
  • Bhojeshwar Temple at a distance of 28 kilometres from Bhopal

Where To Stay In Bhopal

Jehan Numa Palace Hotel
Jehan Numa Palace Hotel, Bhopal

Bhopal has many options when it comes to accommodation if you are looking for some really luxurious and heritage properties, Bhopal offers many in this category. You can even stay in a palace. Some of the best hotels and resorts in Bhopal include the Jehan Numa Palace Hotel, Jehan Numa Retreat, and the Noor-us-Sabah Palace.

Jehan Numa Retreat
Jehan Numa Retreat, Bhopal

If you are looking to book any Bhopal hotels near Taj-ul-Masajid or resorts or accommodation anywhere in Madhya Pradesh or India or the world,  you can do that right here. You can book Bhopal 5 star hotels or Bhopal resorts through here – TripAdvisor or Cleartrip or  makemytrip or  goibibo or  Booking.com or  HotelsCombined or  Agoda and save a lot by getting the best deals on booking your stay. 

Click to book the best hotels in Bhopal and best resorts in Bhopal

Planning Bhopal tour – Best things to do in Bhopal apart from Tajul Masajid

Bhopal points of interest and attractions are many and if you are trying to decide on what to see in Bhopal or what to do in Bhopal or places in Madhya Pradesh, then look no further. Book online places to see in Bhopal and cover attractions in Bhopal and MP. You can now book tours in Bhopal, and other parts of Madhya Pradesh and explore the heart of India – Madhya Pradesh! Once you land in Bhopal, you can book package tours that can take you to Sanchi, Bhimbetka, Udaygiri caves, Bhojpur, Pachmarhi, Khajuraho, Maheshwar, Kanha National Park, etc. You could also do a one-day Bhopal city tour or even choose to do a heritage walk in Bhopal.

Click here to learn more and book the Best Attractions in Bhopal & MP

FAQ – Taj-ul-Masjid – India’s Largest Mosque in Bhopal

Taj-ul-Masajid
Taj-ul-Masajid

How many minarets does Taj ul Masjid consist of?

The Tajul Masajid, the famous mosque of India has two minarets that soar to the sky.

Which country has the most masjids?

Indonesia and India are the countries that have the most mosques.

Which is the world’s biggest mosque?

The Great Mosque of Mecca is said to be one of the world’s biggest mosques.

How many mosques are there in India?

India has more than 300,000 mosques.

What is the name of Asia’s biggest Masjid?

The famous mosque in India, Taj-ul-Masjid is said to be the biggest mosque in Asia.

Which is the largest mosque in India?

Some of the largest mosques in India include Jamma Masjid and Taj-ul-Masajid.

What are the Taj-ul-Masajid, Bhopal timings?

The Taj-ul-Masajid can be visited on any day except Fridays between 6.00 AM to 8.00 PM, visitors are not allowed during Namaz time.

Bhopal

We hope you found our Tajul Masajid blog post interesting and are looking forward to visiting Bhopal and Madhya Pradesh to experience their magic. Do let us know if you need any details or clarifications, and do connect with us.

Watch our video on Bhopal.

We were hosted by Times Passion Trails and Madhya Pradesh Tourism. However, the views and opinions expressed here are our own.

 

Recommended read:

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Pench National Park – Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh, India
Places To Visit In Pachmarhi, Madhya Pradesh, India
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Taj-Ul-Masjid - India's Largest Mosque

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Incredible Taj-ul-Masajid - Bhopal's Crowning Glory

26 thoughts on “Incredible Taj-ul-Masajid – Bhopal’s Crowning Glory”

  1. The masjid looks so tranquil & beautiful.
    Your photos are awesome.
    My aunt stays in Bhopal, and it is my long wish to visit this beautiful city and the state.

  2. The photos shows beautiful architecture of the 90s. This so so big and beautiful. Never been to Bhopal but I’ll definitely love to visit

  3. This is such a beautiful post… I loved reading it.. The mosque is gorgeous… And it’s history is rich too…

  4. Shreemayee Chattopadhyay

    So informative post it is! You have explained every details about the mosque. Now, I really wish to visit this place.

  5. Tajul Masajid looks so calm and beautiful just loved the architecture of the masajid the best place for prayers… Even today they maintained so well…

  6. This masjid is actually quite a sight to behold. It is glistening and one can see how similar it looks to Taj Mahal. Loved knowing about Begum Shahjehan

  7. This mosque looks a must visit whenever I visit Bhopal next time. It has its own vibes and interesting details and architecture attached to it.

  8. Indeed the architecture of Tajul Masajid is a masterpiece. Would love to visit this place someday soon.

  9. Wow! Amazing is the word. It’s really so big and the architecture is mesmerizing. Must visit this next time.

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