India is known for its cultural heritage and vividness is its characteristic. Several inscriptions, sculptures from the past had been an absolute evidence for the fact and years later these artistic beauties were unveiled for mass exhibition. Once such a unique and oldest sculpture carving is Mumbai’s Juma masjid, which is known for its exceptional architecture and is one of the oldest mosques of the country.
This Masjid Is Built On A Water Body
The quadrangular-shaped Juma Masjid is built over a large water reservoir with the help of sixteen black stone arches which rise from the depth of the water to support its massive two-storeyed structure. It is believed that it was built in 1802 and still stands as one of the finest in the history of the country.
This arabesque architecture of Juma Masjid is one of the largest and oldest mosques in Mumbai that lies at the intersection of the city’s premier commercial streets. The mosque was built as Mumbai’s principal Masjid by Konkani Muslims, a maritime mercantile community known to be one of the early settlers in erstwhile Bombay.
The Konkani Muslim Community Build This Unique Mosque
it was in 1775 that the Konkani Muslim community got together with an aim to build a new Jama Masjid. A Konkani Muslim merchant named Kazi Hussain Pallavkar with trading links to places like Goa and Calicut offered his land. The caveat, however, was that the large water reservoir should be preserved for perpetuity. Patrons of the Masjid claim that various architects, including Britishers, were asked to submit designs for the proposed mosque.
An architect named Mehr Ali was then selected to construct the structure on the lake. The complexity of the design and a legal wrangle meant that the construction stretched on for a good 27 years. The one-storey masjid that had been built on a water body and looked as if it floated on water was allegorically named as Jahaz-i- Akhirat or the ‘The Ship of Hereafter’.
In 1837 when the need was felt for the expansion of the masjid, Mohammad Ali Mohammad Hussain Roghay offered to fund the renovation and extension of the masjid. Upon completion, it became one of the first two-storeyed mosques in India. This mosque is a symbol of beauty, knowledge and prosperity as the mosque is also home to a library which contains over 15,000 rare and precious books in Arabic, Persian and Urdu languages.