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Home » Monuments In Kashmir » Patthar Masjid In Kashmir

Patthar Masjid In Kashmir

Patthar Masjid In Kashmir

Patthar Masjid In Kashmir

Of the Mughal mosques in Kashmir, the Patthar Masjid, is in contradistinction to the indigenous wooden mosques of the valley, is the largest surviving example . The facade consists of nine arches, including the large arched portico in the centre. The arched openings are enclosed in shallow decorative cusped arches, which in their turn are enclosed in rectangular frames. The horizontal construction of these arches is remarkable. All of them have recently been closed up with rubble stone masonry.

The half-attached bedpost columns in the two outer angles of the jambs of the entrance are noteworthy. The plinth, which is now mostly underground, is surmounted by a lotus-leaf coping.

The frieze between the projecting cornice and the eaves is decorated with a series of large lotus leaves, carved in relief, some of which have been pierced, and thus made to serve the purpose of ventilation apertures. A flight of steps in each jamb of the entrance gives access to the roof, which is, as usual in Kashmir, sloping, except in the centre, where there was originally a dome which was later dismantled by the Sikhs. The roof consists of twenty-seven domes, the central one of which is the largest. The domes are mostly ribbed inside, though there are some which are flat or waggon-vaulted.

The roof is supported internally on eighteen extraordinarily massive square columns having projections on two sides. The lower portion of the columns is built of stone and the upper of brick covered by a thick coat of buff-coloured lime plaster.

The enclosure wall is built of brick masonry, with a coat of lime plaster, adorned by a range of shallow arched niches.

The mosque is said to have been built in A.D. 1623 by the Empress Nur Jahan. There is a tradition that, being once questioned regarding the cost of its construction, she pointed to her jewelled slippers and replied, "As much as that." The jest was reported to the mullahs, who unanimously decreed that by this sacrilegious allusion the mosque had become desecrated, and was unfit for religious use. For this reason the Patthar Masjid has never been used as a place of prayer.