Most of Srinagar’s most famous shrines and mosques lie within or close to the old city. The architecture of these monuments is unique, mostly constructed of wood and brick/stone masonry, with multi-levelled sloping roofs and tall spires reminiscent of Hindu and Buddhist religious structures from the western and central Himalayas. They have elaborately and beautifully ornate polychromatic interiors finished with wood and papier-mache.
Dastgir Sahib Khanyar
Dastgir Sahib is a shrine built in the 18th c, housing the relics of a saint. It consists of a square building containing the relic and a few ancillary rooms, and a rectangular building that wraps around the square one on two sides. This consists mostly of a large hall used as a meeting/gathering hall and mosque.
View of Dastgir Sahib when approaching from the south
The rectangular building of Dastgir Sahib containing the main hall/mosque
The square relic building and rectangular hall/mosque
Entrance hallway of Dastgir Sahib
Looking out to the entrance porch
Dastgir Sahib inteirors, looking from the large hall towards the relic room
The ornate mihrab niche and minbar in the hall/mosque
Roza Bal is a small shrine that the “Jesus Lived in India” crowd believes contains the grave of Jesus Christ. Details can be found elsewhere. Since this structure is just north of Dastgir Sahib, I thought I should mention it here!
Srinagar’s Jami Masjid
The large Jami Masjid of Srinagar is a beautifully austere structure, built of exposed brick masonry in the 18th c after the original 14th c wood structure burnt down.
Jami Masjid eastern facade
Roof and spire detail (over the mihrab at the center of the western arcade)
Looking into the central courtyard
Mihrab hall at the center of the western arcade
Mihrab niche with the 99 names of Allah written above
Arcade with wooden ceiling and pillars
Wooden ceiling and pillars
Ceiling over a central hall
Khanqah of Shah Hamdan
The khanqah is a large wooden meeting hall/mosque from the 18th c with ornate wooden decorations on the exterior and wood and papier mache work on the porch and interiors.
Khanqah Shah Hamdan
Papier-mache (?) work on a side building
Wood and papier-mache work on the porch walls and ceiling
Khanqah Shah Hamdan interior
The main structure is a beautiful square 17th c meeting hall/mosque of wood and stone masonry. There is a side building that I think contains the relic of a saint.
Main hall/mosque of Naqshband Sahib
Central spire with a balcony for aazaan
Naqshband Sahib main hall/mosque interior
Patthar Masjid (literally Stone Mosque) is very different to other monumental Srinagar mosques in both design and materials. It is a much more conventional Mughal-style mosque from the 17th c. It is basically one long (3-bayed) arcade to the west of an enclosed courtyard.
Looking out from the mosque to the courtyard
The mosque’s qibla wall from the outside
Makhdoom Sahib is the dargah (mausoleum) of a saint and one of the most important shrines in Srinagar, but architecturally it is not as interesting as other shrines in the city. It is halfway up the hill of Hari Parbat, and offers expansive views of the old city.
Steps leading up to Makhdoom Sahib
The spires of Makhdoom Sahib’s dargah
The dargah of Makhdoom Sahib
Akhund Mullah Shah Mosque
This mosque is close to Makhdoom Sahib’s dargah, built in the 17th c. It is a Mughal mosque but the small overall proportions combined with high walls and comparatively wide arcade make for a small inner courtyard and odd feel, with possible defensive purposes.