A Connaught Place Mosque is No More

I’m quite heartbroken that the mosque located at B Block in Connaught Place has been demolished. I had written a post about it a few years ago. This uniquely situated mosque was close to the inner circle of CP, and I used to peep into it whenever I was walking along that part of the inner circle colonnade. This time when I peeped in, there was nothing there. The signboard outside the mosque says that it was established in 1941, thought stylistically it looked like it was from the 19th c (or perhaps early 20th c). It stands to reason that the mosque predated the construction of CP in the early 1930s, since such pains were taken to accommodate its alignment in the donut layout of the CP buildings. I haven’t been able to find a reference to it in any of the books/listings on Delhi.

Earlier you could see the mosque building from outside the doorway that led into the scooped-out space for the mosque. Now, the building is gone. All that remains is the space, which has been covered with a concrete roof with some supporting pillars.

2012:

2018:

I don’t know how important the mosque was in the larger scheme of things. It does not find a place in the INTACH Listing (Delhi The Built Heritage: A Listing, 1999). For me though, its quite awful that this unique scooped-out space in the heart of Delhi is no more.

There was such little space around the mosque building that it was difficult to capture the full effect of the building in photos. From 2012:

Interior of mosque building:

Looking up at the scooped-out opening in which the mosque building sat:

 

Now, the building is gone, and all that remains is the space, newly covered with a concrete roof. From 2018:

(Stitched panorama)

The bookseller outside the mosque said that the mosque building was demolished to increase space for prayer (the entire space now has become a mosque since it is surrounded by walls), and to raise the height of the roof to add fans. He added that the old structure was getting weak, and so apparently had to go completely.

This is yet another example of the absolutely callous attitude we have towards our heritage and history, no matter whether religious or secular, or which religion it belongs to. We will keep losing our built heritage if we continue to be so blind to its value.

Signboard for the mosque along the CP colonnade:

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