Awe-inspiring Spanish Mosque,Hyderabad, India

The city of Hyderabad, Telengana, India has a number of mosques of different styles and architecture. Mention may be made of  the oldest Jama Masjid the Mecca Masjid, etc.
Spanish Mosque, Begumpet, Hyderabad. Inditales

Prayer Hall at Spanish Mosque, Hyderabad  Inditales
Masjid Iqbal Ud Daula or Jam e Masjid Aiwan-E-Begumpet, is a  unique mosque within the Paigah Palace, Begumpet. It was built by Sir Vikhar-ul-Umra Iqbal-ud-Dowla, the Paigah noble in 1906. Unlike other mosques, the design of this mosque is different. It is one of a kind in India with pointed arches, main roof  consisting of two truncated octagonal pyramids placed one above the other intervened by octagonal domes. The  spiral shaped minarets are set at  corners of the parapet; indeed, a rare and unusual design.

The mosque has a prayer hall and the entrance through a foyer leads into the main prayer hall with a high roof and central dome open from below. The hall is well lit as the light passes through the windows. The foyer is flanked by chambers to be used by ladies to join the prayer and Paigah family members and prominent personalities. Noted unique elements are Moorish arches inside the prayer hall, Quranic verses in exquisite Kufi style of calligraphy inscribed on  inner walls, the absence of an ablution tank and a courtyard.

The basement of the mosque is built with stone masonry in lime mortar and brick masonry in lime mortar is used for upper  structures. The roof is built using iron girders with brick and lime concrete. As for the domes, minarets and small turrets, they are built with brick and stone masonry  and the outer walls are  plastered with lime mortar. As it was common in those days, for plastering of outer walls, lime mortar was widely used. The central dome has a perforated screen.

Spanish Mosque, Hyderabad, India
It is beloved the builder of this mosques could have derived inspiration from a picture of a mosque in Spain or he might have run into a strange mosque while he was on a long tour in Europe. Anyway, he was a maverick, choosing a different design for building a mosque  in India, something that had not been tried before. It is mentioned that he got the inspiration after seeing the buildings and palaces when touring Europe in the 1880s. He was very much impressed  by the Cathedral–Mosque of Córdoba. This resulted in building the Falaknuma Palace and the Spanish mosque in Hyderabad.  That the mosque has arches designed in  Hispanic-African style shows Spanish-Moorish influence. The exterior and interior of the Spanish Mosque (in Begumpet) has close similarity with Cathedral–Mosque of Córdoba in Spain and Jama Masjid Gulbarga, Karnataka, India. This mosque is being managed by the heirs of Paigah Amir Sir Vicar ul Umra. The mosque is part of the 340-acre estate of the Paigah nobles, including seven palaces, in Begumpet.

The work on the mosque was  completed by H.E Nawab Sultan Ul Mulk Bahadur, VI Amir of Paigah . But it was  commsioned by his father the fifth Paigah Amir Sir Vicar Ul Umra in 1900 after his trip to Europe. But the construction work stopped in the middle due to his sudden death. This mosque is often referred to as Mosque of the Moors because of its strange Hispanic style of design commonly used in North African mosques. The spires like  minarets and domes give it a cathedral look. 

 The iconic 111-year-old Spanish mosque or Jama Masjid Aiwan-e-Begumpet, inside the Paigah Palace, is getting a face lift. The mosque will have a new ablution tank. Tagged as one of the most beautiful and unusual mosques in India, it is in the dewdi of Iqbal-ud-Dowla Sir Vicar-ul Umra, in Begumpet, Secunderabad.