Watch | Delhi’s historic mosques and their fountain connection

Delhi’s historic mosques built during the time of the Mughals seem to have an abiding fountain connection. All of them are fountains meant for water circulation, not shivlings, as alleged in the case of Gyanvapi in Varanasi. Almost all mosques of the 16th and 17th centuries have a fountain in their or ablution area. Others have removed it only recently to replace the creaky old structure with a new one. Among them is the historic Masjid Abdun Nabi located next to the erstwhile police headquarters in central Delhi. The mosque which serves as the nodal point for Jameat Ulama-e-Hind, has had a large pond for ablution. At the centre of it has been a fountain. Named after Mughal emperor Akbar’s registrar, the mosque is under renovation and the fountain too is being given a facelift with the faithful meanwhile asked to use the tap for washing their hands and feet. wuzukhana

The story is repeated at the historic Madrasa Husain Bux in Old Delhi. Built in 1852, the madrasa played host to freedom fighters in the early 20th century. The madrasa has had a hauz or a pond with a fountain at the centre. Now under renovation, the fountain was replaced with a pillar at the centre with provision for birds to quench their thirst in summers. The story is repeated at the good old Patna Wali Masjid in Bara Hindu Rao and Masjid Fakhruddin in Azad Market, etc. Each of them has a cylindrical fountain at the centre of the water body.

Noted American historian explains the reason behind the presence of fountains in Islamic architecture. “You’ve got to circulate water. Otherwise, it will be gross and mosquito haven. Pleasantness of surroundings and cleanliness are pretty strong concerns in Islamicate culture,” she explains.

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Printable version | May 20, 2022 11:29:35 am |