Big Mosque also known as Wallajah Mosque, is situated at Walajah Road in Triplicane, Chennai is a historical landmark constructed by Wallajah family in memory of Nawab Muhammad Ali Walajah, in 1795. It is an imposing structure of symmetry and form of architectural magnificence with an imposing facade. The magnificent grey granite structure is built without steel and wood. This architectural marvel is one of the important mosques in Chennai.
The Nawab’s descendants are still living in a mansion known as Amir Mahal. One distinctive feature of this mosque is that the chronogram engraved in stone and fixed on the inside of the western wall of the mosque is by a non-Muslim, Rajah Makkan Lal “Khirad”, a Persian and Arabic scholar of repute, who was the private secretary to the Nawab. It may be mentioned in this regard that, as far as is known, no other mosque in the world has a chronogram composed by a non-Muslim. The Mosque has two minarets at the front. Medieval architecture is clearly visible in the construction of this great mosque. The Eid Prayer timing remains the same, 10AM, since 1749 A.D.
This historic mosque is under the management of H.H. Adjoining the Wallajah Mosque is the tomb of the great Islamic saint Maulana Abdul Ali Bahrul Uloom, a divine scholar of the days of the Nawab Wallajah. In this enclosure also are the tombs of the late Nawabs of the Carnatic, the Princess of Arcot and other eminent Muslim scholars and theologians. Wallajah Mosque can be reached either from Ellis Rd (backside) or the Triplicane High Rd.
The Big Mosque Chennai is built completely out of gray granite and has been successful in outliving the ravages of time. The mosque is provided with two lofty minarets at the front. The architecture is quite typical of the medieval period. The use of iron or other such materials which are susceptible to the elements have been completely avoided while constructing this mosque.
Finding a mosque at a place which is best known for housing the maximum number of Hindu temples in the country is a rare possibility. But, since every possibility is an opportunity to discover the unknown, I happened to come across a very old Mosque in a state of temples. Almost 500 years old in its construction, the Kattubava Mosque or Kattubava Pallivasal is a popular mosque in the state of Tamil Nadu. It is among the notable Islamic Pilgrim Centres in India.
A beautifully built structure, the Kattubava Mosque entombs a saint called Bava Fakruddin. Popularly known as Kattubava, he was the grandson of the honorable saint of Nagore Shahul Hameed. The architecture of the mosque is truly phenomenal with exquisite detailings. Just opposite to the mosque is a guest house to accommodate the pilgrims. The per diem Mawlid Sharif begins at 6pm daily.
The Kattubava Mosque stands as a symbol of peace and harmony and is visited by both Hindus and Muslims in Tamil Nadu. The annual “Urs” is held in the month of Rabi-ul-Akhir, the second month of spring. According to the Muslims and Sufi Saints, a Dargah is a medium of evoking the deceased saint’s blessings and therefore Kattubava Mosque is like a blessing for the Muslims in Tamil Nadu.
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