Erakina

Khirki Masjid – Erakina

Published Date : February 17, 2022

Khirki Masjid or Khirki Mosque is situated in Jahanpanah of Malviya Nagar, Delhi. Khirki Masjid is a 600-year-old mosque built by Khan-i-Jahan Junan Shah between 1351 and 1354. The medieval-era mosque earns its name from the nearby Khirki Village in South Delhi. ‘Khirki’ is an Urdu word meaning window. Khirki Masjid has holed windows adding splendid allure to its upper floors. Hence it is known as ‘The Fort of Windows’. The windows in the mosque serve as an excellent source of aeration and lighting in the patio of the mosque. Khirki Masjid draws lots of visitors throughout the year, both tourists and locales. The historic monument is open from sunrise to sunset 7 days a week throughout the year and there is no entry fee to enter the premises. If you are visiting Delhi, make sure to pay a visit to the Khirki Masjid to witness the grandeur of the medieval heritage site.

Khirki MasjidAn erstwhile medieval heritage structure

History of Khirki Masjid

Khirki Masjid was built by Khan-i-Juhan Junaan Telangani between 1351 and 1354. He served as the Prime Minister from 1351-88 for the 3rd ruler of the Tuglaq dynasty, Feroz Shah Tughlaq. Telengani along with Tughluq considered many mosques, tombs, and forts as a gratitude to the Islam religion. Khirki Mosque at Jahanpanah city bears the insignia of Telengani’s devotion to his religion. The mosque does not have any specific inscriptions, so the historians are not able to extract adequate information on the monument. Only the eastern gate of Khirki Masjid contains the name of the builder – Khan-e-Jahan Junan Shah. The unique characteristic of the monument is at the second floor has arch windows along with projecting trajectory. These are called Khirkis, hence the name ‘Khirki Masjid’. 

The architecture of Khirki Masjid

  • Khirki Masjid is quadrangular-shaped. It is the unique amalgamation of both Islamic art and Indian architecture. 
  • The building is at an elevated height of 3 meters. 
  • The historic structure contains four patios. Each courtyard is enclosed by galleries. 
  • There are around 60 pillars in Khirki Masjid characterized with square designed columns.  
  • The open courtyards in Khirki Mosque are exquisite for ventilation and proper lighting. It makes a unique visiting site for the visitors. They are in awe of the place due to the brilliance in architecture paving for superb ventilation. 
  • The roof of Khirki Masjid is equally divided into 25 squares. Each of the squares has 9 domes.
  • There are around 12 flat roofs in the mosque supporting the roof of the entire structure. 
  • There are three projecting gateways at four corners of Khirki Masjid. 
  • On the second floor of the mosque, you will find the arched windows. The structure earned the mosque its coveted title, ‘Khirki Masjid’. 

Khiri MasjidA bird’s eye view of Khirki Masjid 

Restoration of Khirki Masjid

Years of neglect have made the historic Khirki Masjid suffer. The decrepit condition of the heritage site led to the collapse of a few walls on its north-east side. Even the roof which adds beauty to the building is on the verge of collapse. The phenomenon led INTACH or the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage to undertake suitable actions. The autonomous body recognized Khirki Masjid as a ‘Grade A’ monument in the context of its architectural worth. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) initiated the restoration process on the pretext of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. The interiors of the mosque were suitably restored by ASI.      

Recent facts about Khirki Masjid

ASI while conducting the restoration process of Khirki Masjid found around 254 copper coins. The coins belong to the medieval era. The restorers tumbled discovered the coins near the entrance of Khirki Mosque. Carbon dating of the copper coins shows that the coins date back to the era of Sher Shah Suri. The fact shows the relevance of restoring and preserving historic monuments like Khirki Masjid. It holds the heritage and cultural aesthetics of the erstwhile era. 

Khirki MasjidThe grand entrance of the mosque 

Bottom line on Khirki Masjid

Historic sites like Khirki Masjid are our heritage and we should vow to protect such monuments. The location at Malviya Nagar is well connected by metro. The nearest station is the Yellow Line Metro Station. So if you are planning to visit Delhi, please make sure to pay a visit to Khirki Masjid and witness its charm. The mosque is in close vicinity with other tourist spots like the Qutub Minar, Satpula, Select City Walk, and Hauz Khas Village. 

By Shuvendu Modak

09.02.22     

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