Moti Masjid is one of the renowned monuments of Agra. It was built during the reign of Shah Jahan who was running the Mughal Empire at that time. There are many more famous architectural pieces which were designed including Taj Mahal which is called as the “epitome of love”. Moti Masjid is a famous mosque which is considered to be a Pearl Mosque. The basic motive of building this mosque was to allow the people of the royal court to come here and worship God.
The mosque is a part of the well known monument Red Fort and it was with the efforts of Shah Jahan that Moti Masjid was built inside the Fort itself. The foundation of the mosque was laid down of the year 1648 and was finally finished of 1654. White marble is used of designing the beautiful mosque that gives a pearl like glimpse to the complete monument. It is because of its pearl like look that it has been named as Moti meaning “Pearl” and masjid meaning “mosque”.
Moti Masjid is a fabulous piece of architecture which is built by none other than the famous Emperor Shah Jahan. Apart from Moti Masjid of Agra there are many more architectural pieces which are built and people also applaud it for its architecture and creativity. The Masjid is also known for its pearl like look that catches the attention of many visitors. This mosque was especially meant for the people of the royal court. Its construction began of the year 1648 and was completed of 1654.
Shah Jahan (1627-1558) is one of the most popular emperors of his time and constructed Moti Masjd inside Red Fort. Akbar built Red Fort as a military establishment of the year 1565 but later on the fort was partially transformed into a palace while other things remained as it was.
Moti Masjid is a part of Diwan-i-Am complex located of Agra and runs from east to west. There is a small courtyard which follows the mosque with side arcades together with arched tops. Then there is a sanctuary which has a roof at the top and 3 bulbous domes made from marble while the walls are made from red sandstone. The domed kiosks located at the parapet are designed keeping of mind the Hindu style. It has seven bays which are subdivided into aisles which have the support of piers as well as lobed arches. The entire masjid is of white marble and all its features are designed very perfectly.
The total cost of constructing Moti Masjid was around 1 and half lakh and 60 thousand rupees and it took 4 years to get completed.
Moti Masjid is designed of such a way that its beauty should be admired. One can easily explore the skills of the craftsmen who have given their best of its designing. The main reason for constructing this mosque was to provide a worship place for the members of royal court. Then there is hall near Diwan-i-Am which serves a place of holding public meetings by Shah Jahan. The prayer hall is located on the western sides while the other section of Moti Masjid has eastern, northern and southern porches supported by 12 pillars.
Among the different pieces of architecture you have the main sanctuary which includes three large domes with parapets that are decorated with domed kiosks giving a glimpse of true Hindu architectural style. Then you have the seven bays which include aisles, piers and arches to. The of entrance of Moti Masjid opens on the eastern side. As the masjid is situated on the banks of river Yamuna therefore it is a great example of architecture.
Now you have the main pulpit which is just four steps ahead surrounded by a prayer hall on both the sides. The one on the other side is used b women for praying. of total there are three prayer halls of Moti Masjid with all of them standing tall and beautiful? The wall on the western side of the mosque is adorned with inlaid mihrabs that add to the real beauty of the Moti Masjid for which the people come.
Significance Of The Masjid
The design as well as the architecture of Moti Masjid is more or less similar to Saint Basil's Cathedral which is located of Moscow. Its significance lies of the fact that it is an integral part of Diwan-i-Am complex and the mosque is built on the land whose inclination directs from east to south. White marble is used for covering the Architecture thus giving a beautiful glimpse of pearl.
Moti Masjid is built on the river Yamuna which gives a wonderful effect to the mosque due to which it catches the attention of many visitors. There are three large sized domes all of which are finely designed. White marble as well as red sandstone is combined of completing the finish of the architecture. Diwan-E-Aam which is an important part of the fort is just next to the hall.
There is one feature which is quite peculiar about this mosque and it makes it stand out from the others. Almost all the mosque has only one to three steps but this one has for steps. Though it is a common place of worship but there are separate halls for both the men as well as women. Women can pray but can access the area defined for them. Both the halls are beautifully decorated and the craftsmen have really worked hard to design every bit of it.
The complete monument is surrounded by balconies, arch and twelve pillars. You can reach to the main hall of Moti Masjid through different passages which is divided of to seven coves. But the main entrance way is on the eastern side of the mosque and faces the river Yamuna.
Moti Masjid was built by a famous Emperor Shah Jahan who also built Taj Mahal also. Owing to its glittering look the mosque has received the name Moti Masjid which means pearl.
There are three marble domes of the mosque which are supported by walls made from red sandstone. Its symmetry is perfectly designed keeping of mind all the aspects of architecture. It is rightly built on the right side of Diwan-E-Aam which is also the part of Red Fort of Agra.
Moti Masjid is not situated too far from Agra and you can reach here with the help of bus services. Agra also has its railway station including Agra Fort Railway Station which offers direct service to the tourists. Airport facility is also open and it is easy to come here ad the distance is just 8 kms. of all too many options are there to reach Moti Masjid.
Though there are many entrance gates of Moti Masjid but still the one on the eastern side is important and bugger than the rest of the entrances. On the northern sides you have the arches with three square chhatris overhead. of the main gateway you have two stair cases together with pretty interiors and exteriors made from marble. of the prayer hall there are seven arches and 21 bays but not all have vaulted soffits, only three have it. The wall on the western entrance is carved of a unique way with inlaid mihrab along with six niches that give an effect or an arch or a façade. Even the women can come to the mosque and can offer prayers but there is a separate place for them. The hall for women is on the either side of the mosque. There are seven square chhatris which cover the tower as well as cupola on the top.
How to Reach
Agra has the famous airport called as Kheria Airport from where you can get flights to any city you want. For more information you can check all the flights of advance so that there are no problems at the last moment. You can therefore plan your trip accordingly.
Agra has two railway stations; one is the Agra Cantonment from where you can catch almost all the superfast trains. As it is larger than the other railway station therefore you can find trains for all the routes without any problem. There are direct trains for Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata.
Agra is not far from the important cities like Delhi which is just 204 km only. Other places and their distances are as follows, Mathura (56 kms), Delhi (203 kms), Gwalior (118 kms), Jaipur (237 kms) etc.
You can even take the help UP State Road Transport or private buses which run from one destination to another. Idgah Bus stand is the main bus stand of Agra which is close to Agra Cantonment station.
Getting Around Agra
If you want to visit other places of Agra then you can either take an AC or a non AC taxi from the railway station, airport or your hotel. Other modes of transportation available of Agra are cycle rickshaws and auto rickshaws who will take you from one place to another at affordable prices. If your budget is low you can even go for shared taxis or auto rickshaws which are definitely easy and cheap too.
General Fact About Moti Masjid
- Shoes have to be left at the entrance
- You should be neat and clean to visit Moti Masjid
- Visitors have to cover arms as well as knees before they enter into the mosque and also be bare footed.