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Shah I Hamdan

Khanquah of Shah Hamdan Mosque, which stands erect on the right bank of Jhelum River in the beautiful hills of Srinagar, is known for its beauty and elegance of architecture. Visitors coming to explore a mesmerizing Kashmir valley make it a point to visit this 14th century mosque. This mosque is regarded unique in the region because of its interesting architecture made with wood and bricks.

While visitors are not allowed to enter the mosque building, they have the privilege to peer in through open windows. You will see hundreds of visitors lining up on the windows to have a look at the striking design of this mosque.

This mosque reflects Persian style of architecture with its unique architecture and fascinating style. At the time of sunset, visitors crowd the area to explore natural beauty blended with manmade excellence in the form of Shah-i-Hamdan mosque.

North of Shah-i-Hamdan mosque lies the tomb of Zain-ul- Abdin’s mother. This is a brick tomb which was made in the 15th century.

Both the shrines are regarded for their architectural brilliance and religious significance by people of all religions.

Historic Factor

An ancient mosque, Shah-i-Hamdan lies between the bridges of a serene Jhelum River. The mosque has an interesting history associated with it. Shah-i-Hamdan was the first mosque constructed in the region dating back to 1395 A.D.

Ali Hamdani was the original name of Shah Hamdan. He was a Persian Sufi and also a well-known poet and an eminent scholar. The name itself is derived from the beautiful city of Hamadan which is found in Persia.

This mosque is dedicated to Shah Hamdan who came from Persia to Kashmir to spread teachings of Islam in the valley of Kashmir. He also played an important role in shaping up the culture of people living in Kashmir Valley.

He has several works written on Sufism and spirituality. Efforts were made by famous poets like Allama Iqbal to immortalize Shah Hamadan through his poems. Later, people thought of constructing a mosque to commemorate the great soul for centuries to come.

There is a significant reason as to why they chose banks of Jhelum to construct this mosque. Shah Hamdan used to perform his prayers in a pilgrim and religious site known as Khanquah-e-Molla. This place was situated on the banks of Jhelum.

Shah Hamdan stayed in Kashmir for several years after which he extended his journey to Central Asia to further spread teachings of Islam. A mosque was built in the region to pay tribute to him and his contribution of spreading Islam in the region.

Present Condition

The location and artwork of this mosque is a dream for every traveler. Tourists regard it to be a magnificent shrine symbolizing Sufism. However, the present condition of this mosque pains travelers. This mosque is full of dust and is not maintained with stale food for pigeons teeming in the courtyard. Therefore, immediate care is required to restore this symbol of cultural heritage.

Architecture and Legacy

Owing to the unique and superior architectural construction of this mosque, it is regarded as the best mosque in the region. It has an ancient wooden structure with intricately carved walls and windows.

The artifact and fine papier-mache work of this mosque reflects grandeur and elegance. All features of this mosque such as hanging bells and carved eaves give it an aesthetic appeal. Interiors are beautifully painted and decorated with exclusively made antique chandeliers which add to the splendor and gravity of this mosque.

This mosque has a porch where visitors can sit to admire the phenomenal architecture of this majestic shrine.

How to Reach

Delicate and pretty architecture of Shah Hamdan mosque attracts thousands of tourists each year. This place is easy to reach because of its convenient location in Srinagar. Various flights are available from different cities of India to Srinagar. After reaching Srinagar tourists take up hired vehicles to reach the mosque. Taking hired taxis is the most economical way of travelling around the city. Buses are also available from airports to escort tourists to the temple.

Many travelers also prefer to take a train ride to Jammu. Hired vehicles are also available from the railway station of Jammu to this mosque. The distance between Jammu and Srinagar is around 290 km.

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