Bhopal’s third female ruler, Shah Jahan Begum, wanted to create the largest mosque in the world, so in 1877 she set about building Taj-ul-Masjid . It was still incomplete at her death in 1901, after funds had been diverted to other projects, and construction did not resume until 1971. It is now one of the largest mosques in India, thanks to its huge courtyard. The main structure is enormous too; fortresslike terracotta walls surround three gleaming white onion domes and a pair of towering pink minarets with white domes. If you can make the dawn azan (Muslim call to prayer), you won’t regret it. And while you’re in the area, don’t forget to pop over the road to see Dhai Seedi Ki Masjid , the city’s oldest and teeniest mosque inside the grounds of Hamidia Hospital.
The gold spikes crowning the squat minarets of the Jama Masjid , built in 1837 by Bhopal’s first female ruler, Qudsia Begum, glint serenely above the skull caps and veils swirling through the fascinating bazaar below.
The Moti Masjid near Sadar Manzil was built by Qudsia Begum’s daughter and Bhopal’s second female ruler, Sikander Jahan Begum, in 1860. Similar in style to the Jama Masjid in Delhi, this smaller marble-faced mosque has two dark-red minarets and gold-spiked cupolas. Inside, the kiblah has 11 white arches. The five most central are marble.