SRINAGAR, KASHMIR, JAMMU & KASHMIR, INDIA - 2013/06/01: The Shah Hamdan Mosque, or Shrine, is situated on the right bank of the Jhelum River, is dedicated to the memory of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamdani, a Muslim saint from Hamadan, Persia. It is an excellent example of indigenous wooden architecture that draws influence from Buddhist, Hindu and Islamic architecture. Constructed by San Sikandar and dedicated to the memory of Mir Sayyid Ali Hamdani, a Muslim saint from Hamadan, Persia, this mosque also serves as a khanqah.  (Photo by Jeremy Horner/LightRocket via Getty Images)

LightRocket via Getty Images

Khanqah Shah-i-Hamadan

Top choice in Srinagar

This distinctively spired 1730s Muslim pilgrim hall is Srinagar’s most beautiful mosque. It was constructed without any nails, and both frontage and interiors are covered in exuberantly painted paper mache reliefs and elaborately coloured khatamband (faceted wood panelling). Non-Muslim visitors can peek through the door but may not enter.

The building stands on the site of one of Kashmir’s first mosques, founded by Persian saint Mir Sayed Ali Hamadani, who arrived in 1372, one of 700 refugees fleeing Timur’s (Tamerlane) conquest of Iran. He is said to have converted 37,000 people to Sufi Islam, and it’s likely that his retinue introduced Kashmiris to the Persian art of fine carpet-making.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Srinagar attractions

1. Pather Mosque


Unlike most typical Kashmiri wooden spired mosques, Pather Masjid is a heavy Mughal stone structure, built by Nur Jahan in 1623. The road-facing side is…

2. Badshah Tomb

0.22 MILES

Looking more Byzantine than Kashmiri, the multidomed 15th-century brick tomb of King Zeinalabdin’s mother was built on the plinth of a much older former…

3. Naqshband Sahib


This beautifully proportioned if uncoloured 17th-century shrine was built in Himachal Pradesh style, with alternating layers of wood and brick to…

4. Jama Masjid

0.47 MILES

Looking like the movie set for an imagined Central Asian castle, this mighty 1672 mosque (built on an earlier 1394 construction) forms a quadrangle around…

5. Rozabal

0.53 MILES

At the north end of the triangular patch of grass near the Sufi shrine of Pir Dastgir Sahib is a small, green shrine known as Rozabal. A highly…

6. Pir Dastgir Sahib

0.56 MILES

This large, popular Sufi shrine was ravaged by fire in 2012 but the colourful paper mache interior work for which it was renowned has been restored. The…

7. Makhdoom Sahib Shrine

0.93 MILES

On the southern flank of Hari Parbat, the large and ornately carved Makhdoom Sahib Shrine is dedicated to the Qadri-order Sufi saint who helped the spread…

8. Mosque of Akhund Mullah Shah

0.98 MILES

Built in 1649 by Shah Jahan's son Dara Shikoh for his spiritual mentor, the mosque of Akhund Mullah Shah is only a chunky stone shell set amid plane trees…