The Spanish Mosque (Urdu: مسجد اندلوسى ), also known as Masjid Iqbal Ud Daula or Aiwan-E-Begumpet, is a mosque in Begumpet, Hyderabad, India. The mosque was constructed by Paigah Nawab, Nawab Sir Iqbal Ud Daula in 1906, after his return from Spain, as he was very much inspired by the Cathedral–Mosque of Córdoba.
The exterior and interior of the Spanish Mosque is mostly similar to the Cathedral–Mosque of Córdoba in Spain and Jama Masjid Gulbarga, Karnataka, India. It shows state-of-the-art interiors and architecture. It is also known as the Mosque of the Moors, due to its unique Hispanic (Moorish) style of architecture and is said to be one-of-its-kind in India. The stand-out feature is the spires instead of the usual minarets or domes; they give this mosque a church-like appearance.
History and features
The mosque was built by the Paigah noble, Sir Vikhar-ul-Umra Iqbal-ud-Dowla, in 1906. It is believed to be the only one of its kind in India, with pointed arches, a pointed main roof composed of two truncated octagonal pyramids placed one above the other intervened by octagonal domes. The minarets aesthetically placed at corners of the parapet are in the same style and very unusual from those seen in other mosques in the city and elsewhere. It is difficult to miss from the flyover opposite the old Begumpet Airport.
The other notable features are Moorish arches inside the prayer hall, Quranic verses in exquisite calligraphy inscribed on the inside walls, the absence of an ablution tank and a courtyard. In plan, the mosque comprises a main prayer hall, two rooms in front of it and a central corridor for entering the hall. It is over this central corridor or the entrance porch that the octagonal dome stands.
The mosque is built with stone masonry in lime mortar up to the basement and the superstructure in brick masonry in lime mortar. The roof is jack arch type on iron girders with brick and lime concrete. The domes, minarets and small turrets are built with brick and stone masonry and the outer face plastered with lime mortar. The central dome has a perforated screen.
It is listed for conservation as a Grade II A structure, comprising buildings of regional or local importance possessing special architectural or aesthetic merit, cultural or historical value. They are the local landmarks contributing to the image and identity of the city deserving intelligent conservation and the regulation governing them allows adaptive reuse internally but external changes are subject to scrutiny. Yet the colour scheme of the mosque has been changed from pure white to pastel green in recent years.