India's Islamic Wonders: 7 Must-See Architectural Gems That'll Steal Your Heart

Did you know Islam is the second-biggest religion in India, with around 172.2 million followers? India's Muslim community ranks third globally, and by 2024, it's expected to exceed 204 million. Naturally, the country is also adorned with spectacular mosques, monuments and holy shrines.

Each of these sites is renowned for its breathtaking design, storied history, impressive architecture and deep cultural significance. In this guide, we’ll explore 7 must-see architectural gems for you to check out:

Also read: Top 10 Summer Vacation Spots for Muslim Travellers in 2024

1. Taj-ul-Masjid, Bhopal

india islamic wondersImage Credit: Ahmad Attari | Unsplash

Key Notable details:

  • Weather: 31 - 42°C

  • Type: Mosque

  • Visit Duration: Minimum 1 hour

  • Location: Bhopal

Taj-ul-Masjid, located in Bhopal, is a glorious example of Islamic architecture. It's not just India's largest mosque but also one of the biggest globally.

With its striking architecture and glory, it stands as a symbol of Islamic heritage and faith. The mosque is surrounded by lush gardens, providing a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Overall, Taj-ul-Masjid is a remarkable blend of faith and artistry, sure to leave a lasting impression on hearts and minds of visitors.

2. Nakhoda Mosque

india islamic wondersImage credit: Shamshadandraja | Wikimedia Commons

The Nakhoda Mosque is the principal Mosque of Kolkata. It was made for people to come together, pray, and find peace. The mosque has many stories from the past that make it a very interesting place to visit.

Important Reminders:

▪ The mosque welcomes visitors of all faiths.

▪ Women must wear head coverings.

▪ Proper attire is required.

▪ Shoes must be removed.

It has a big, beautiful dome on top that looks like it’s touching the sky. The walls are decorated with fancy patterns and special writings from the Quran.

For travelers exploring India, a visit to the Nakhoda Mosque is a must. - a historical gem and heart-stealing destination.

3. Jama Masjid, Delhi

india islamic wondersImage credit: Noman Pandey | Unsplash

Key Notable details:

  • Type: Historical and Architectural Mosque

  • Location: Old Delhi

  • Best Time to Visit: Early morning (To avoid crowds)

  • Important Note: Avoid visiting during the prayer break from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Jama Masjid in Delhi is a grand testament to India's rich history and architectural brilliance. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan, the visionary behind the Taj Mahal. It’s a top tourist destination for Muslims in India.

It was constructed by approximately 5000 workers. From daily prayers to festive celebrations, this mosque is the beating heart of the city.

Visiting Jama Masjid provides a unique opportunity to connect with India's rich past and appreciate its enduring beauty and cultural depth.

4. Qutub Minar, Delhi

Image credit: SuanlianTangpua

Key Notable details:

  • Type: Tower (Islamic Architecture)

  • Location: Old Delhi

  • Recommended period to Visit: November to March

  • Opening Hours: 7:00 am to 6:00 pm

The Qutub Minar draws inspiration from Afghanistan's Jam Minar, showcasing early Afghan architectural style. It was Built as a Victory Tower, to celebrate the victory of Muhammad Ghori over the Rajput king.

The Quwwat ul-Islam mosque, connected to the tower, stands as India's first mosque, which gives the place a certain allure.

Overall, Qutub Minar is not just a historical site. It's a soul-stirring destination where each step echoes with the whispers of the past.

Imagine strolling through Delhi's lively streets, where each brick holds centuries of history.

5. Ajmer Sharif Dargah, Rajasthan

india islamic wondersImage credit: khan sultan | Unsplash

Key Notable details:

Weather: 32 - 43°C

Type: Dargah

Best Time to Visit: Winter season

Visit Duration: 1 - 2 hours

Also Known As: Tomb of Moinuddin Chishti

The Ajmer Sharif Dargah, located in Ajmer's heart, eloquently honors the revered Sufi saint Moinuddin Chishti. It is one of the most sensational pilgrimage sites for Muslims in India and attracts devotees from all over the world.

It's been standing for a long time, and it's a reminder of the saint's teachings and the love people have for him. People flock here to offer prayers and seek blessings for prosperity.

The best time to visit Ajmer Sharif Dargah is between the months of November and March. When you visit, you feel calm and peaceful. It's a place where you can think quietly and feel walking on air.

Also read: Exploring The World’s Top 10 Most Beautiful Mosques

6. Charminar, Hyderabad

Image credit: Sarang Pande | Unsplash

Key Notable Details:

  • Best Time to Visit: October to March is Ideal✓ Location: Hyderabad

  • Type: Monument

  • Visiting Hours: 9:30 am to 5:30 pm daily

The Charminar is a monument located in Hyderabad, Famous for its busy markets. It's a top place for tourists to visit. Charminar is also a venue for many festive celebrations like Eid-ul-Adha and Eid-ul-Fitr.

Visiting Charminar should be at the top of your travel list simply because it offers a glimpse into Hyderabad's rich history and architectural beauty.

Don't miss the opportunity to explore this remarkable monument and immerse yourself in its timeless charm. When you visit, you can also climb up the towers and see a beautiful view of the city all around you.

7- Haji Ali Dargah, Mumbai

Image credit: dat7 | Unsplash

The Haji Ali Dargah is a mosque and dargah dedicated to Pir Haji Ali Shah Bukhari. It is located on a small island off the coast of Worli in South Mumbai.

The Haji Ali Dargah is not just a religious site—it's also a symbol of faith and devotion.

Pilgrims visit to offer prayers and seek blessings for themselves and their loved ones.

The Dargah's stunning Indo-Islamic architecture is a sight to behold.

Must-Know Tips for Visiting Haji Ali Dargah

▪ Ensure your clothes cover your shoulders and knees.

▪ All visitors should cover their heads before entering.

▪ Remove your shoes before entering the dargah.

Visiting Haji Ali Dargah should be at the top of your travel list as it offers a peaceful retreat where visitors can find peace and connect with their spiritual side.

The best time to visit Haji Ali is in any season except monsoon, as the passage is closed due to unpredictable tides during this period.

Wrapping up

If you’re planning a trip to India, use this guide to help you discover the best places to visit in 2024.

From awe-inspiring mosques to sacred shrines, each site tells a story of faith, resilience and out-of-this-world architecture.

P.S. Check out HalalZilla's Instagram and Facebook for more awesome Muslim travel inspiration content!

Featured image credit: Dmitry Rukhlenko

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