Main Jamia Masjid of Rawalpindi city, Pakistan is 100 years old and located right at the junction of Bagh Sardaran and Jamia Masjid road crossection.
The meaning of Jamia Masjid is Grand Central Mosque of the congregation.
This time we started from Bagh Sardaran to see Jamia masjid and got there on a rickshaw. It’s hardly fifteen minutes from Rawalpindi Saddar. This Jamia Masjid Rawalpindi was built as a counterweight to Hindu and Sikh influence in Rawalpindi by pious Muslims of the time.
Although Muslims were a majority all around Rawalpindi, the town itself was surreptitiously converted by the British into a Hindu and Sikh majority area, by playing around with town boundaries.
All around this Jamia Masjid Rawalpindi are Hindu Temples and Gurdwaras of non-muslims residents of Rawalpindi and the non-existent Islamabad, Pakistan.
We saw two well-preserved Hindu temples right on the main road. It’s difficult to go in as the commercial properties around the temples do not encourage pesky tourists like us. They probably think we are crazy in the head to be wasting the weekend checking out worn-out temples. Rai Bahadur Sujjan Singh Haveli is also on this road and is covered here
After Bagh Sardaran, traveling south on foot, we reached the main Jamia Masjid right at the junction of Bagh Sardaran and Jamia Masjid road. This mosque is 100 years old and is in stark contrast to the bland commercial area all around it. It is brightly colored with intricate frescoes on the walls and roof. I haven’t seen anything like this anywhere in Rawalpindi. Only the glasswork on the entrance is native to this region. The mosque has a huge courtyard, rooms for khateeb, and a basement below the main structure. This mosque was built in the center of an area dominated by non-Muslim traders and temples. It is said construction cost was borne by an exiled prince of Afghanistan, local Kashmiri traders (Mian), and traders from Peshawar.
After the mosque, we crossed over to the other side of the road and into the narrow lanes that lead to Purana Qila road. Purana Qila road rises steeply on top of which is another Hindu temple. The Qila is long gone.
Taking another narrow lane we headed toward Shah Chan Chiragh Ziarat. Shah Chan Chiragh was the cousin of Bari Imam and originated in Chakwal. This order arrived at this region from Iran. Chan Chiragh is said to seek spiritual purity from the flaming tree trunk still visible in the courtyard. The imam Bargah is beautifully decorated with glasswork. Outside this Ziarat has everything from the ‘behishti darwaza’ to the holy white horse to the sacred oil. Lots of people still visit the place.
We exited the narrow lanes towards Laal Haveli, the bordello of yesteryears. Buddhamai was the lady who ran the establishment after her chief patron, a Hindu named Saigol Sahib, left it for her in 1947. The lady and her brother were murdered mysteriously and were eventually purchased by the book merchant Sheikh Rasheed, who dreamed of acquiring it one day. It had a temple and a mosque inside its walls.
Doesn’t take an Einstein to figure out who the culprit was.
Another temple adjacent to the haveli is about to fall down, owing to its deterioration.
From here we walk right up to Savour Foods and had our fill of chicken pulao. The complete walk was not more than hour.
If you have enjoyed reading this, I am sure that you are going to like our trip to Androon Rawalpindi and the magnificent Hindu temples there.
The more famous Jamia Masjid mosque are in Delhi, Jamia Masjid Wazir Khan Lahore, Jamia Masjid Thatta, Jamia Masjid Srinagar, Jamia Masjid Al Sadiq Bahawalpur 1844, Jamia mosque Wah Cantt, Jamia Masjid Farooq e Azam, Jamia mosque Damascus, Jamia mosque Al Falahiya,
Jamia mosque Las Vegas, Jamia mosque Chicago, Jamia mosque Ishaq UK, Jamia mosque Orlando, Jamia mosque Hussainia, Jamia mosque Philadelphia, Jamia mosque Devon
I have visited a few of them and intend to take pictures of, one day.
We have compiled all the temples in Rawalpindi in one video. You will enjoy watching it.