Sunehri Masjid

Delhi is rich in heritage and is home to a large number of historical and religious monuments. One such religious monument is the Sunehri Masjid which is also referred to as the Golden Mosque and is lesser recognized as the Fatehpuri Mosque. The masjid is situated close to the Gurudwara Sesa Ganj Sahib, Chandini Chowk and one end of the bazaar of Chandini Chowk. The Sunehri Masjid was constructed in 1721 on the orders of Roshan ud Daula Zafar Khan. The nearest metro station to the mosque is the Chandini Chowk metro station.

There is a different mosque by the same name and is located close to Chandini Chowk, Sunehri masjid. The Sunehri Masjid is located facing Netaji Subhash Park about 100m from the Red Fort. This masjid was constructed by the spouse of Ahmad Shah Bahadur, Nawab Qudsiya Begum. This mosque was constructed in 1751. Construction of the masjid was supervised by Javed Khan, one of the eunuchs of Qudsiya Begum. The closest metro station to the Sunehri Masjid near Red Fort is the Kashmiri Gate metro station.

Both the Sunehri Masjids in Delhi have historical importance and are excellent to visit for their simplicity and architecture. Though not lavishly decorated both these mosques have their own features and characteristics by which they are recognized. For those visiting Old Delhi, a visit to both the Sunehri Masjids is recommended.


The Sunehri Masjid in Chandini Chowk is named as Sunehri Masjid because the turrets and domes were coated with real gold. As per the Islamic calendar the masjid was built in 1134 Hijri. Historians say that the Persian aggressor Nadir Shah observed the attack on Delhi sitting on the terrace. The masjid was constructed in 1721 and later was renovated by Bahadur Shah Zafar.

The Sunehri masjid close to Red Fort was built on the orders of Nawab Qudsiya Begum. It is said that Nawab Qudsiya Begum was a powerful woman who ruled with great courage after her husband expired. She was a great appreciator of art and architecture and has been credited for various well-known constructions including the Sunehri masjid and the extensive Qudsiya Bagh gardens. The masjid was built under the guidance of Javed Khan, who was the chief eunuch in the harem.

Javed Khan was illiterate and also quite inexperienced. Javed Khan was later given the position of a confidential advisor and was given the title of Nawab Bahadur.


The Sunehri Masjid in Chandini Chowk features three courtyards, one facing the traffic square. The other courtyard overlooks the Sesa Ganj Sahib Gurudwara. The third courtyard is in the interior of the masjid and is very quiet. The masjid is located on a plinth which is about 2 m high. There is a narrow stairway that opens into the marble courtyard. The mosque is topped with three domes and there are three chambers below these domes comprising the main prayer hall. The prayer hall is open only during the prayer timings; however visitors can request the caretaker to open the door. Sitting in the courtyard of the mosque makes the bustle of Chandini Chowk seem to be distant.

The masjid is designed simply and does not feature any lavish decorations. The pillars of the mosque are carved in flower shaped patterns and the doors are painted in light grey color. The roof of the masjid is lined with carved jaali railing. Throughout the railing a strip features floral designs. The railings in the courtyard also have floral patterns which are regularly intervened with small domes. The main domes of the masjid which are three in number are topped with copper plating hence giving the masjid the name Sunehri Masjid.

The Sunehri Masjid outside the Red Fort features three domes that were originally mounted with copper. The mosque features a large prayer hall and tall minarets. The main arch of the masjid has an engraving about the date of construction and about the builder. The domes on the minarets also were topped with copper and were later removed. Bahadur Shah II in 1852 replaced the copper plates on the domes with sandstone. The main dome has a height of 45 feet whereas the surrounding domes are 40 feet high.

The Sunehri Masjid near Red Fort is a beautiful building on the south-western edge of the Delhi Gate. It is built on a base of brick and red stone. It was one of the buildings that remained undestroyed during the first war of independence in 1857. The mosque has three entrances and the central entrance is decorated with floral motifs and scrolls. Beyond every arch there is a room, the central arch opens into the main central prayer room. The central arch is edged with two soaring minarets. There are two additional minarets rising to a height of 60 feet in the northern and southern ends.


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