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Khirki Masjid

Location: About 2 kilometer northeast of Qutab Minar in the southern center of Khirki Village, just off the Press Enclave

Time to Visit: Open on all days

Preferred Timings: sunrise to sunset

Admission Fees: Free and open to all

Photography charges: nil (permission required from the caretakers

How to Reach:Tourists can either take local buses from various points within the city to reach this structure located in South Delhi, or they can hire auto-rickshaws and taxis or metro rail.

Nearest Railway Station: Nizamuddin Railway Station

Nearest Metro Station: Central Secretariat

Functional Metro Station: Central Secretariat

Nearest International Airport: Indira Gandhi International Airport

Time required for sightseeing:About 30 minutes

Parking: Free and open to all

(All data as of October 2005)

About 2 kilometers northeast of Qutab Minar, located in the center of Khirki Village, is the unique Khirki Masjid or Mosque. It is just off the Press Enclave, and 2 kilometers south of Begumpuri Masjid. Khirki Mosque or the Window Mosque with Kalan Masjid is one among the only two examples of closed mosques in northern India.

The main feature of the mosque is its distinctive window opening with jalis or tracery known as khirki or latticed windows. Placed on the upper level of the mosque's exterior wall, these jalis were preponderantly carved stone shields. The Khirki mosque as well as the nearby village got its name from this unparalleled feature. The Khirki mosque was built by Khan-I-Jahan, the prime minister of Feroz Shah Tughlaq in the late 14th century and is said to one of the seven mosques built by him.

Built on an elevated plinth with detritus stone, which were thickly plastered, the Khirki mosque is double storeyed and has a series of basement cells in the lower storey. All the four corners of the structure are occupied by imposing bastions making the mosque look like a fort. There are dwindling minarets on all the three gateways, except on the west, with the eastern gate being the main entrance. However, at present the southern gate is open for the visitors and the devotees.

The courtyard has pillars and is divided into 25 squares with five on each side. Each square is further divided into nine smaller squares. A cluster of nine small low domes made in the Tughlaq pattern covers the following larger squares - the center square of the courtyard with two on the corners, three on each side and one in the middle. The four diagonal squares are left uncovered, through which sunlight found its way to the inner sanctum of the mosque. The remaining squares are covered with flat roofs, thus making the mosque partly covered and partly uncovered. It is said that since Khan-I-Jahan used the mosque for his private worship, it was designed like this to beat the intense heat of the region.

Visitors are allowed entry only into only some major portions of the Khirki Masjid.

Nearby Tourist Attractions

Kalkaji Temple, Lotus Temple, Nizamuddin's Shrine and Chirag Dehlvi's Dargah

Nearby Places to Eat

Mc Donalds, Nirula's, Nescafe, Barista and many popular food joints in PVR Saket Complex and Malviya Nagar Market, Hotel Park Royal, Karim's, Supper Factory and Salims in Kailash Colony Market, Mc Donald's and sophisticated eating joints in Greater Kailash-1's market, many good food joints in Nehru place including the likes of Nathu's, Domino's Pizza, many good restaurants in Panchsheel Market, Kalkaji Market and C. R. Park markets.

Nearby Shopping Venues

Nehru Place (electronic items), Kalkaji Market and C R Park Market (residential markets), Greater Kailash-1 Market (all types of consumer goods, especially garments)

Last Updated On: 2011/07/04