Located in Lodhi Gardens in Delhi, Bara Gumbad is a medieval age monument and is a part of the group of monuments constructed during the rule of the Lodhi dynasty. The monuments include a Friday Mosque and the ‘Mehman Khana’ of Sikandar Lodhi, the ruler of the Delhi Sultanate. Constructed in 1490 CE, the construction of the mosque is generally attributed to Sikandar Lodhi and is considered to have the earliest created full dome of any building in Delhi.
The Bara Gumbad Mosque is situated near the Tomb of Sikandar Lodhi and Shisha Gumbad. Although these three structures which share a common high platform were built during the same era, they were not erected at the same time. Bada Gumbad is known for its large dome, which gives it its name, as "bara" means "big" or "large" and "gumbad" means "dome" in Hindi. The dome structure is flanked by two other smaller structures, namely a mosque and an assembly hall. The Bara Gumbad Mosque was originally part of a larger complex that included a madrasa (Islamic school) and a tomb. However, only the mosque and the adjacent gateway have survived to this day. The mosque is built in the typical Indo-Islamic style of architecture, with ornate decorations and intricate carvings.
Today, the Bara Gumbad Mosque is a protected monument under the Archaeological Survey of India, and it is considered an important historical landmark in Delhi. It attracts many visitors every year, who come to admire its beautiful architecture and learn about its rich cultural heritage.
Timings – 5am to 8pm (April to September) and 6am to 8pm (October to March)
Entry Fee – Free
Bara Gumbad Mosque is a magnificent mosque and a part of a group of monuments and structures that were built during the reign of the Lodhi dynasty, which ruled over parts of Northern India during the 15th and 16th centuries. The mosque is believed to have been completed around 1494 AD and is one of the few remaining structures from the Lodhi era in Delhi.
The Bada Gumbad Mosque was built during a period of significant cultural exchange between the Islamic and Indian cultures. The Lodhi dynasty was known for its patronage of the arts, and many of the monuments and structures built during their reign reflect this blend of cultural influences. The mosque is a testament to the flourishing of Islamic art and architecture in India during this period. The main purpose of the construction of Bara Gumbad is unclear – it may have been built as a free-standing tomb, but no tombstone has been found, or as a gateway. The area where the mosque is located was erstwhile known as Khairpur village.
Today, the Bada Gumbad Mosque is a popular tourist destination and a significant landmark in Delhi's history. Visitors can admire the mosque's intricate architecture and stonework, which is still in remarkably good condition considering its age. The mosque is also an active place of worship, and visitors are requested to be respectful of the mosque's religious significance when visiting.
The Bada Gumbad Mosque is a beautiful example of the Indo-Islamic architecture of the Delhi Sultanate period. Its architecture is a blend of Indian and Islamic styles, which was a characteristic feature of this period. The most striking feature of the mosque is its large dome, which gives it its name ‘’BadaGumbad’’ (meaning big dome). The dome is made of plastered rubble and is supported by squinches, which are arches that connect the corners of the square base of the dome to the round drum on which the dome rests. The dome is visible from afar and is a prominent feature of the mosque. The mosque also features a large courtyard, which was used for congregational prayers.
The mosque is entered through a grand gateway that is decorated with intricate carvings and has an arched entrance. The gateway is topped with small domes and turrets, which add to its grandeur. The walls and ceilings of the mosque are adorned with intricate carvings and decorative motifs, which are characteristic of the Indo-Islamic style. The decorations include geometric patterns, floral designs, and calligraphic inscriptions in Arabic. The mihrab, which is a niche in the wall that indicates the direction of Mecca, is decorated with intricate carvings, and is topped with a small dome. The use of geometrical patterns and floral motifs is prevalent in the stonework, and the inscriptions on the walls are written in Persian calligraphy. The mosque's design is notable for its symmetry and balance, with the central dome and minarets flanked by smaller domes and arches.
The mosque has two minarets, which are tall, slender towers that are used to call Muslims to prayer. The minarets are made of red sandstone and are decorated with intricate carvings. The minarets are located on either side of the mosque and add to its grandeur. The overall design of the mosque is elegant and harmonious, with each architectural element complementing the others.
Bada Gumbad was built by Sikandar Lodhi of the Lodhy dynasty in 1494. Its main purpose is unclear but is believed that the mosque was constructed as a gateway to the bigger mosque or as a free-standing tomb.
There is no entry fee to visit Lodhi Garden.