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Moti Masjid

Moti Masjid was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan during 1648-54 AD. It was built as a place of worship for the royal members of the court. A mosque that shines like a pearl in a moonlit night, hence the name Pearl Mosque, Moti Masjid is one of the oldest mosques in the city. The glorious mosque took nearly four years to complete and is built in a style that is typical to Shah Jahan's era of reign.

The masjid stands on the ground that slopes from east to west to the north of Diwan-i-Am complex. The structure contains three huge domes of high architecture value. These three Hindu style domed kiosks have been constructed using white marble and the rest of the exterior building made out of red sandstone. The mosque has twenty-one bays of which three have vaulted soffits. In t2he center of the court of the mosque, a marble tank is situated and a sundial made on an octagonal marble pillar standing in one corner. The western wall has an inlaid mihrab that is beautifully carved with six niches corresponding to the arches. The main prayer chamber has lattice screens made of marble on either side to separate the portions from the main chamber hall. These portions were used by women to offer their prayers. Above the parapet there are seven chhatris beautifully designed with an octagonal tower along with domed shape marble structures at each corner.

The Moti Masjid was built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as a place of worship for the royal members of the court. The architectural features of the Mosque bear remarkable resemblance to that of the St. Basils Cathedral in Moscow. The mosque built between 1648 and 1654 is situated to the right of the Diwan-E-Aam or the hall where the Emperor held darbar for the common man. The ground where the masjid stands slopes from east to west to north of Diwan-E Aam complex. The three domes of the mosque built of white marbles, resting on the red sandstone walls looks magnificent and one can observe the splendid symmetrical design that is formed. Along the parapet, a series of domed kiosks are built that are designed after Hindu architecture. Supported by piers and lobed arches, seven bays are there that are divided into aisles. In the center of the court of the mosque, a marble tank is situated and a sundial made on an octagonal marble pillar standing in one corner gives quite an interesting and intriguing look. The prayer chamber is placed on the western side while the northern, eastern and southern sides are surrounded by arcaded cloisters with twelve sided pillars and beautifully cusped arches.

There are three gates to the mosque, the main and largest entrance being the one in the eastern side as also the most beautiful one. The other two subsidiary gates are on the northern and southern sides. Arches and three square chatris crowning the gates give them a royal look. The main gateways are built of red sandstone exterior and marble interior and can be approached by two staircases. An arcade of seven arches is there in the prayer chamber. A total of twenty-one bays are there of which only three have vaulted soffits. The western wall has an inlaid mirhab that is beautifully carved with six niches corresponding to the arches. The main prayer chamber has latticework screen made of marble on either side to separate the portions from the main chamber hall. These portions were used by women to offer their prayers. Above the parapet there are seven chatris beautifully designed and square in shape with an octagonal tower with domed shape marble structures at each corner. Unlike the usual case where the pulpit can be reached by climbing three steps, the pulpit of this Masjid has four steps.