HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

Mughal-era mosque has a green history

Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 09, 2013
First Published: 22:50 IST(9/3/2013) | Last Updated: 22:53 IST(9/3/2013)

Many Delhiites drive past Masjid Nursery on Subramaniam Bharti Marg and possibly even buy tree saplings, shrubs and ornamental plants from there.


But very few notice the existence of a neat little mosque — Baghwali Masjid — right next to the nursery, at the southern end of Pandara Road, where it touches the Subramaniam Bharti Marg.

The Mughal-era mosque was originally seven-bays wide and two-bays deep with three domes. The INTACH listing describes its decorative features such as cusped arch entrance, ornamentation on plinth on dome and painting on ceiling of dome. But the entire building is now whitewashed.

The area was called Babarpur till the early 1920s when the British acquired Delhi for the new capital. The mosque then stood in an enclosure formerly occupied by a garden.

“But we have no records as to which garden is that or why is the mosque called so,” said Imam Qamaruddin.

“My grandfather started this nursery in 1949-1950 on the space rented from the Wakf board. Till the early 1950s, spaces opposite Sujan Singh Park and Khan Market was all open,” said Vikram Saini of Masjid Nursery.

The 1960s saw additions, including a marble floor courtyard, PVC shades and the walls painted green and white.

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