The legend of Khanqah of Shah Hamadan: First mosque ever built in Srinagar
The happy valley of Kashmir is well known throughout the world for its Natural beauty. Here nature has been prodigal enough in crowning this ancient land with all its splendour and glory. Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Mughal gardens attract visitors from all over the world. Its lakes, green meadows, dancing and foaming streams, majestic forests full of fir and pine, snow-capped peaks are common attractions to the outsider as well as to the native.
Situated on the banks of the river Jhelum, between the third and fourth bridge, it is the first mosque ever built in Srinagar. The original one was built in 1395.
Shah Hamadan’s full name was Mir Sayed Ali Hamadni, the surname being derived from the city of Hamadan in Persia. Shah-i-Hamdan, who came from Persia in the 13th century, was responsible for the spread of Islam in Kashmir. Khanqah-i-Mualla, on the banks of the Jhelum, was the very spot where Shah-i-Hamdan used to offer prayers.
After staying in Kashmir for many years, he left for Central Asia via Ladakh. A mosque established by him at Shey (near Leh) attracts devotees from far and wide. The Khanqah is a wooden structure whose chief aesthetic feature is its beautifully carved eaves and hanging bells. The interiors are richly carved and painted, and the antique chandeliers give it an air of opulence.