Hazratbal Mosque is the most important Muslim Religious place, situated on the western shore of Dal Lake. Its pristine white marble elegance is reflected in the waters of the lake.
Hazratbal’s special significance is derived from the fact that it houses a hair of the prophet Muhammad. This is displayed to the public on religious occasions, usually accompanied by fairs. Apart from these occasions, Friday prayers are offered at Hazratbal and attended by throngs of people. Hazratbal is remarkable for being the only domed mosque in Srinagar; the others having distinct pagoda like roofs. The shrine – mosque complex is situated on the western shore of the Dal Lake opposite Nishat Bagh and commands a grand view of the lake and the mountain beyond.
The history of the shrine goes back to the early seventeenth century when the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan’s Subedar, Sadiq Khan, laid out a garden here & constructed a palatial building, Ishrat Mahal or Pleasure House in 1623. However, the Emperor, during his visit in 1634, ordered the building to be converted into a prayer House with some additions & alterations. During the time of Aurangzeb, when Moi-e-Muqqadus (The Holy Relic) arrived in Kashmir in 1699, it was first kept in the shrine of Naqashbad Sahib in the heart of the city. Since the place was found to be insufficient in view of the unprecedented rush of people who thronged the place to have a glimpse of the Moi-e-Muqqades, it was decided to shift the it to Hazratbal, then known as Sadiqabad. The construction of the present marble structure was started by the Muslim Auqaf Trust headed by Sheikh Mohammad Abdullah in 1968 and completed in 1979. The “Moi-e-Muqqadas” (Holy Relic of Prophet Mohammad S.A.W) is displayed on Various occasions related with the life of Prophet & his four holy companions.
Hazratbal lies in Srinagar and the nearest Airport is approx. 25 Km away. This Airport is connected with major cities of India. The nearest Rail Head is at Jammu which is 300 Kms away and from there National Highway NH1A connects the Kashmir valley with India. Every sort of transport to suit every budget from Buses to Taxis ply on this Highway. It Takes around 10 to 12 hours to cross this mountainous road which crosses some beautiful spots and the famous Jawahar Tunnel linking Kashmir Valley with India. Regular transport is available from various points in the Srinagar city with nominal charges. Route from Dal Lake can also be undertaken.
The Moi-e-Muqqadus (Holy Relic of Prophet p.b.u.h) is usually on public display inside a glass casket on certain sacred and holy days. Tours and travel to the Hazratbal shrine gives you an opportunity to participate in the colorful and vibrant fairs that are held at Hazratbal every year, the most important among these is the Shab-e-Meraj.
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