One of the relatively unknown attractions of Delhi is Khirki Masjid. Lost amidst the settlements of Khirki Village and slowly fading away due to Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) neglect, this once important and majestic mosque and a protected heritage structure in Delhi is hard to locate. Just as the lost cities of Sultanate era, this Mosque built during the reign of Firuz Shah Tughluq and commissioned by his powerful vizier Khan-i Jahan Junan Shah is today lost inside the settlements due to rapid urbanization of Delhi.
The Mosque is so named for its perforated windows or the khirkis (latticed windows). The mosque has 4 open courtyard and the congregational area is mostly covered. Arced recesses built on raised platform give Khirki Mashid a fortress like appearance. At the exterior walls, round tapering bastions are built on four corners of the mosque and roof is divided into 25 squares with a total of 81 plastered domes.
The fortress like appearance of the Khirki Mosque could be attributed to the political and historical forces that were in play in those times. It was a periord marked by Mongol Conquests. During the Sultanate there were some fierce raids on India which were effectively countered and crushed during the reign of Alaudin Khilji. Most of the buildings built during Sultanate, even congregational mosques were fortified.
The style in which the Khirki Masjid was built emulates the increasing fusion and adaptation of Hindu and Islamic architecture. Since most of the early structures were built either after destroying Hindu and Jain temples or from the pillages of the same, the buildings of Sultanate period often have things in common. Open courtyard covered with chambers or colonnades were the characterestic in Hindu style whereas the jalis (lattices) and carvings for ornamentation was typical to Saracenic style.
Access to the mosque is through the narrow lanes of Khirki village near Saket, which is located in South Delhi. It is 4 km (2.5 mi) east of Qutub Minar.
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