Temples constitute most of the Holy Places in Varanasi. This is because Varanasi is a Shaivite stronghold. However this holy city has earned the reputation of being the cultural capital of the country where people belonging to different religious communion have shared space. Consequently there are a few mosques that are well worth a visit when on Varanasi Tour. Of these a significant one is the Arhai Kangra Masjid.
History of the Arhai Kangra Masjid, Varanasi
It is presumed that the Arhai Kangra Mosque was built either towards the end of the 12th century or at the beginning of the 13th century. It has a fair deal of historical importance as well being one of those mosques that were constructed just when the Muslims were beginning to establish their supremacy in India. It is a fine instance of the initiative taken by the early Muslim rulers of the country.
Description of the Arhai Kangra Masjid, Varanasi
The words “Arhai Kangra” means two and a half domes. This name given to the mosque is indeed very deceptive because the mosque has all but one single dome with a huge drum. The Arhai Kangra Masjid is a wonderful structure. Its east gate is particularly more impressive, indeed it would be no exaggeration to say that it is majestic. As you step into the interiors through the regal gate, you come to the main prayer room. Till today, it is functional. Devout Muslims come here to attend the prayer services and read the Quoran.
There are other rooms both to the north and south of the main prayer room. The pillars in the rooms are akin to the ones found in Hindu Temples. In fact it is also believed that there are Hindu inscriptions inside the mosque that date back to the twelfth century. Located very near to the Varanasi (also referred to by the names of Kashi and Benaras) station, this is well worth a visit alongside the other Tourist Attractions in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh when on a sight seeing trip.