Dargah Hazratbal

Dargah Hazratbal is a silvery-white mosque on the left bank of Dal Lake that emits unrivaled attractiveness and peace. The shrine, also known as 'Assar-e-Sharief,' 'Dargah Sharief,' and 'Madinat-us-Sani' (second Madina), is located 8 kilometers from Srinagar's city center.

Hazratbal, Kashmir's holiest Muslim shrine, houses the Moi-e-Muqaddas, an ancient relic that contains a strand of Prophet Muhammad's sacred hair. Syed Abdullah, a supposed descendent of Prophet Muhammad who had resided near Hyderabad, brought it to India. The Syed family's lands were confiscated after the Mughal conquest. Syed Abdullah's son, Syed Hamid, who had acquired the relic's custody upon his father's death, was unable to care for it. He sold the artifact to Khwaja Nur-ud-Din Eshai, a prominent Kashmiri trader. When Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb learned of the situation, he confiscated the relic, dispatched it to Ajmer Sharif, and arrested Nur-ud-Din Eshai.

Aurangzeb then changed his mind and decided to return Khwaja Nur-ud-Din with the relic and an escort to his homeland. Eshai died on the trip, and the relic was passed down to his daughter, Inayat Begum. In 1699, the holy relic arrived in Kashmir and was installed at the Naqshband Sahib shrine.

However, the shrine was judged unsuitable to keep the priceless relic due to concerns about overcrowding. It was quickly relocated to the Hazratbal shrine. At the time, Hazratbal was a prayer place known as Sadiqabad after Sadiq Khan, who had built it on Shah Jahan's orders. Sadiq Khan had originally built Ishrat Mahal (Pleasure House) on the site, but it was demolished after Shah Jahan came to see it and ordered that it be transformed into a prayer house.

After an 11-year renovation, the Muslim Auqaf Trust presented it with the stunning alabaster-white marble building. The mosque is the only domed mosque in the valley and has a distinct Persian style construction. Dargah Hazratbal is a place of remarkable beauty in addition to being the most revered Muslim religious destination in Kashmir.

It has a beautiful view of the Dal Valley and the surrounding mountains. The vista of the Nishat garden from the entrance is breathtaking. Despite the fact that the hallowed relic for which the temple is famous is only exhibited to the general public on rare occasions, people go to the shrine in large numbers every Friday. Dargah Hazratbal is more than a shrine; it is the essence of Kashmiri Muslims' love and devotion to the Prophet.

Jamia Masjid

The Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta, a district in the center of Srinagar's old city, is the largest mosque in Kashmir. Sultan Sikandar Shah Kashmiri erected it in 1402, more than 600 years ago. The mosque has been damaged by fire twice and has been renovated by many monarchs, including Mughal Emperors Jahangir and Aurangzeb and Dogra king Maharaja Pratab Singh.

Jamia Masjid, being one of the top religious places in Kashmir for devotees, is an architectural masterpiece located among the local marketplaces. The construction is quadrilateral and has four minarets, and it is heavily influenced by Indo-Saracenic architecture. The minarets are connected by expansive halls with pyramidal tops. These roofs are supported by 378 deodar timber columns that finish in an open turret.

The mossy brick walkways and verdant grounds around the mosque are adorned with beautiful yellow poppies. The mosque complex is roughly square and is flanked on all four sides by wide pathways. It has a lovely square garden in the center.

On the north, south, and eastern sides of the mosque, there are three entrance gates. The main entrance is on the southern side, and it consists of a recessed portico leading to an inner courtyard created in the Chahar Bagh style, which serves as a prayer space together with the garden. A fountain in the courtyard's center is surrounded by a big tank from which water is extracted to conduct 'Wudhu' (ablutions).

The mosque is a work of art, and over 3333 people can pray here at the same time. This mosque is remarkable in that, despite its location in the midst of the hustle and bustle of old bazaars, it provides quiet and inner calm to every visitor. Without a doubt, the massive mosque occupies a unique position in Kashmir's history, politics, and culture.


The Khanqah-e-Moula, also known as the Shah-e-Hamdan Masjid, is one of Kashmir's oldest ancient shrines. It is thought to have been built by Shah Sikandar in 1359 in memory of Mir Syed Ali Hamdani, and is located adjacent to the Jhelum River in Srinagar's old city. Mir Syed Ali Hamdani, also known as Shah-e-Hamdan, was a respected preacher and scholar from Persia's Hamadan city who was crucial in promoting sufi Islam in Kashmir during his tenure there.

Abu Barkat Khan restored Khanqah-e-Moula in 1731 and transformed it into a magnificent mosque. A person is left speechless by the shrine's beautiful design and construction. The shrine, which draws inspiration from Buddhist, Hindu, and Islamic architecture, is made of wood but, interestingly, does not have nails. Khanqah-e-Moula has a square plan and stands on an uneven walled base. It's a two-story, two-tiered structure with gradually sloping pyramidal carved roofs that separate each tier. The first tier of the mosque has double arcaded verandahs that surround the entire structure, while the second tier has an arcaded balcony that protrudes on all four sides of the main structure.

The second tier's pyramidal roof includes an open pavilion topped by a pyramidal spire. The ceiling is partially covered with flora, producing an amazing display of beautiful woodwork and tiered flower gardens.

The shrine's interiors are just as appealing as the exteriors, if not more so. The interior is painted in beautiful papier mache reliefs and the ceiling is ornamented with colored 'Khatamband' (faceted wood paneling). The shrine is further enhanced by beautiful chandeliers and hanging bells with intricate carvings. The shrine is a sight to behold in general.


Chrar-e-Sharief, a shrine in the namesake town devoted to the Sufi Saint Sheikh Noor-ud-Din Noorani, is 33 kilometers from Srinagar. The temple, which was erected around 600 years ago, is one of Kashmir's oldest shrines, having a rich reservoir of Kashmiri heritage. This tradition is displayed in the shrine's superb wooden architecture.

Sheikh Noor-ud-Din is well-known in the valley for his broad promotion of Rihism. As the benefactor saint of Kashmiri Muslims, he is affectionately known as Alamdar-e-Kashmir. Nonviolence, vegetarianism, tolerance, and communal peace were among his teachings. He disseminated his ideas through a number of intellectual books written in poetry, prose, and verse.

When he died, legend has it that over 9 lakh worshippers gathered to pay their condolences. Both Muslims and Hindus regard the shrine, which shelters his mortal remains and relics, as having enormous religious value. On the anniversary of Shah-e-death, Hamdan's a large number of devotees come to pay their condolences.