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The era of the famous Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, a connoisseur of
art and architecture marked as one of the significant period in the history
of creation of some the most famous architectural wonders in India.
One such architectural delight is the Moti Masjid in Agra. The structure is
built of pure white marbles that gives it a shiny white velvety look similar to
that of pearls. Thus it was named as Moti Masjid as "Moti" means "Pearl".
Situated inside the compound of the famous Agra Fort in the vicinity of
river Yamuna, this structure no doubt is a treat to the eyes
It was built as a place of worship for the royal members of the
court. The mosque built between 1648 and 1654 is situated
to the right of the Diwan-E-Aam or the hall where the Emperor
held darbar for the common man.
The architectural features of the Mosque bear remarkable
resemblance to that of the St. Basils Cathedral in Moscow.
The three domes of the mosque built of white marbles, resting
on the red sandstone walls looks magnificent and one can
observe the splendid symmetrical design that is formed.
Along the parapet, a series of domed kiosks are built that are
designed after Hindu architecture. (Supported by piers and lobed
arches, seven bays are there that are divided into aisles below)
There are three gates to the mosque, the main and largest
entrance being the one in the eastern side as also the most
beautiful one. The other two subsidiary gates are on the northern
and southern sides.
In the centre of the court of the mosque, a marble tank is
situated. The prayer chamber is placed on the western side
while the northern, eastern and southern sides are surrounded by
arcaded cloisters with twelve sided pillars and beautifully cusped
An arcade of seven arches is there in the prayer chamber. A total of
twenty-one bays are there of which only three have vaulted soffits.
The western wall has an inlaid mirhab that is beautifully carved with six
niches corresponding to the arches. The main prayer chamber has
latticework screen made of marble on either side to separate the portions
from the main chamber hall. These portions were used by women to offer
Above the parapet there are seven chatris beautifully designed and square in
shape with an octagonal tower with domed shape marble structures at each
Arches and three square chatris crowning the gates give them
a royal look. The main gateways are built of red sandstone
exterior and marble interior and can be approached by two
While near the tank is situated and a sundial made on an
octagonal marble pillar standing in one corner gives quite an
interesting and intriguing look.