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Technical Paper

RESORATION
BHOPAL

OF

MOTI

MASJID,

DEPARTMENT OF ARCHITECTURE AND PLANNING


MAULANA AZAD NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, BHOPAL

Contents
1.

Justification..............................................................................................................................4

2.

Need of the Hour......................................................................................................................4

3.

Aim...........................................................................................................................................5

4.

Objective..................................................................................................................................5

5.

Scope and Limitation................................................................................................................5

6.

Methodology............................................................................................................................6

7.

Conclusion................................................................................................................................8

8.

References................................................................................................................................8

INTRODUCTION
The Moti Masjid, also known as the Pearl Mosque is situated in the heart of the Bhopal city in
the state of Madhya Pradesh. A well - known landmark of Bhopal, Moti Masjid was built in 1860
under the order and instruction of Sikandar Jehan Begum, the renowned daughter of Qudisiya
Begum. She was a liberated women and an enthusiastic crusader, being flexible to new ideas.
The begums of 19th century Bhopal constructed many beautiful monuments and Moti Masjid is
an example from the glorious chapter of Bhopal Begums in history. The impressive structure is
beautifully designed and resembles the Jama Masjid of Delhi in its architecture and patterns.
Moti Masjid is considered as an important landmark in the history of Muslim women in India.
The minarets of the mosque are represented as the gate from the heaven to earth. The main
prayer hall is built with shimmering white marble; hence it got its name as Moti Masjid.
Moti Masjid is entirely made of red sandstone and has white - marble facade which enhances the
pristine beauty of this edifice. Two cupolas at the extreme edges of north-south axis adorn the top
of this mosque. Along with it stands high the two dark - red minarets (spires), erected on either
side of the main block and ornamented with bright golden spikes is pointing up towards the sky
denoting heaven the home of God. The call to prayer for the faithful followers of Islam is given
from the top of the minarets.
The conservation of the historic built fabric and the open spaces and its preservation would be
undertaken following a scientific research methodology, finally to create a unique and distinctive
visitor experience. The Mughal elements which were used in the proposal for the conservation of
Moti Masjid were jali, dome, minarets, gardens etc. The methods of conservation are restoration,
preservation, reconstruction, adaptation, addition/removal with respect to the Moti masjid and its
surrounding areas.

1. Justification
Moti Masjid is considered as an important landmark in the history of Muslim women in India.
All efforts should be done to understand the important cultural heritage of Bhopal, know its
history and meaning, ensure its material safeguard and, as required, its presentation, restoration
and enhancement.
Conservation of Moti Masjid will also propagate the raising public awareness about the value of
historical features, appreciation and understanding of the historic environment. Our historic
environment is a precious and finite resource as well as a powerful reminder of the work and
way of life of earlier generations of rulers of Bhopal.

2. Need of the Hour


The condition of the masjid today is not well as it is supposed to be as an important cultural
heritage of Bhopal. There are various problems regarding visitors management & facilitation,
security & risk management .information broadcasting & interpretation technique as well as
transportation & parking. Hence analysis is required for suggestion of possible solutions.
It contributes to a basic awareness of the metamorphoses undergone over time by the field of the
conservation of cultural heritage of Bhopal.

It also considers historic construction and repair techniques and the decisions we need to make
today to ensure the appropriate longevity of the built heritage. Conservation philosophy,
legislative framework, scientific understanding, and awareness of the importance of regional
vernacular styles and materials should also be promoted.

3. Aim
The aim of this conservation project is to establish a sustainable future for the historic,
cultural, social, economic and environmental value of the Moti Masjid, its environment and
surrounding space considering urban design features, Mughal architecture.

4. Objective
The objectives of the conservation of Moti Masjid include:
1. To assess Moti Masjid on the basis of chronological study and history to evaluate its
importance.
2. To develop the vision and understanding the vision and understanding of the spaces and
materials to be investigated and preserved, up gradation of engineering services and
urban development and surroundings.
3. Conservation of cultural monument, Visitors management & facilitation, Security & risk
management, Management of Information broadcasting & interpretation technique,
Transportation & parking management.
4. To propose design solutions and interventions following Mughal architecture style and
elements.

5. Scope and Limitation


The proposal for the conservation of Moti Masjid only involves the exterior spaces including the
entrance, garden and the courtyard. It also covers the immediate surroundings of the mosque

with respect to parking facilities and electrical layout. The proposal involves the use of local
materials and technology.
The limitation of the project is that the mosque was only visited during the day time when there
is very little crowd. It was difficult to analyse it during the prayer times. Hence study of the
building throughout the day could not be done.

6. Methodology
The study encompasses the information on topics from detailed research referring journals,
documents, literature reviews, case study, to understand each and every aspect of the study.
Detailed analysis of the visual character of the local surrounding setting to understand the
architectural features, landmarks, historic features and nature conservation interests is done to
provide a source of inspiration and awareness for the people to understand their cultural
heritage .
Photographs and sketches provide useful visual character and help to highlight the character of
the local architecture, townscape and streetscape. Analysis of the townscape is important to help
relate the development more sensitively to its surroundings. Such analysis should include
patterns of streetscape, landscape and townscape, spatial characteristics, building forms and
building styles.
The analysis also includes the history and chronological evolution of surrounding spaces of Moti
Masjid; site description including connectivity of old region to new region of Bhopal, type of
settlement along Raja Bhoj Marg, views and vistas; concept and theme (Mughal architecture);
spaces and materials to be investigated and preserved; up gradation of engineering services;
urban development of surrounding features
Based on the revitalisation of the Moti Masjid, the methodology chart is as follows:

Detailed research reffering journals,


documents and literature reviews

Site Visit

Survey/ Documentation/ investigation of spaces in


Moti Masjid and surrounding spaces

Analysis (Architectural Features, spaces and


materials to be investigated and preservedDesign
principles and urban aspects)

Problem Identification

Designing

Proposal

7. Conclusion
By studying the various aspects of Moti Masjid in terms of planning, designing and architecture,
it is concluded that the building needed to be restored in order to maintain its heritage and
importance as well as improve sense of awareness and promote tourism in Bhopal.
Throughout this conservation project of the Moti Masjid, Bhopal; sustainable future for the
historic, cultural, social, economic and environmental value of the Moti Masjid, its environment
and adjacent urban areas can be established.

8. References
ASI. (2009). Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan-Red Fort, Delhi. Delhi:
ASI.
Building Restoration. (n.d.). Retrieved March 24, 2014, from
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Building_restoration
Iqbal Maidan. (n.d.). Retrieved March 24, 2014, from
http://www.coroflot.com/amri/design-assignments
Moti Masjid, Bhopal. (n.d.). Retrieved March 24, 2014, from
http://www.mapsofindia.com/bhopal/tourist-attractions/moti-masjid.html
Sarkar, S. (2012, August 27). Hindustan Times.
University of Hong Kong. (n.d.). Conservation and Revitalisation of Old Buildings.
Hong Kong: Faculty of Architecture.