This structure made of laterite stone is one of the 27 mosques constructed by Ibrahim Adilshah in Ponda.
Today, Goa is famous for its churches that are a reminder of Portuguese India, however, it is not unknown to history enthusiasts that once upon a time this state had Indian rulers too. During one such reign, that of Ibrahim Adilshah of Bijapur, the landscape of this sultanate was adorned by more than two dozen mosques. One among the last remnants of this era gone by is the Safa Masjid, situated approximately 30 km from Panjim and it is tagged as one of Goa's oldest mosques.
A hidden gem of Goa
The Safa Shahouri Masjid, commonly known as Safa Masjid, was built in 1560 in Ponda which was then under the rule of the Sultan of Bijapur. The pristine aura of this place matches the etymological origins of the Arabic word 'safa'- which means clean or pure. This structure made of laterite stone is one of the 27 mosques constructed by Ibrahim Adilshah in Ponda.
Adjacent to the mosque (masjid) is a huge tank with 44 hammams or hot bath chambers which are dotted by arches constructed in traditional Mihrab style. Moreover, the flight of stairs leading to the tank gives a feeling of bathing sessions at ghats. However, the most interesting aspect of this architectural marvel is that this rectangular tank acts as a mirror to this mosque!
Currently being looked after by the Archaeological Survey of India, this mosque and its tank were once fronted by a garden with laterites pathways. Further, while making your way back from a road trip to this mosque, you can also take short detours to the Archaeological Museum, Sahakari Spice Farm or the Basilica of Bom Jesus, located nearby.
Largely untouched by the commercialisation of the tourism industry, this place makes for a placid retreat, especially if you are a nature lover. The magnetic allure of this monument can easily find a place in your heart and your camera. So make sure you do not miss out on this one-of-a-kind tourist spot, whenever in this locale!
Timings: 5 AM to 9.30 PM
Location: Safa Masjid Committee Shapur, Ponda, Goa