A quadrangular structure of brick and stone, Juma Masjid is one of the largest and oldest mosques located in South Mumbai. Originally, a large water reservoir (pond) was situated at this site in the midst of a garden, that belonged to a merchant, Kazi Husain Pallavkar.
In the eighteenth century, he agreed to build a mosque at this site on the condition that the tank had to be preserved intact. During the current lockdown, the footfall at this historic mosque has considerably declined and taking advantage of this, the mosque authorities cleaned the pond for the first time in almost 12 years.
Cleaning and repair work done in a week
Taking advantage of the current pandemic which has reduced the number of devotees visiting the ancient pond of Juma Masjid, authorities have thoroughly cleaned it, over a period of seven days. Workers got to task by descending into the 10-feet deep pond and relocating all fish and turtle living in the water.
Apart from cleaning, minor repairs have also been made to the floor and an oxygen tank has also been added to keep the water clean. It was decided that this ancient structure needed cleaning as the lockdown is expected to be lifted soon and hygiene should be maintained in accordance with it.
Other structures in Juma Masjid
Other than this pond which is fed by natural underground fresh-water springs, the premises of Juma Masjid includes a library and a madrassa. This almost 150-year-old library has more than 16,000 Islamic books, including 1,500 texts which are rare manuscripts. Preserved with the utmost care, these rare texts date back to the seventh century and have now been digitized.
The madrassa, a kind of school where religious teachings are imparted, began around 1960. However, today this school is an Urdu-English medium institution that engages students till Class 10. As per data, almost 600 boys and girls are given modern education within its premises.
International visitors to Juma Masjid
Juma Masjid of Mumbai has been visited by many famous international dignitaries. In 1954, the King of Saudi Arabia visited this mosque during an official tour to India. Further, the Pakistani Cricket Team was given lodging and boarding during its first tour of India in 1960-61 within the madrassa premises.
Apart from the years that mark the onset of the global pandemic, Juma Masjid has held iconic Eid celebrations continuously for approximately 220 years. The historical significance, architectural intricacies and the soothing aura of this mosque beckon you to add this destination to your post-pandemic travel itinerary!