Hyderabad’s 430-YO Badshahi Ashurkhana Is A Reminder Of Architectural Splendor Of Bygone Era

Let’s explore the dazzling interiors and history of Hyderabad’s Badshahi Ashurkhana

by Ankita Mazumdar
Hyderabad’s 430-YO Badshahi Ashurkhana Is A Reminder Of Architectural Splendor Of Bygone Era

Badshahi Ashurkhana is a majestic and royal hidden gem right near the Charminar, Hyderabad. This lesser-known monument is old yet magnificent which is also a special place for Shia Muslims. It’s not just limited to Shia Muslims, the intricately mosaic designs and the vibrant colours will leave you mesmerised in such a calming surrounding. You will also be amazed by how these intricate works still exist after 400 years!

A Little History Of Hyderabad’s 430-Year-Old Badshahi Ashurkhana

Badshahi Ashurkhana was constructed just three years after the popular Charminar. It was very intricately and beautifully built in the year 1594 by Muhammed Quli Qutb Shah of the Shia Muslim Qutub Shahi dynasty. It was done to commemorate the memory of the martyrdom of Imam Hussain. Currently, this 429-year-old monument is a heritage site and is a significant one for the Muslim Shias. Badshahi Ashurkhana is used during the mourning period of their Moharram festival.

The word ‘Ashurkhana’ refers to a place where Shia Muslims go to mourn on Ashura which is the 10th day of Moharram. This place is buzzing during the period of Moharram. Hyderabad has numerous Ashurkhana because this massive city was established by the Shia Muslim Qutub Shahi dynasty. Now this heritage site is maintained by the Department of Archaeology and Museums and by its generational hand downs.

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Badshahi Ashurkhana consists of the Niyaz Khana, Naqqar Khana, Sarai Khana which is a rest house, Abdar Khana where the water is stored, and chabutra which is a platform. Many times, Badshahi Ashurkhana is looked over even if it is very close to Charminar. Pay a visit next time and do not skip this heritage site.

The Beautiful Mosaic Designs Have Significance

The great mosaic decor of Badshahi Ashurkhana was completed under the region of Abdullah Qutb Shah. The prayer hall adorns fourteen gold Alams that have jewels. Each alam is a representation of martyrs. The main attraction becomes the interiors. In 1611, the work on interiors was done with panels of dazzling blue tiled mosaic in a Middle-Eastern style.

You will find walls beautifully adorned with Islamic calligraphy in shades of yellow, orange, and turquoise. These contrasting colours balance out the pretty blue tiled mosaic. Out of these pay specific attention to the the calligraphy done on the upper walls of Badshahi Ashurkhana. Two of the Asma al-husna, the 99 names of God, are intricately written eight times! Around this calligraphy, there are motifs resembling flames.

Coming down to the side walls, the motifs are roaring dragons with flame-like projections spitting from their mouths. Theese intricately vibrant designs and drawings will keep you engrossed at Badshahi Ashurkhana for quite some time. Each mosaic goes so well with the paintings in a meaningful manner and pictorial manner.

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After looking at every pretty corner, sit and enjoy the glowing chandeliers in the pristine colours of blue, red, yellow, and white.


Cover Image Credits: Internal

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