Opposite India gate, in its lush verdant lawns, is an 18th century mosque giving firepower to the popular cliche, that in India, the old and the new cohabit.
The mosque runs a madrasa as well. Madrasas are schools of Islamic learning. Here, you shall spot young students wearing skullcaps immersed in their educational pursuits.
The mosque has trees bearing mulberry, grapes and neem.
The fact that the mosque was allowed to remain and function in this, the best address of India, by the British, speaks much of the accommodating nature of the Empire builders and the respect that the British had for all religions.
The mosque was built by Nawab Zabita Khan. The nawab's raison d'être was to seduce the ladies of Mughal court, a Casanova.
One of his conquests was the sister of the then Mughal emperor Shah Alam II, who was offended and signed a deal with the Marathas to kill the nawab.
The Nawab turned the tables on to the Emperor by doing a counter treaty deal with the Marathas. This enabled him defeat the Emperor's army and reclaim his land.
As a punishment, the Nawab's son Ghulam Qadir gouged out the Emperor's eyes. Know more about the history of surrounding events.
The British took special care to plan and build the new city by integrating the location of historical buildings. Archaeologist Maulvi Zafar Hasan from the Archaeological Survey of India was instructed to prepare a list of historical buildings in this area for incorporation in the new city design. Even though the mosque was an oddity in the pristine symmetrical design, it made it to the list. Even today, the list is referred to by the ASI.
Post-partition trauma saw locks on the doors of the mosque, which were opened in the year 1962 and the intervention of the then-President of India Zakir Hussain.
This is about 15-20 minutes drive from our bed and breakfast.