The abandoned mosques of Hyderabad

Mullah Khayali Mosque

By Mohammed Mirza

Though Muslims in Hyderabad are a minority today, the rich Muslim heritage of Hyderabad is inextricable from the city as it leaps forward  becoming a metropolis at a breathtaking pace.

The erstwhile Muslim rulers of the city have bequeathed the city with numerous vestiges that stand today as glorious examples of architecture, culture and spirituality. Scores of these structures stand in decrepit conditions and unfortunately many of them are mosques.

What’s even worse is that the authorities have sealed the entrances of several of these mosques to stop worshipers from praying in them, which was the very purpose they were built for. Here are four of them.

Shaikpet Qutb Shahi Mosque


Shaikpet today is one of the most prime locations of the city. This mosque lies in the heart of the city and stands in a dilapidated condition with huge cracks in its walls and algae lining atop its badly damaged minarets. The last time I visited it i saw a tree  springing out of its wall that faced the Qibla. Many Muslim families live close by this mosque, some even cross it on their way to reach other mosques to pray on a daily basis. The construction style of this mosque indicates that it perhaps was a precursor to the Toli Mosque at Karwan. This suggests  is was built  over 400 years ago.

Coordinates: 17.403435, 78.399890

Great Mosque at Qutb Shahi Tombs

Great Mosque at tombs

Thanks to a massive restoration project that is currently underway, the mosque has regained its lost glory albeit is devoid of worshipers. This mosque that stands next to the tomb of one of the most celebrated women in Deccan history, Hayat Bakshi Begum, is one of the largest of all historic mosques in Telangana yet stands deserted as prayers are not allowed inside it.

Coordinates: 17.396998, 78.396679

Mulla Khayali Mosque

Mullah Khayali Mosque

I remember venturing out to the Naya Qila area without knowing what to expect. This  fascinating  mosque stands high atop a plinth. The mosque was built by celebrated calligraphist and poet Mulla Khayali in 1569 AD during the rule of Ibrahim Qutb Shah. The mosque originally has several acres of land under its records but now a substantial part of its land had been  encroached by an elite golf course.

Coordinates: 17.392805, 78.410540

Mustafa Khan Mosque

Mustafa Khan Mosque

Another mosque of the Naya Qilla area, this mosque too has its surrounding encroached by the rolling greens of the golf course. The mosque was built in the memory of Mustafa Khan who is famous for having designed some of Hyderabad’s most iconic structures including the Naya Qila area of the Golconda Fort and the Toli Mosque.

Coordinates: 17.389838, 78.413969

The ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) under whose precincts most of the abandoned mosques lie has repeatedly turned down the pleas of Muslims of the city to be allowed to pray at these mosques stating that “the mosques were not functional at the time of handover to the ASI.”

But this statement of theirs clearly doesn’t hold water as there have been numerous instances where even the apex court has allowed worshipers to pray in places that weren’t being used as a place of worship at the time of handover to the ASI.

What to do?

Reach out to the councilors and legislators under whom these mosques fall . Reach out to the Waqf board. Contact  the Muslims under whose vicinity these mosques stand. Reach out to  others and spread awareness.  This is the least we can do because mosques are meant to be places of worship, not mere landmarks.

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  1. When i visited this masque and asked my friend why dont people renovate this masque what is Owaisi doing then. He said please friend keep silence, his goons will kill you.

  2. Such Glorious past but neglected by the Muslims of Hyderabad who have only passion for Biryani and Haleem.
    We regret the Babri Masjid demolition but history of Muslim is shear negligence.

    Hope one day call for Azan will heard from this abandon Masjid. How long does it take for Hyderbadi’s to wake up?

    Jai Hind

  3. All Hyderabadis are not un-awake. I Dr Lubna Sarwath am a petitioner before the High Court at Hyderabad for restoration of entire Golconda-Naya Qila to be open for public and to be evicted from golf course that serves a handful of elite guys. The aesthetics and huge environment and heritage archeological causes attached to restoration of Naya quila is more appreciable and vital, than just the restoration of the two remarkable masjids Mulla Khayali and Mustafa Khan masjid. the ASI who is custodian of Naya Quila-Golkonda has not filed a reply till now to the case filed in High Court in 2017.

  4. I am sure the Residents of the Location ,where these Mosques are Located can approach the Respective Residents to start a Fundraising Drive to restore the necessary damage .
    2- Approach UNESCO to inspect and certify the Condition and the Age and restore the Poor Condition- If it meets the UNESCO regulations, it can be restored and also declare it as an Architecture Protected Mosque.
    3-Local Residents can approach the local Officials and seek their Support and Funds to Restore the Mosque .
    I wish the Media can help support the restoration initiative.
    Best wishes.
    Abdul Gani.


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