Mosques in Goa
Mosques in Goa
Unlike the popular belief that Goa is predominantly a Christian State, Goa has a majority of Hindus and also a lot of Muslim population.
The Goan mosques have been built in the typical Muslim architectural style complete with the domes and pillars. There are around 27 small mosques scattered in Goa that are used for community worship.
Below are details of the few famous Mosques in Goa:
The Safa Masjid, Ponda
The Safa Masjid also known as Shahouri Masjid is situated in Ponda Taluka. It is the biggest, oldest and most famous amongst all the mosques in Goa. It was built in 1560 by Ibrahim Adilshan of Bijapur.
The mosque and the tank were formerly surrounded by an extensive garden with many fountains. They were destroyed during the Portuguese rule.
A terracotta roof has been added recently to the Masjid. The prayer hall is constructed on a platform. Smooth Islamic arches abound here. The interior is simple though you get to see some arch in the typical Bijapuri fashion.
Adjacent to the Mosque is a well-constructed masonry tank with small chambers with 'meharab' designs.
The two major festivals Id-Ul-Fitr and Id-Ul-Zuha are celebrated at this mosque with great pomp and are attended by a large number of people.
Jama Masjid, Sanguem
Many tourists coming to Goa make it a point to come to see the Jama Masjid situated at Sanguem 26kms from Margao,
It was built in the last century and was completely renovated in 1959 since it had started to fall apart due to the lashes of time.
Jama Masjid is an example of simple yet elegant architecture. It also has four minarets and from the centre of these a dome-shaped kiosk rises.
Festivals are celebrated here with love and respect by devotees.
Jama Masjid, Panjim
Jama Masjid is said to be one of the oldest mosques in Panaji.
It does not resemble a typical mosque. The site has been drastically rennovated since it was first built in the mid 18th century.
There is nothing remarkable on the outside but the interior is decorated in Islamic designs and black and white marble. It is in a distinctive Muslim quarter of Panaji.
Namazgah Masjid, Bicholim
Namazgah mosque, is a tiny remnant of Muslim history of Goa.
This mosque was built by Prince Akbar, to celebrate their victory over Catholic Goa, in a battle which he and the Marathas, led by Sambhaji, fought against the Portuguese in 1683.
Akbar built this small Namazgah style mosque on a hill overlooking Bicholim. It is now in the middle of a mining field.
It has been renovated and is well maintained.
Surla Tar Mosque, Tambdi Surla
It is believed that in 1560 AD Ismail Adilshah built around 27 mosques in Goa. Out of which only a few survive today. One of the mosques lies in the Surla village. The area in which this mosque lies is called as Surla Taar.
Surla is the name of the village while Taar refers to the village ferry point. Close to this old ferry point is an old mosque that dates to the Adilshahi period.
The structure of the mosque does not appear to be that old, but a huge water tank in front of it corroborates its historical period. The rectangular water tank has four flight steps in all four sides. The sides have beautiful mehrab arcs running all along it periphery.
Some years back the tank was conserved by the Department of Archives and Archaeology as the site is declared as a ‘Protected Site’.