Sunehri Masjid or Golden Mosque of Chandni Chowk

, Hazrat-E-Dilli

Alexander Cunningham the grand old man of ASI wrote that , “Some buildings maybe remarkable only for their historical interest, but they are worth preserving on that account alone, although they maybe otherwise insignificant. Such,for instance, is the small mosque of Raushnud daulah in the Chandni Chauk of Delhi, where Nader Shah sat for several hours while plunder and massacre were going on all around him.”

A painting by Ghulam Ali Khan in the 1850s.
Masjid Roshun ood Daulah near the Kotuabe at Delhee.


The history of Nadir Shah by Abdul Karim, says that a rumour had been spread in the city that Emperor Mohammad Shah had assasinated Nadir Shah in the citadel. The Qazilbash or soldiers of Nader Shah were attacked by the citizens of Delhi,and it is said about 3000 were killed. By midnight the report of these happenings reached Nader Shah who at first disbelieved it. The orderlee he sent to enquire was murdered. Then Nader Shah ordered 2000 Jazarchees to occupy the gates of the Fort and fire into the crowd. For a while the disturbance abated but by morning it started again. He rode out of the fort to the Roshanud daulah mosque and ordered that no man dressed as a Hind was to be spared.
“On the morning of 22 March, (1739) Nader mounted his horse and rode from the palace to the Roshan-od-Dowala mosque (the former name of Sunehri Masjid). As he arrived there with his men about him, some people threw stones from balconies and windows around the mosque, and a shot was fired, killing an officer beside him. He had already made up his mind, but this final insult may have added fury to Nader’s frustration. He went to the roof of the mosque and stood by the golden domes, looking out over the houses, shops and roof of the Chandni Chowk district. He ordered that no one should be left alive in any part where any of his soldiers had been killed, and then drew his sword as a signal that the massacre should begin.”
The Sword of Persia: Nader Shah, from Tribal Warrior to Conquering Tyrant, by Michael Axworthy
From 7am to 4pm Delhi was given up to massacre. Emperor Muhammad Shah alarmed at the reports that reached him and sent a messenger to Nader Shah begging for forgiveness; “the tyrant relented and spared the people of Delhi for the sake of Mohammad Shah.”
Another account says that Mirza Mehdi the physician of Nader Shah was seated on the steps of the mosque when Asif Jah, the PRime Minister of Mohammad Shah came with a petition to beg for mercy and Nader Shah forgave the citizens of Delhi and soldiers immediately sheathed their swords.
These photographs are from Jan 2015 when i visited it.
Today unless you know about ot you will give it a miss and never notice its tarnished golden domes.
This mosque is an oblong of 48 feet by 19 feet; it stands on a masonry platform from the level of the road which it overlooks. There is a grill on its unpretending gateway. 8 narrow steps lead up to the courtyard.
There are 3 arched entrances to the mosque which are normally kept locked. They lead to three rooms.
The three rooms are covered by three gilt domes,the centre dome being larger than those on the side.
When i visited it was covered by a green tarp so I couldn’t capture the domes.
From the internet.
There is encroachment from all sides. The stairs leading up.from the courtyard of the mosque lead upto a warren of rooms which are occupied. I climbed up it thinking I could go upto the roof and landed inside someone’s room instead.
Opposite it is the magnificent Sisganj Gurudwara.
The Kotwali of the Mughal era used to be next to this mosque once upon a time.
An adjoining sehan
Encroachment from all sides

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