Spanish Mosque, Hyderabad

The Spanish Mosque also known as Begumpet Mosque or Masjid Iqbal Ud Daula or Jam e Masjid "Aiwan-E-Begumpet" is located in S.P Road, Indian Airlines Colony, Begumpet, Hyderabad, Telangana State, India is one of the most beautiful mosques in Hyderabad, located within the premises of Paigah Palace. The unique architecture and its glorious history make it one of the most alluring heritage monuments of the city that you must visit.


1900 - 1906
The construction of the mosque was started by the fifth Paigah Nawab Viqar-ul-Umra Iqbal-ud-Doula, was the maternal grandson of the third Nizam. Among his contributions to Hyderabad’s Paigah legacy are the Paigah Palace, Vikhar Manzil and the iconic Falaknuma Palace. He commissioned the Spanish Mosque in the year 1900. Sadly, he died within a couple of years, and its completion in 1906 had to be overseen by his son Paigah Nawab Viqar-ul-Umra Iqbal-ud-Doula after a trip to Spain, where he is said to have been very impressed by the architecture he saw. The mosque is also called Jama Masjid Iqbal-ud-Doula after him.

The mosque stands on one end of a sprawling courtyard. What strikes the visitor first is that instead of the bulbous domes seen in other mosques, the roof and the minarets of this mosque end in slender octogonal spires plastered in lime.

Another unusual feature is the lack of an ablution tank. Inside the mosque, the prayer hall is decorated with beautiful Moorish arches and delicate calligraphy. The mosque is painted a pale mint green now, but until a few years ago, it was cream, with the roof and minarets glinting in gold.

The design and architecture of the Spanish Mosque is inspired from the grand Cathedral–Mosque of Córdoba in Spain and the Jama Masjid of Gulbarga. The pointed arches, minimal geometric design and octagonal spires are some of the striking features of this mosque. The elements of Moorish, European and Islamic architecture beautifully blend in this spectacular mosque.

Thought to have been modelled by a Moorish architect, It is also known as the Mosque of the Moors, due to its unique Hispanic (Moorish) style of architecture and is said to be one-of-its-kind in India. The stand-out feature is the spires instead of the usual minarets or domes; they give this mosque a church-like appearance. 

Moorish architecture is a kind of Islamic architecture that originated in the Iberian Peninsula, of which Spain is a part. With heavy Roman influences, the style is characterized by horseshoe arches, intricate calligraphy and mosaic work.

The Paigahs were an aristocratic family of the princely state of Hyderabad, founded by a soldier named Abul Fateh Khan Tegh Jung Bahadur. Appointed to protect the second Nizam of Hyderabad, he was given the hereditary title Paigah, because he commanded an army, called a Paigah. Paigah also means "right hand man", so it was no surprise that the Nizam called him that.

"Shams-ul-Umra" or "the sun among the nobles" was another of his titles. Sons of the Paigah family traditionally married princesses from the Nizam’s family, so they were the most powerful nobles in Hyderabad. They were passionate builders too, leaving their stamp on the city in the form of beautiful palaces and mansions.

Hyderabad has its share of magnificent mosques - the colossal Mecca Masjid that was completed about seven decades after its construction began, the sublime Toli Masjid, the huge Kulsumpura Masjid named after a princess, the Miya Mishk Masjid built by an Abyssinian guard in the Golconda army, the Hayathnagar mosque built by an inspirational royal lady, and so many more. While these are all special in their own ways, the most offbeat mosque in the city is undoubtedly the Spanish Mosque.

The Spanish Mosque is a declared heritage site by ASI and is under discussion for the consideration of UNESCO Asia Pacific Merit