As the Muslim brethren celebrate ‘Bakri Eid’ in Goa, today, here are some of the oldest Muslim heritage sites and monuments in Goa, which take you back to Goa's past. These places are not only rich in spirituality, but are, both, architecturally intriguing and beautiful.
With its unique architectural elegance, the namzagarh is situated on a hillock in Bicholim, and was constructed somewhere around the 17th century. The dome on the top is supported by a square hall, which is surrounded by several pillars, each topped by a crescent moon.
One can also find a raised platform for the imam here. Its green and white colour gives it an appealing appearance.
Interestingly, this monument connects Goa to the Mughals. Yes, you read that right! It connects Goa to the son of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, Shehzada Akhbar. He made his way to Goa after he rebelled against his father. Akhbar joined hands with Sambhaji, who had inherited Bicholim from his father. They joined hands to fight against the Portuguese.
It is said that Sambhaji donated this piece of land, in Bicholim, to Akbar to construct a mosque as per the wishes of the Mughal emperor.
One can get a taste of history, here, and at the same time, get a feel of the religious harmony that existed back then.
Masjid at Surla Tar
One of the most beautiful and scenically located mosques in Goa is the one at Surla Tar, Bicholim. If you've been to the village of Surla Tar, you've probably seen ,this masjid, which was built during the Adil Shahi period.
The ancient water tank adds to the beauty of the mosque.
Built in the 16th century this mosque resembles the Safa Masjid, at Ponda.
One can also find the dargah of Pir Saheb (saint) located close to the river. His exact name remains a mystery. All that is known is that he had come to Goa to bring about harmony between the conflicting Muslim and Hindu communities.
The masjid is not just beautifully located, but enveloped in history, too. And, if you are someone who wishes to go back into history and learn about architecture and communal harmony, you definitely need to visit this masjid.
Safa Masjid in Ponda
One of the most alluring and popular mosques in Goa is the Safa Masjid, located in Ponda. As you drive along the highway in Ponda, you can find it located close to the main road.
People generally refer to it as the 'Safa Shahouri Masjid'. 'Safa' is meant to 'pure'.
This majid has its own beauty. One can easily identify this place, which has a tank and single-chambered mosque, with a roof covered with terracotta tiles.
The tank is meticulously designed, with steps leading to the water source. During Eid and other festivals, the place is brimming with the people, making it quite a sight to behold.
This mosque, which belongs to the 16th century, is currently under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). It is said to be Goa's oldest mosque, and was built by Ibrahim Adil Shah.