Mosque conceived of Iranian splendour receives a deserved touch-up
Mogul Mosque, constructed by an Iranian trader over a century ago, had sadly lost its lustre with cracks forming in the 2'6" thick load bearing walls, rotting wooden trusses and water damage as a result of leaks.
Tasked with repairing the grand structure was Architect Reza Kabul of India with whom the enormity of the task was not lost. Much of the structure had to be reconstructed. The Mangalore tiles were removed and replaced, wooden trusses dismantled before being repaired and re-erected and the walls were stitched by drilling holes through the thick walls and placing mild steel plates across the cracks. These were then bolted through & through the cracks and filled with araldite in order to bind the cracks together. Finally, the walls were plastered.
The inner walls are clad with a combination of Onyx and granite with inlay of several Surahs from the Divine Quran. Years of oil paint on the wooden doors and windows was removed by the burn and scrap process. Thereafter melamine polish was applied. The glass window panes were replaced along with all the hardware.
The exterior was clad with Mosaic tiles brought from Iran with inlays of the Surahs (verses) from the Divine Quran. Also imported from Iran were the three tier crystal chandelier and the Persian carpets for the flooring.
To further maintain the originality of the mosque and retain the Iranian heritage, the external facade of the mosaic/main door was clad with Mosaic tiles from Iran featuring an art form widely practiced in Iran.
Due to the presence of leakages the pond (Hauz) too had to be refurbished. The R.C.C. raft and retention wall were redone. The fountain was made operational adding blue colour tiles thereby enhancing the beauty of the Hauz.
The time taken for completion of the mosque to this stage was approximately four years. This was mainly due to the fact that materials had to be identified and then shipped in from various parts of Iran. Having done that master artisans and expert labour also had to be identified and brought in.
"The single minded drive behind the renovation, at all times was to maintain the originality of the mosque and retain the Iranian heritage," said Kabul. "And at all times what drove us on was the understanding that the mosque is where one bows down in complete humility to one’s Creator."