The blueprint of the new Ayodhya mosque complex | Twitter: @IndoIslamicCF
The blueprint of the new Ayodhya mosque complex | Twitter: @IndoIslamicCF
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New Delhi: The new mosque complex at Ayodhya will be a contemporary building without the stereotypical domes and arches, its architect Professor S.M. Akhtar has told ThePrint.  

Akhtar, a renowned architect and dean of the architecture department at Delhi’s Jamia Millia Islamia University, said the new complex will serve society in totality, with a charitable hospital, museum archive and a public library among others. 

“It is not just a masjid, but a masjid complex,” he said. 

Akhtar explained that the new complex would run as much as possible on solar power and wind energy and that energy consumption would be reduced. “We will try and make sure that everything runs on renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy. However that might be slightly difficult for the hospital,” he said.  

The architect added that the foundation stone for the new mosque complex at Ayodhya will be laid on 26 January next year. 

The blueprint of the mosque was revealed by the Indo Islamic Cultural Foundation (IICF) Trust Saturday and showed its new modern architecture and futuristic design.

The mosque is to come up on five acres of land at Dhannipur village near Ayodhya. The Uttar Pradesh government had allocated five acres of land to the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board in line with the Supreme Court verdict in the Ram Janambhoomi case last year. 

In February this year, the Waqf Board established a trust, the IICF, which handed over the responsibility of designing the mosque to Akhtar.


Also read: My camera had ‘evidence’ of Babri Masjid demolition, but it was consigned to bin of history


Mosque blueprint 

The  blueprint of the new mosque shows that it will not have the stereotypical arches, minarets or domes.  

The masjid complex will have a rectangular layout which will include a museum archive, community kitchen and a 300-bedded speciality hospital, along with the mosque. 

Speaking about the vision behind the futuristic design, Akhtar explained that architecture is always created and can never be replicated. “I was very clear about this from the beginning. One should always explore architecture as it can be a carrier for taking society ahead,” he said.

Akhtar explained that the materials (stones) and techniques for the construction of the masjid complex had not been locked in yet and that research was still ongoing.  

“Only the best suited materials and techniques will be adopted. We want this to be a lasting structure,” he said. The number of people working behind this project is difficult to say as labour in such projects is constantly changing and flexible.”

On why older elements of Islamic architecture haven’t been incorporated into the new blueprint, Akhtar explained that it has always been said that Islamic architecture was very good in the medieval period. “However, not just the medieval period it is very good today as well,” he said.

“I am looking for a paradigm shift in the vocabulary of Islamic architecture. The past is past. The past cannot be the present nor the future. You have to detach yourself from that. It is nostalgia; it cannot give you anything.”

Mosque to be built in six months

Getting into the logistics of the mosque complex, Akhtar said he expects the mosque to be built within six months of the foundation stone being laid on 26 January  (Republic Day) next year.

He, however, added that the hospital will take more time and will be completed in “another year or two”. 

When asked whether the contested and acrimonious past of the entire Ayodhya issue had any bearing on the new structure, Akhtar said, “I am not interested in the past or digging into it. Architecture can never be replicated; it has to be created. This was my clarity, which was also how I moved forward.” 

He also asserted that in Indian ethos, people from different communities have always been together. “The bonding between different communities and different religious groups is very important,” he said.

On whether the masjid complex is the most ambitious and significant project of his career, Akhtar said, “The whole world is waiting for this complex, so in that sense the responsibility and pressure is definitely there.”


Also read: VHP to reach out to PM Modi, President seeking contribution for Ram Mandir construction


 

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I am an architect too and I just came across this article that there is a mosque going to be built in Ayodhya. Since years many politicians has used it as an asset to let it keep going until they came into power. Now that it’s been solved and the damage has been done, it hasn’t repaired yet. Unqualified politicians now been exploiting that religious sentiments to cook their political game hot and running. The daily news we hear is either bad or not satisfactory or fake. I thought for a moment before writing this comment here because now it’s been stereotypical that if they read my name first and the comment they’ll have other understanding about the comment and if they read my name as Rajesh or something they’ll see it from a different perspective. I just only wish that people should move forward whoever they are and whatever God they believe in, do not bring past, it has damaged millions of people’s lives already. Now is the time we move forward and dream for a better economy and infrastructure for all.
    Jai Hindh! ✊ 🇮🇳

  2. I suppose RAM temple will be design by the same architect using futuristic looking all within 6mths of India quality. There will be no Vishnu, elephants & cows sculptures.

    All religious structures will now look like just West modern buildings, while all universities and cities continue to look like slums.

    RSS Modi India has lived up to its slogan of Incredible India.

  3. Surprising that you have missed the dome right in the middle! Transparent and slightly inclined. There is a lone minaret abutting the dome. The polyhedral minaret too is inclined, tapered and bent skyward. The design is modern and very appealing no doubt, as is the hospital. Entrance area though is quite traditional.

  4. This is a breath of fresh air. Even when keeping traditions is a very valuable thing, a fresh and modern outlook to faith can go a long way, and turn around the large majority of opinionated folks inside and outside to have a completely different view.

  5. Muslim invaders had destroyed so many temples and worship sites of all religions. The mosque at the Barbri is a sign of oppression in the first place. How about a temple, a church, or a pagoda on the ground of Macca? India needs to stop appeasement to 7th-century barbarians., learn to embrace its long forgotten culture that is by far superior (in being tolerant toward educatii and human progress)

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