Confluence of two cultures

Deval masjid, in Nizamabad is well worth a visit during a long weekend

By Author  |  Saurabh Chatterjee  |  Published: 24th Dec 2017  12:01 amUpdated: 23rd Dec 2017  2:47 pm
Deval masjid
Temple turned mosque which has now become an old man’s rest area. Photos By: Saurabh Chatterjee

After a hectic week of work, it was refreshing to see the rising sun over the stretches of green fields as we headed towards Nizamabad fort also known as Khilla Ramalayam. After spending some peaceful moments in the temple, our next stop was the Deval masjid.

For the uninitiated, the Deval masjid, used to be a Jain temple built during the 9th and 10th century by the Rashtrakuta king Indra III. It was later modified by the Kalyani Chalukya king Someswara. It was he, who named the temple as Indranarayana Swamy Temple.

We headed towards Bodhan where the erstwhile temple was located. We asked for directions to the Deval masjid but surprisingly, no one was able to help us. By showing pictures to the locals, we reached the place. Over my travels, I have observed that a lot of places have local names and it helps to have some pictures handy.


Historical significance


The old mosque is located adjacent to a new one which is now used for prayers. Though it was great to see the place, the first look was rather disappointing as it was heavily littered and not well kept.

The temple is built in from a star like that of the Chennakesava temple in Halebidu and resembles temples of the Kakatiya period. I entered the building through the main entrance. Originally, there must have been multiple entrances, but only two of them are used now.

During the invasion by Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq in the Deccan, this temple was converted into a mosque with some modifications. The statue of the Tirthankaras was moved to mount the pulpit. The roof has been embellished with domes which are a salient feature of Muslim architecture. Some inscriptions by Muhammad-bin-Tughlaq can also be seen here.

Apart from that, the intricate carvings on the pillars were defaced. Looking at it, one can imagine the grand temple it must have been once upon a time.

Now that the new mosque has been built, this building has been abandoned and is used by people to sleep peacefully or finish some office work. It would be great if the tourism department takes measures to uplift the condition of the temple as it has good tourism potential.

Deval masjid
The abandoned Deval masjid, which once used to be a grand Jain temple.

How to reach


Deval Masjid is located at a distance of 23 kms from Nizamabad and 175 kms from Hyderabad. Nizamabad is well connected by road and railways. You can also explore these places by taxi or drive from Hyderabad.


Tips


The best time to visit is between September and March. Go during the morning and evening as it is the best time to see the place in good light. Also, there are people loitering around during the mid-day.

There are quite a few accommodation options for all budgets in Nizamabad. Haritha Indur Inn is a good option.


Places nearby


Nizamabad fort or Khilla Ramalayam.