The Namazgah Mosque

The Namazgah mosque is located a further 2 or 3 km. from the Safa Shahouri Masjid in the Ponda area. Visiting the vast countryside finally culminates towards the bare mountains where a lot of mining activity is observed resulting in a patches of dark red brown earth.

Mining contributes to the natural wealth in a large way thereby lending a major boost to the Goan economy. A majority of barges heavily laden with ore material are seen making their way towards the coastal port town of Vasco.

Viewed from this height, the town of Bicholim is spread out below and in the distance are the Sivalik Mountains with the mines to the left, and behind. A short distance to the right there is a small structure set on the crest of a bleak hillside. This is Namazgah Mosque, an interesting diversion to see a tiny remnant of Muslim history.

The Namazgah Mosque was built based on an interesting incident involving the defeat of the Portuguese by the combined forces of the Mughal emperor Akbar (he had rebelled against the emperor to join forces with the Marathas) and the Maratha king, Sambhaji.

The mosque was built by Akbar to celebrate this victory. Built on a hillside with enchanting views towards the east, the mosque has a distinctive and unusual design layout. One km from the main road, lies the busy town of Bicholim.

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