Sight Seen : Glimpse of Kashmir - Khanqah Shah-i-Hamadan

Srinagar - Khanqah Shah-i-Hamadan

This distinctively spired 1730s Muslim meeting hall is one of Srinagar’s most beautiful. It was constructed without using any nails and both frontage and interiors are covered in papier-mâché reliefs and elaborately coloured khatamband (faceted wood panelling). Non-Muslim visitors can peek through the door but may not enter.

The building stands on the site of one of Kashmir’s first mosques, founded by Persian saint Mir Sayed Ali Hamadani who arrived in 1372, one of 700 refugees fleeing Timur’s conquest of Iran. He is said to have converted 37,000 people to Sufi-based Islam, and it’s likely that his retinue introduced Kashmiris to the Persian art of fine carpet-making.