Nakhoda Mosque (Nakhoda Masjid)
Largely hidden from view by the surrounding bazaar, the Nakhoda Mosque’s beauty only truly becomes apparent at close quarters. Visitors enter via a grand doorway on Zakaria Street, and can stroll around the courtyard to study the mosque’s intricately carved red-painted walls, blue windows, and ablutions pool. From there, they can head inside to admire the interior’s various floors and prayer halls, all adorned with arches, pillars, and glass chandeliers.
The Nakhoda Mosque is included on Kolkata tours that focus on the city’s major temples, churches, synagogues, and mosques. As a rule, travelers get around 30 minutes to explore the courtyard and interior, with the tours slotted in between the mosque’s busy prayer sessions.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Nakhoda Mosque will appeal to anyone interested in Kolkata’s religion and culture.
- The mosque is open to visitors from all religious faiths.
- You need to dress appropriately to gain entry. Women should wear long pants, long-sleeved tops, and a head covering; while men should wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
- Visitors need to remove their shoes on entry. Take a small bag to carry them in as you explore.
How to Get There
The Nakhoda Mosque stands on the corner of Rabindra Sarani and Zakaria Street in the Chitpur area of Kolkata’s Burrabazar—a busy shopping and market district. The nearest metro stations are Central and M.G. Road, although the mosque is around 10 minutes’ walk from both. For a hassle-free visit, book a tour that covers the mosque or hire a cab.
When to Get There
The mosque is open daily, from 6am-8pm. Visitors should avoid prayer times—particularly on Fridays—as the mosque gets very crowded and is closed to non-Muslims. A good time to visit is up to around 10am, when the neighboring bazaar is quiet and the mosque looks especially beautiful.
Shopping at the Burrabazar
If you’re ready to navigate the chaotic Burrabazar outside the Nakhoda Mosque, factor in time to do so—it’s a memorable experience. This vibrant market district overflows with shops selling low-price textiles, stationery, electronics, books, cosmetics, and more; together with tailors who can custom-make you shirts or other garments in double-quick time.
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