Friday, August 23, 2013


The Nawabs of Wallajah had a significant presence in the Madras of the British East India Company's days. Apart from the Nawabs themselves, significant courtiers were also patrons of the city and they sometimes left a memory behind. Those could certainly not be allowed to overshadow the Nawabs' legacy - still, that's no reason for this mosque to be bullied by the buildings next to it.

Bahram Jung, or, to give him his full address, Muhammad Abdullah Qadir Nawaz Khan Bahadur Bahram Jung, was in the services of the Nawab between 1789 and 1795. As the personal advisor of Nawab Umdat-ul-Umrah, Bahram was the interlocutor to negotiate borrowings for the Nawab. And there was a quite a lot of borrowing, to the extent that when Umdat-ul-Umrah died and the creditors began pressing for repayment, the British had to step in. They confiscated all of Bahram's jagirs and gave him a stipend that he could barely subsist upon. This mosque was certainly built during Bahram's better times, towards the end of the 18th century.

Can't spot it? You can see the two minarets - miniminarettes, really - to the right of the Witco sign. Must try to go in there, sometime. It will surely be a squeeze!