Zinatun Nissa masjid was commissioned by Zinatun Nisa begum, daughter of famous Aurangzeb Alamgir in the year 1700. This mosque is a replica of Jama Masjid, situated at the south-eastern end of the walled city, Shahjahanabad (Old Delhi) near Daryagunj. Another name of this mosque is ‘Ghata Masjid’ (Cloud Mosque), because of the cloud covering its minarets due to its proximity to the river Jamuna.
During India Mutiny, British Army used it as an Army Barrack. Grave of Zinatun Nissa, which is situated at the northern part of the mosque, was desecrated. Muslims were not allowed to enter the mosque and pray. Only during the period of Lord Curzon its sanctity was rehabilitated in 20th century. Below is account,
“The Beautiful ‘Ornament of Mosque’ in the Daryaganj quarter, built by a daughter of Aurangzeb, suffered still longer. After the mutiny it was used partly as dwelling place and partly as a bakery until 1875. The mosque was then closed and neglected. Lord Lytton’s vigour did not quite extend to this building and the mosque had to wait for rehabilitation nearly twenty years longer, until it caught the eye of Lord Curzon”.
Twilight of the Mughuls by Percival Spear page 221.
Below is an old Photo of Zinatunnisa Mosque at its ruin state, taken by John Murray in the year 1858
Image Courtesy: The British Library, London.