Mecca Masjid is one of the oldest mosques in Hyderabad, as well as being one of the largest in the world. Construction of the mosque began in 1617 by the city’s founder, Sultan Mohammad Quli Qutb Shah, but wasn’t complete until 1694 under the rule of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
This ancient mosque is a listed heritage building. It’s constructed from granite and features exquisite interiors that few visitors get to see; its large prayer hall can accommodate more than 10,000 men, but women are not allowed inside and tourists can only hope to catch a glimpse from outside. Female visitors may not even be permitted into the mosque’s vast courtyard area if their clothing is not deemed conservative enough.
Several bricks embedded above the main prayer hall's central arch are made with soil from the holy city of Mecca (hence the mosque's name), and verses of the Quran are inscribed on the arches of the building. It is also believed that a strand of the Prophet Mohammed’s hair is kept preserved in a room in the mosque’s courtyard.
Mecca Masjid is situated in the heart of Hyderabad, close to Laad Bazaar, the Charminar monument, and not far from Chowmahalla Palace. It’s easily accessible from various parts of the city by taxi or public bus.