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According to a legend, the mosque got its name as in olden times thousand lamps were needed to illuminate the prayer hall. The mosque has a special significance for the Shia Muslims. It is dedicated to Imam Hossain, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, who is respected among the Shia sect around the globe.

Standing at the junction of Mount Road and Peters Road in the Royapettah neighbourhood, Thousand Lights Mosque at Chennai is one of the most revered mosques in the city. The cream-coloured, multi-domed mosque with walls bearing sayings from the Holy Quran is an important gathering place for daily prayers and other festive occasions.

Built in the traditional Islamic design, Thousand Lights Mosque follows a medieval architectural style, with multiple domes and towering minarets. The dargah or sanctum sanctorum of the mosque is on the second floor. And the main hall, where men gather for prayers or namaz, is on the ground floor. The mosque has a separate room for women to offer their prayers.

The mosque is visited by locals as well as tourists. The Muslim devotees in the city region, especially those belonging to the Shia Muslim sect, consider it an important pilgrimage place. It is like the headquarters of Shia Muslims in the state.

The Shia Mosque has a library, a guest house, and the burial place of Imam Hossain (the grandson of Prophet Muhammad).

Muharram is an important festival for the mosque. Many people gather to mourn the death of Imam Hossain and participate in a communal grievance ceremony – matam. The mosque is decorated with lights on this day, and it looks wonderful.


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