Jama Masjid

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India >> Delhi >> Old Delhi >> Attractions >> Jama Masjid

Jama Masjid

History

Jama Masjid, also known as Masjid-i-Jahan-Numa, which means mosque commanding view of the world, is a magnificent and the largest mosque in the country. Jama Masjid is situated about 500m away the beautiful Red Fort, India, on the hill of Bho Jhala, in the old Mughal capital called Shahjahanabad. It was the last architectural works of the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan which nearly took about six years for its completion (1650-1656). About 5,000 craftsmen were assigned the task of constructing this building of red sandstone and white marble, costing about a million rupees.

The Jama Masjid has three massive double-storied gateways, two minarets (40 metres in high) and four towers. There is one gate on the north, south and east of the main building which are led by a fleet of steps. The eastern gateway, closed on all weekdays except Fridays, was used by the Emperors to enter the courtyard. The minarets are made up of red sand stone and white marbles bearing stripes of black color. The tower of the Jama Masjid is made of five distinctive storeys, each one with a projecting balcony. The first three storeys of the tower are made of red sandstone; the fourth one is made of marble, while the fifth is again of sandstone. The adjoining edifices are beautifully done with calligraphy.

Beyond the three gateways is a vast courtyard which has the capacity of accommodating about 25,000 worshippers. Surrounded by pillared corridors and domed pavilions at the corners, the courtyard, measures around 100 square meters and holds thousands of faithful who offer their prayers here.

The prayer hall measuring 60 meters by 28 meters on the west stands on 260 pillars which support about 15 marble domes at various elevations. These pillars support 15 marble domes at various elevations. The splendid façade has as many as eleven arches ornamented with three magnificent domes. The central arch is higher than the others and also serves as the main entrance. Worshippers use this hall on all days other than Fridays and other holy days.

Jama Masjid also comprises of a great treasure to the northeast that contains a collection of Muhammad's relics - the Koran written on deerskin, a red beard-hair of the prophet, his sandals and his footprints, implanted in a marble block.

The premises of the south minaret are 1076-sq-ft wide where Muslims in large number turn up for the namaaz. One can also climb the minaret but be careful at the top, as the jalis are fragile. Women are not allowed to go alone on top of the minaret.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit the mosque would be in the months of October and March. However, being a religious place, there is no specified or advised time and one can visit at any time of the year.

Trivia

Jama Masjid (the mosque of Friday), is a real example of great architecture of the Mughal period. Though Shah Jahan has the credit of building a number of mosques in Delhi, Agra, Ajmer and Lahore, the Jama Masjid is by far the best and an outstanding symbol of Mughal architectural brilliance in India.

Timing

The mosque is open from 7:15 a.m to 12:30 p.m and 2:30 p.m to 7:30 p.m. It is closed during the prayer times and women are not allowed entry after 6:00 p.m in the evening.

Entry Fee:

Only if you carry a camera, you will have a pay a nominal charge of Rs.100 otherwise the entry to the mosque is free.


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