If we are talking about Jama Masjid – the largest Mosque of India, then its truly a gem to be seen! Registered as UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is the main mosque of Old Delhi. Asked by Emperor Shah Jahan – the Mughal Emperor; it was started in the year 1650 and completed in 1656. The reason besides it architecture and design why it so popular is the fact that it can house 25,000 worshippers in a single prayer – which is held every Friday – the Jummah!
Constructed with the efforts of over 6000 workers for 6 years; it has got three gates or entrances , 4 towers and 40 meter high minarets made of red stand-stone and white marble. With a large rectangular courtyard which is around 75m by 66meters. The big hall standing inside the Jama Masjid has 260 pillars beautifully carved with Hindu and Jain traditions. This central hall is accessible from East. From this side one can reach the mausoleum of Sultan Ahmed Shah.
What is most imposing of this mosque is the huge grand gateways, which can be easily seen from a distance. The Eastern gate of Jama Masjid used to be the entrance gate of Emperors – and is usually closed for general public. The prayer hall is located on the west side and so that gate is open for people to enter. The hall of prayer is surrounded by high cusped archs and marble domes which are a beauty in themselves to watch. Inside the Masjid, one can easily find collection of Prophet Muhammad’s relics – a red beard hair of prophet, Korans written on deerskin, his footprint as well as Muhammad’s sandals. All these are considered pious and are worshipped.
Jama Masjid is of course of the most beautiful monuments one Shah Jahan has made out of the several other monuments. Thousands throng around to see this architecturally beautiful, standing for so many years building. Definitely its not to be missed out tourist as well as worship destination of Delhi. However, Non – Muslims are not allowed inside the mausoleum. Others can see the monument from outside only.
Delhi HOP HOP buses too cover Jama Masjid on their routes!
Mosque is 260 feet long, 90 feet wide. Its roof is covered with 3 domes with alternate stripes of black and white. The top of dome is plated with gold.
The minarets are 130 feet high with 130 steps, flanked with black and white marble.
The minarets are subsequently divided by 3 projecting galleries with top covered with gold.
The arched entrances are actually tablets of white marble, 4 feet long and 2.5 feet wide with inscriptions in black.
Location : Meena Bazar, Old Delhi
Metro Station : Chawri Bazar
Opening time : 7 A.M. – 12 Noon and 1:30 – 6:30 p.m.
Entrance Fee : None
Camera : Allowed but a fees of INR 200 – 250 is placed