: Old Delhi
: Shah Jahan
Work on the Jama Masjid mosque was begun in 1650 by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan to complement his palace at the Red Fort. More than 5,000 workers toiled for six years to full the largest mosque in India. Every Friday, the emperor and his retinue would travel in state from the fort to the mosque to attend the congressional prayers. A fine example of Mughal architecture, the
Jama Masjid has three gateways.
The largest and highest on the east was reserve exclusively for the emperor. The main courtyard of the emperor. The main courtyard of the mosque is 408 square feet and paved with red stone. In the centre is a large marble tank in which the devout wash before attending prayers. The main mosque is crowned by three onion shaped domes made of white marble and inlaid with stripes of black slate. On the north and south of the complex are two 130 feet high minarets which offer a spectacular bird's eye-view of the city.
Jama Masjid is not only architecturally beautiful, but also a place of vast religious significance as it houses a hair from the whiskers of the Prophet and also a chapter of the Holy Quran written by him.
A Religious Masterpiece
The construction work nonstop for six years, ending in 1644. The structure was placed on a high platform so that its magnificent facade would be visible from all the adjoining areas. It's an austere, yet, a beautiful building. Just like other buildings of
Shahjahanabad, this one was also built with red sandstone. White marble has also been used lengthily, specially in the three domes and has been inlaid with stripes of black.
Jama Masjid is the major mosque in India. The Jama
Masjid or Jami Masjid was built between 1644 and 1658 during the rule of
Shah Jahan. Earlier Jama Masjid was known as the Masjid-i-Jahanuma,
or "mosque imposing view of the world".
The Jama Masjid is a huge architecture noted for its wonderful
proportions. Jama Masjid is built of sandstone and white marble. With
the Red fort on the east, the Jama Masjid can be examines as a shining
bright structure from a distance.
Jama Masjid is situated at 500 meters west of Red Fort. It is
also very near to Chandi Chowk in Old Delhi and you can trip the
site on any day from sunrise to sunset. Jama Masjid is also identified
as Friday Mosque as the very word "Jama" means "Friday", the sacred day
of the Muslims. The structural design of the Jama Masjid is truly
attractive and for that the great architect, Ustad Khalil should be
credited. You can grasp the view of the whole Old Delhi from the top and
see the Red Fort and even the Rashtrapati Bhawan in the central
zone of Delhi. But, women are not permitted to climb the minaret alone.
The pulpit is one of its best features, being carved out of a single block of marble. Built by a workforce of 5,000 people, the mosque's three gateways, four towers and two minarets are testimony to the fine architecture of that period. The slender minarets grace the facade, one on each side, rising to a height of 130-feet. The eastern gate was reserved for the Emperor when he used to arrive here every Friday and on Id.
A stadium like courtyard greets the visitors as they enter this mosque in the Old Delhi area. Wide staircases and arched gateways are the trademark of this well-liked mosque. There is a small shrine within that house the relic of the Prophet as well as the Holy Koran. Its courtyard has a capacity to hold nearly 25,000 worshippers and is also release to the general public.
The Mosque was based on the plan and design of Ostad Khalil, the then great Sculptor. Emperor Shahjahan built Jama Masjid at the cost of Rs 10 crore and it can be called as the replica of
Moti Masjid in Agra.
The premises of the South Minar are 1076-sq-ft wide where 25,000 devotees at a time may sit together for namaz.
The Masjid also include of a great treasure that has been kept in the northeast corner of the white shrine- a hair of the beard of Hazrat Mahmmad, his used chappal, a chapter of Koran taken from its original holy book, the canopy of his tombstone and the foot print of Muhammad on the stone.
The main imam of this Jama Masjid is the direct descendent of the original and first Imam appointed by Emperor Shahjahan and till now there is no break in its descendency. People of other religions are not allowed in between 12-30-2-00pm. One is allowed to enter the mosque bare-footed, head covered and wearing lungi, - these are the norms visitors have to follow and are available on payment. For taking photographs one has to buy tickets first.