Raised on the highest pedestal of Delhi, Jama Masjid signifies grandeur. Built of Red-stone Jama Masjid, also known as Masjid - e - Jahanuma, is the largest mosque in India. This was apparently the last monument erected by Shah Jahan before he was put captive by his son, Aurangzeb. The construction of the Jama mosque began in 1650 and was completed in the year 1656. The Jama Masjid stands on a rock apparently the highest point of the southern ridge of Arravalies. This sand stone marvel has 3 massive double-storied gateways. There is one gate each on the north, south and east of the main building to reach the courtyard. The eastern gateway is considered to be the most important as this gate was for exclusive use of the Royal Family to enter the courtyard.
The architect of this magnificent mosque was Ustad Khalil. The main
feature of the mosque is its four-storied minarets, which are 130 feet
high. Apart from that, Domes too, will attract your fancy. These are
full domes shaped like a drum at their base. The decoration is unique in
itself, as it has been done with the alternative pattern of marbles in
black and white. This pattern can be seen in all the three domes.
Enclosed by pillared and corridors with domed pavilions at the corners,
the courtyard of the mosque measures around 1000 square meters and has a
capacity of 100,000 people. In the center of the courtyard is a tank and
Hauz. This was built for the purpose of Wazu, compulsory ambulation done
before Namaaz. In front of it is a raised platform called Dikka. The
mosque is so big that in muatllawi (the second cleric), used to stand on
the Dikka and repeat the Ayats said by the Imam (the chief cleric) to
the devotees who were unable to hear him.
On the west is the rectangular prayer hall, which measures 60 meters by
28 meters. It has a splendid façade. It has as many as 12 arches
decorated with marble frame same as in the case of Domes. If you want to
know about the history of the place, the inscriptions are there to
inform. There are other things inscribed too, such as the cost of
building the mosque, the architect and the builder, which in this case
is one Nur Allah Ahmed. The chief cleric, Imam Bukhari, is the direct
descendant of the Mullah who came from Bukhara to inaugurate the Jama
Masjid. He came on 23rd July 1656, at the invitation of the Mughal
Emperor Shah Jahan.
Visitors can climb the southern minaret on nominal charge. Be careful
at the top, as the Jaalis are fragile. The views are just wonderful as
one can see the whole Old Delhi and the impressive Red Fort. Women are
not allowed to go alone to the top of the minaret.
Jama Masjid Delhi
|Location||Old Delhi, facing The Red Fort|
|How to Reach||Take an auto or cab or disembark at Chawri Bazaar Metro station|
|Timing||7:15 A.M. to 12:30 P.M. and 2:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M.|
|Do's and Don't||Do not enter during prayer time. Muslims and Non-Muslims both are expected to wear proper clothes befitting the dignity of the Mosque.|