Jama Masjid in Delhi
The Jama Masjid, the Friday congregational mosque, in Delhi is the largest and glorious mosque in India. It was the last architectural extravaganza of the Mughal Emperor, Shahjahan built in the year 1656 AD with the help of 5,000 craftsmen. It was made across the road from the Red Fort. The mosque is also known as Masjid-I-Jahanuma, which means ‘mosque commanding view of the world’. The measurement of the mosque is 65 m X 35 m while the courtyard is forms an area of 100 n square. The mosque has the capacity to hold as many as 25,000 devotees. The Lal Qila or the Red Fort stand towards the east of the mosque.
The Jama Masjid was designed as the main mosque of Shahjahan. It stands on one of the two hills, Bho Jhala in the Mughal capital, Shahjahanabad. The mosque has three gateways, four towers and two minarets. It is constructed with alternate use of vertical strips of red sandstone and white marble. The white marble has been used extensively in the three domes and has been inlaid with stripes of black. The structure was situated on a high platform so that its magnificent facade would be visible from all the neighboring areas. The main prayer hall on the west is decorated by a series of high cusped arches, which stand on 260 pillars. These pillars support 15 marble domes at various elevations. The imposing gateways are approached through a broad flight of steps in the north and the south. The hallmarks of this famous mosque are the wide staircases and arched gateways.
The tower is made up of five distinguished storeys, each pronounced by a protruding balcony. Beautiful calligraphy embellishes its adjacent buildings. The first three storeys of the tower are made of red sandstone, the fourth one, while the fifth is again of sandstone.
Jama Masjid Delhi The closet in the North gate of the mosque contains a collection of Muhammad’s relics – the Quran written on deerskin, a red beard-hair of the prophet, his sandals and his footprint, embedded in a marble slab, all of which are still preserved.
The premises of the south minaret are 1076 sq ft wide where the people assemble for the namaaz. The cost for building the mosque was approximately Rupees 10 crores. It was the replica of the Moti Masjid at Red Fort in Agra. It is said that the walls of the mosque were tilted at a certain angle so that at the time of an earthquake, the walls do not collapse in the courtyard but outwards. The Jama Masjid combines the best of he Hindu and Islamic styles of architecture.
The main entrance on the eastern side was probably used by the emperors. It remains close on the weekdays.
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