Location: Near Red Fort, Chandni Chowk, Delhi
The Mughal architecture reached it zenith under the supremacy of Shah Jahan, the fifth Mughal Emperor. This was the period when a number of exquisite works of Islamic architecture were produced. Shah Jahan created Shajahanabad (Old Delhi as it is now known as) with a dream to make the world’s best city in India. This Imperial Capital of the Mughals was embellished with the richness of the Mughal lifestyle and big markets, forts, gardens, buildings and palaces were constructed. One of the last architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan was Jama Masjid in Delhi, so far the largest Mosque in India.
Built on a hillock in the walled city of Old Delhi, construction of the Jama Masjid was completed in the year 1658. Top experts in the field of construction were assigned the task of building this magnificent mosque which was initially named as Masjid Jahan Numa meaning “The World Reflecting Mosque”. Jama Masjid comprises of red sandstone and white marble that were put together in vertical strips by around 6,000 workers. It extends about 1,200 square meters in area with three gateways, four towers and two minarets which stand 40 meters in height. The mosque’s courtyard, which is the main prayer hall, can accommodate around 25,000 congregants.
The main entrance to the mosque is on the eastern side opposite to the Red Fort as it was earlier used by the emperors too. The mosque is finely decorated with intricate designs and verses from the Holy book of Quran. The floor of the mosque is ornamented with black and white marble with a border to imitate the Muslim prayer mat. The Holy book is kept inside the cabinet at the north gate of the Jama Masjid along with the prophet’s beard-hair, sandals and his footprints implanted in a marble block.
The meticulous design and beauty of the Jama Masjid is a fine example of the awe-inspiring works of the Mughal architecture. The mosque holds supreme importance for the Muslims in India. Thousands of Muslims are seen praying at the mosque during the month of Ramazan. The place looks gorgeously serene and impressive in the early hours. Visit Jama Masjid along with a combined trip to the Red Fort and Chandni Chowk market for a fruitful experience.
Timings: 7 am to 12 pm and 1.30 pm-6.30 pm
Open on all days but closed for the tourists during the prayer time
Photography: Rs. 200
- The best time to visit the mosque is in the early hours for a peaceful visit without much crowd.
- Women must dress up conservatively.
- Better to go inside without cameras or phones to avoid a heavy charge.
- Carry a bag to keep your shoes to save yourself from the hassle of paying at the shoe counter or getting them stolen.
- Beware of the touts who tend to harass you to charge unnecessary fees.
- A separate fees is charged for climbing up the minaret which provides a breath-taking view.