Jama Masjid is the biggest mosque in India. Situated in Old Delhi, the mosque has large capacity to accommodate about 25000 devotees. The construction of Jama Masjid was finished in 1656 AD and again it was the great Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan behind this architectural masterpiece. Almost 5000 craftsmen were involved in the construction of the mosque. It is located in Old Delhi, just opposite to the legendary Lal Quila or the Red Fort.
Jama Masjid is also called the Friday congregational mosque because Muslims gather together in great numbers to offer Namaz (prayer) on Fridays, called as the yaum al-jum`a. Masjid-i-Jahan Numa usually called as Jama Masjid, signifying the mosque commanding a sight of the world. The mosque is a true example of excellent architecture that existed during the Mughal period. It exhibits a unique blend of both Hindu and Mughal style of architecture.
Jama Masjid has three gates, two minarets – 40 meters in height and four towers. These minarets are prepared of red sand stone and white marbles bearing stripes of black color. Tourists visiting the mosque have the alternative of wearing the traditional ceremonial clothes available at the northern gate. During those times, Jama Masjid used to be the chief mosque of Shah jahan. The mosque is erected on the hill of Bho Jhala, in the old Mughal capital called Shahjahanabad. Prayer hall on the west of the mosque is decorated with high cusped arches and marble domes.
The mosque constitutes several leftovers of the Muslim Religion like a replica of the Quran written on a deer skin, a red beard-hair of the prophet, sandals of the prophet and his footprint. It is believed that the cost of Rs.10 lakhs was spent on the construction of the mosque.
Shah Jahan has scores of mosques to his names that including the famous Moti Masjid at Agra and other mosques in Ajmer and Lahore (in Pakistan). One of the specialties of Jama Masjid is its high ground construction that makes its appearance even more attractive. Broad as well as tall steps guide to the main gateways.
The eastern gateway was used by the emperors during the Mughal Rule. It is closed on weekdays. One can enjoy the view of Old Delhi, Red Fort and even some parts of New Delhi from the Southern Minaret. A nominal fee of Rs. 5 is charged for sight seeing from this particular spot.
Additional Information about Jama Masjid
Old Delhi, near Read Fort
Daily from dawn to dusk. Is closed while the prayer is being conducted. (Entry closed for women after 6 pm).
Entry is free however tourists will have to pay Rs. 100 if they carry a camera along with themselves.
Best time to visit:
Between October and March. However, there is no specified or advised time because it is a religious place and one can visit it at any time throughout the year.
Leave your shoes at the entrance. The person taking care of your shoes will charge you Rs. 10 for this service.
Be neat and clean while you visit the mosque.
You can easily reach the mosque via important land mark like ISBT, Connaught Place and ITO.
One can also reach Jama Masjid by Delhi Metro Rail Service. The nearest Metro station is Chawri Bazaar
Guides and local tours operators in the city would guide you to Jama Masjid.