"Jama Masjid (aka Friday mosque)" New Delhi Things to Do Tip by josephescu
New Delhi Things to Do: 437 reviews and 888 photos
The largest mosque in India is the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan, the Mughal emperor who built the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort. Begun in 1644 and completed in 1656, the highly decorative mosque has 3 great gateways, which can be reached from the east, north and south by three flights of steps, all built of red sandstone. These steps used to house food stalls, shops and street entertainers. In the evening, the eastern side of the mosque used to be converted into a bazaar for poultry and birds in general. Prior to the 1857 War, there was a madrassah near the southern side of the mosque, which was pulled down after the mutiny.
The mosque has 4 angle towers and 2 minarets standing 40m high constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble, and the courtyard is capable to receive 25,000 devotees. The floor of the mosque is covered with white and black marble ornamented to imitate the Muslim prayer mat; a thin black marble border is marked for the worshippers. Under the domes of the mosque, there is a hall with seven arched entrances. Over these arched entrances there are tablets of white marble, inlaid with inscriptions in black marble. These inscriptions give the history of the building of the mosque, and glorify the reign and virtues of Shah Jahan. The slab over the centre arch contains simply the words "The Guide!"
LP says it is possible to climb the southern minaret, with superb views over the Old Delhi. However, we did not manage to do it…..maybe because it was prayer time, when visitors are required to exit the mosque. Travellers can hire robes at the northern gate.
On April 14, 2006 (the first Friday after the cellebration of Prophet Muhammad's birthday), two explosions occurred in the courtyard of Jama Masjid. The explosions did not cause any damage to the mosque, but at least 13 people were injured in the blasts. According to Delhi police, these were "low-intensity blasts" triggered by crude explosives.
Directions: The mosque is located at the beginning of a very busy and popular street/center in Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk.
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