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Jama Masjid in Delhi

Fast facts about Jama Masjid in Delhi

When it was built: 1656 AD
By whom it was built: Mughal Emperor Shahajahan
Nature of the building: Mosque

History of Jama Masjid in Delhi

The largest mosque in India, Jama Masjid in Delhi, was built by Mughal Emperor, Shahjahan in 1656 AD. History says that 5,000 craftsmen had built Masjid-i-Jahan Numa, or Jama Masjid on the hill, Bho Jhala in Shahjahanabad. Even 25,000 worshippers can perform their prayers here in the courtyard. This mosque in Old Delhi, displaying both Hindu and Islamic styles of architecture, was built to replicate Moti Masjid at Red Fort in Agra. Legend also says that the walls of the mosque were tilted at a certain angle so that if an earthquake occurs the walls would collapse outward.

Features of Jama Masjid in Delhi

  -   There are three gateways, four towers and two minarets in Jama Masjid in Delhi in which vertical strips of red sandstone and white and black marble were used alternatively. The mosque was built on a high podium so that its frontage is detectable from all the neighboring areas. Even the mosque's back is cased over to the height of the rock on which the mosque stands, with stones

  -   There is a prayer hall on the west, which is bedecked by a series of arches that stand on 260 pillars. Tablets of white marble, which are four feet long and 2.5 feet wide, are engraved with inscriptions in black marble that accounts for the history of the building and the reign of Shah Jahan. The pillars, on the other hand, prop up 15 domes at various heights.

  -   The tower of the mosque was made up of five storeys, each with a balcony jutting out of it. While the first three storeys were made of red sandstone, the rest were built out of sandstone.

  -   Three domes were built by using white marble with bands of black extensively. There is a hall with seven arched entrances under the domes. Two lofty minarets with 130 steps, longitudinally striped with white marble and red sandstone, stand on either side of the domes. Divided by three projecting galleries, the minarets are propped on twelve-sided domed pavilions.

  -   The south minaret, which is 1076 square feet wide, so that people could assemble there to pray. Since the main entrance on the eastern side was used by the emperors and thus remains closed on weekdays, you can have a glimpse of Old Delhi, the Red Fort and the New Delhi from this minaret for a fee of Rs 5.

  -   Three flights of steps built of red sandstone in the east, north and south, will lead you to the courtyard of the mosque. While the northern gate of the mosque has 39 steps and the southern gate has 33 steps, the eastern gate has 35 steps because it was a royal entrance.

  -   The west-facing mosque is covered with open arched colonnades each with a tower-like gateway in the centre.

Don't Miss in Jama Masjid in Delhi

  -   A collection of Muhammad's relics like the Quran written on deerskin, a red beard-hair of the prophet, his sandals and his footprint engraved on a marble slab are preserved in a closet in the North gate.

Trivia on Jama Masjid in Delhi

Well, Jama Masjib in Delhi is an architectural extravaganza but two explosions that rocked the mosque on April 14, 2006, compelled themselves into the history of the mosque. One explosion at 5.26 pm and another at 5.33 pm injured thirteen worshippers, who like thousands others came to pray on that Friday.

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