Mughals have bequeathed India a huge legacy of art and architecture. There
are such huge edifices that inspire awe in the visitors as they indulge in
reminiscence. One such splendid structure is the Jama Masjid of Old Delhi.
Previously known as the Masjid-e-Jahan Numan (meaning 'the mosque affording
a view of the world'), the mosque was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.
The confines of this grand mosque can accommodate as many as 25,000
worshippers at a time.
The Jama Masjid has the distinction of being the largest in the country. It
was constructed by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan back in 1656 AD. When the
emperor envisaged the construction, he attempted to find a befitting place
from where the mosque could afford breathtaking views of the whole city of
Shahjahanabad and beyond. Thus he chose the site on a hill Bho
Jahala. Around 5,000 craftsmen were called in to work. Perhaps the emperor
himself had got inspired by the structure of the Moti Masjid at Red Fort in
One can gain access to the mosque from three sides east, north and
south. A flight of steps, made up of red sandstone, lead you inside the
mosque premises. Of all these entrances, the northern gate has the most
number of steps (thirty-nine). The overall structure of the mosque measures
261 feet by 90 feet and is flanked by three onion-like domes, with alternate
stripes of black and white marble. Each of these domes further has two lofty
minarets on either side.
Entering the mosque, you come across with a hall which is topped with the
aforementioned domes. This hall has been provided with seven arched entraces
that face west. The walls of the mosque are waist-high and are covered with
marble. As you advance you get to the prayer hall, measuring 61 metres by
27.5 metres. You will also observe inscriptions on the marbles here,
testifying the history of the imposing mosque.
The mosque itself stands on a five-feet-high platform, above the terrace
pavement. The black-and-white marble floor of the mosque resembles the
prayer mat of Muslims. To help the worshippers align with one another, the
floor has thin black marble border measuring three feet by one and a half
your trip to Delhi, you have numberless attractions on your visit-list. And
if you are a true history and a real traveller you cannot simply ignore even
a single sight. Just a few metres from the Jama Masjid lies the doughty
edifice of the Red Fort. Next, you have the opportunity to take a stroll
along the narrow street of the Chandni Chowk, where you can purchase some
interesting souvenirs to take back home. Besides, there are such famous
sights as the Humayun's Tomb, Bahai Temple, Jantar Mantar, India Gate,
ISKCON Temple etc.
The Jama Masjid occupies a position at the western end of Chandni Chowk, a
famous street and marketplace of Old Delhi. Once here, you can take a bus, a
taxi or an auto-rickshaw to reach the mosque from any part within the city.
The city has well-established air, rail and road routes. The Indira Gandhi
International Airport has regular flights from all the key destinations of
the country and the world.