Jama Masjid, Delhi

While we were spending a few days in Delhi, I thought it would be a good idea to visit some of the historical sites like the Jama Masjid or Jama Mosque. Built between 1650 and 1656 by Emperor Shah Jahan from pink Rajasthani sandstone and white marble, it is an impressive sight. While we are not entirely sure what Shah Jahan’s plan was when visiting the mosque, some historians believe that he intended to send a message of world unity. Its original name was Masjid-i-Jahan-Numa which can be translated into “The Mosque that Reflects the World.”

Jama Masjid. De;hi

It took 5000 workers six years to build the mosque by hand and it is still standing strong. It is still one of, if not the largest mosque in India.

Two minarets, each at 40m high sit  and a staircase of 130 steps sit at each side of the domes. The southern one is sometimes open to the public  

Walking through the mosque, listening to the story told by the guide, as he pointed out the area where the Imam would stand and how things were in the late 1600s, I could almost imagine how life was for the people in Shah Jahan’s family and entourage.

Inside Jama Masjid, Delhi

I particularly enjoyed seeing how aspects of classic Jain and Hindu architecture were incorporated into the Islamic design of the mosque. This may be because Shah Jahan’s mother was a Rajput princess but in a way, it makes a visit to the mosque a multicultural experience.

Ceiling at Jama Masjid

An example of how Hindu architecture has been incorporated into the design can be seen in the lotus design on the ceiling. It was a magnificent sight!

Jama Masjid, Delhi 

The main prayer hall has some splendidly high arches and marble domes. It is hard to imagine that with their limited equipment they were able to build a mosque of this scale and grandeur. Can you believe that this mosque can accommodate 25,000 people at prayer?

I had a weakness for how smooth the sandstone was and kept running my fingers over the walls. I think I could have stayed there all day admiring the architechture and the beauty of the Koranic verses on the edifices.

Jama Masjid, Delhi

One part of the mosque I particularly admired was the incorporation of the Hindu seven metals concept into the mosque. I saw the same metal combination used in Dharamshala for singing bowls and other items. 

 Seven metal door at Jama Masjid, Delhi

Our next place to visit in Delhi was the famous Red Fort. More about that in my next post! Thank you for reading. 

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