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Jama Masjid

 
Place of Interest in Delhi
Qutub Minar
Red Fort
Purana Quila
Jantar Mantar
Humayun's Tomb
India Gate
Jama Masjid
Safdarjung's Tomb
Rashtrapati Bhawan
Rajghat
Lakshmi Narayan Mandir
Lotus Temple
Jama-Masjid-delhi

 

 

The Masjid-i Jahan-Namaa, commonly known as the Jama Masjid of Delhi, is the principal mosque of Old Delhi in India and the largest mosque in Asia. Commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal, and completed in the year 1656 AD, it is one of the largest and best-known mosques in India. It is also at the beginning of a very busy and popular street/center in Old Delhi, Chandni Chowk. The later name, Jaama Masjid is a reference to the weekly Friday noon congregation prayers required from the Muslims to do in congregation, usually at a mosque, which then takes up the popular name of "congregational mosque" or jaama masjid. The courtyard of the mosque can hold up to twenty-five thousand worshippers. The mosque also houses several relics in a closet in the north gate, including a copy of the Qur'an written on deer skin.

The courtyard of the mosque can be reached from the east, north and south by three flights of steps, all built of red sandstone. The northern gate of the mosque has 39 steps. The southern side of the mosque has 33 steps. The eastern gate of the mosque was the royal entrance and it has 35 steps. 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 of Indian Independence, there was a madrassah near the southern side of the mosque, which was pulled down after the mutiny.

The mosque faces west. Its three sides are covered with open arched colonnades, each having a lofty tower-like gateway in the centre. The mosque is about 261 feet (80 m) long and 90 feet (27 m) wide, and its roof is covered with three domes with alternate stripes of black and white marble, with its topmost parts covered with gold. Two lofty minarets, 130 feet (41 m) high, and containing 130 steps, longitudinally striped with white marble and red sandstone, flank the domes on either side. The minarets are divided by three projecting galleries and are surmounted by open twelve-sided domed pavilions. On the back of the mosque, there are four small minarets crowned like those in the front.

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