Traveling in India will definitely give you insight regarding faith and religion. How can it not? There are different kinds of belief in India, and this diversity is shown relentlessly, mainly in its architecture. One of them is the famous Jama Masjid, or “Friday Mosque” located in Old Delhi. The mosque is known for its beautiful architecture and is definitely one of the highlights in the city.
History of Jama Masjid
Jama Masjid was built during the times of the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, and is known to be his last architectural work. The mosque was originally known as Masjid-i-Jahan-Numa, which translates into “the mosque commanding the view of the world”. Its construction took place from 1644 up until 1658 and required the efforts of more than 5,000 workers. This particular mosque is greatly known as the largest mosque in India, whose courtyard can hold more than 25,000 people.
Beautiful gem in the middle of Old Delhi
Jama Masjid is quite the architectural gem in Old Delhi. The mosque was built in red sandstone and marble, which makes a beautiful contrast with the clear sky. Adding to the uniqueness of the site, the mosque was actually built on top of a ridge that is about 30 meters (98 feet) high. There are three main gateways to enter the mosque, four towers, and two minarets.
When taking a look into Jama Masjid, you will immediately see the intricate designs and carvings on the walls and ceilings. Some of the designs are even actual verses taken from the holy Koran (Quran / Qur’an). The architecture also involves arches and domes, each with beautiful details. At the north gate of the mosque is a cabinet with a few relics of the Prophet Muhammad, including his footprints on a marble block, the Koran written on deerskin, sandals, and a few other items.
Getting to Jama Masjid
To get to the Jama Masjid, one can take the metro to Chawri Bazaar. From the metro station, you can take a rickshaw to the mosque, or simply walk there if you want a better glimpse of the surrounding areas. The walk will take about 15 to 20 minutes. When traveling in the area remember to be alert, and it is best to go during the day, especially for female solo travelers.
Notes to self
Since the Jama Masjid is a religious site, there are rules and norms that should be followed. When entering the Jama Masjid, travelers must take off any outer footwear (socks are allowed) and put them aside on the stairs before the entrance. A ticket is not required to enter the mosque, but there is a ticket for cameras, which will cost 300 INR per camera (approximately 4 USD). The opening hours for Jama Masjid are from 8 am until dusk every day, although tourists are not allowed inside during prayer times.
For female travelers, note that it will be required to cover up and there are robes that will be given for you to wear. Also, do not forget to stay safe and try to bring a companion when traveling through the streets of Old Delhi.
Plan your visit to Jama Masjid
Religious sites are a must visit when traveling in India, and Jama Masjid is one of those sites that should be visited. It is a beautiful prayer site in Old Delhi that can give any traveler an insight into the architectural style during the Mughal Dynasty. So, what are you waiting for? Be sure to visit this architectural gem hidden in the bustling streets of Old Delhi!
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