Jama Masjid Agra

Jama Masjid Agra

Agra was the capital of India at the time of the Moghuls in the 16th & 17th centuries. However Shah Jahan is the Moghul Emperor inevitably connected with Agra.

Jami Masjid is one of the largest mosques in India. Built in 1571 A.D., it is the most scared building in Fatehpur Sikri and has, therefore, been built on the highest point. The mosque has a vast courtyard. Towards the corner on the right side, is the Jammat Khana hall and next to which is Zenana Rauza, the Tomb of the Royal Ladies.

It has tomb of Islam Khan, and Sufi shrine or 'dargah'. The tomb of Sheikh Salim Chisti is worth seeing. Originally it was built in red stone and was later faced in marble by Jahangir. It's lattice screens are the most intricate and beautiful in the world.

Jama Masjid is beautifully decorated with paintings, inlaid stones, carvings and glazed tiles. The building comprises of pillared Dalan, a beautiful 'Chhajja' and the 'Chhatri' on the roof. The main Iwan of the building is rather simple and contains a central arch with geometrical designs.

The monumental gateway, Buland Darwaza is the main entrance to the mosque. The other entrance is Badshahi Darwaza, which is towards east.

The siting of the Jama Masjid marked the actual beginning of the city which came up around it. The palace courts were laid out parallel to the cardinally aligned mosque and the sequential order of the palaces were emphasized by change in level. The most public space was at the lowest level, while the royal harem was at the highest.

There are several historical places to see in the town. The main being the palace complex and the Friday mosque (Jama Masjid). Towering gateway of the mosque is fittingly called the Buland Darwaza. There are the two tombs of the saint, the white marble one erected by Shah-Jahan, and the original red sandstone one of Emperor Akber. There are government information plaques near all the monuments.

Emperor Akbar, the greatest of all the Mughal rulers, had no heir. In a desperate attempt, he beseeched the saint Salim Christi at Sikri. Through divine grace, an heir was born and the emperor, in the grand manner of all true emperors, decided to dedicate a magnificent city in honour of the saint.

The court and the epi-centre of the empire was moved from Delhi / Agra to Fatehpur Sikri. A magnificent palace of deep red sandstone was erected in record time and nearby, a fittingly beautiful mosque was dedicated to the saint. After the death of the saint, the emperor erected a regal tomb for the saint. Soon, he shifted the capital back to Agra / Delhi. Later, Emperor Shah-Jahan erected a delicate white marble tomb for the saint that helped preserve the Mughal dynasty.