The grand monument of old Delhi is the Jama Masjid or the Friday Mosque. This is the largest mosque in India. The sprawling esplanade which separates it from the arterial is a fascinating leisure ground.
Work on the Jama Masjid mosque was begun in 1650 A.D. by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to compliment his palace at the Red Fort. More than 5,000 workers toiled for six years to complete this largest mosque in India. Every Friday, the emperor and his retinue would travel in state from the fort to the mosque to attend congressional prayers.
A fine example of Mughal architecture, the Jama Masjid has three gateways . The largest and the highest on the east was reserved exclusively for the emperor. The main courtyard of the mosque is 408 square feet and paved with red stone. In the centre is a large marble tank in which the devout wash before attending prayers. The main mosque is crowned by three onion shaped domes made of white marble and inlaid with strips of black slate. On the north and south of the complex are two 130 feet high minarets which offer spectacular bird's eye-view of the city.
It has a flight of stairs which lead to crowded bazaars. It is the most popular mosque where Muslims offer prayers every Friday and also on special religious days. The eastern front, with the ceremonial entrance gateway, is surrounded by shops.
Tourists are allowed to ascend the southern minaret from where the skyline of the city is visible. Women are not allowed to go up the minaret without a male escort, and during the time of prayer the minaret is closed. The three-domed mosque is similar to several other mosques in the city.
Jama Masjid is not only architecturally beautiful, but also a place of great religious significance as it houses a hair from the beard of Prophet and also a chapter of Holy Quran written by him.
An overwhelming sight of history and religion , Jama Masjid refreshes the marvelous past. That is how it looks through the eyes of the Imam, for whom it embodies a turbulent historical epoch. But if you approach the mosque you discover a whole way of life, a microcosm of quintessential India in its shadow, on its steps, in the narrow streets criss-crossing, Meena Bazaar and its famous Urdu Bazaar.
Located:- Opposite the Red Fort,Delhi.