Your trip to India's capital city New Delhi will be so exciting and enriching that you would want to visit it again. That's how versatile Delhi is - in terms of rich cultural heritage and monuments that remind one of the bygone eras. Here, amidst the cacophony of Old Delhi, you will find a place that will offer you soothing tranquility and inner peace. That place is none other than the Jama Masjid, capital's largest mosque, located in old Delhi, a few km away from central Connaught Place.
Jama Masjid is the last architectural marvel commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. The emperor loved grand spectacles of architecture and also commissioned the construction of the Taj Mahal in Agra. The beautifully crafted mosque in marble and red sandstone was built during 1644-1658 and stands tall witnessing several changes and upheavals. The mosque stands in the vicinity of another gorgeous structure Red Fort, also built by Shah Jahan.
After 1857 Revolt, the Britishers had seized the mosque, hoping to destroy it completely. But due to widespread public outcry, the monument was spared and with no damage happened to the monument. Today, the mosque is under the control of Delhi Waqf Board and visited every day by thousands of visitors - locals and foreigners, who continue to admire its pristine and blissful beauty.
Jama Masjid is considered to be one of the finest examples of Mughal architecture in India. Indo-Islamic style adorns the monument, which is 261 feet tall and 91 feet wide. There are four watchtowers around the mosque, which were used for security in earlier times. Also, there are two minarets, which are 40 meters tall; one of them can be climbed to enjoy amazing views of the city. From the top, you can see how the Jama Masjid, Connaught Place and the Parliament House are in a straight line.
The huge courtyard of the mosque can easily house around 25,000 worshipers during prayer times. The floor is designed with black and white marble - 899 spaces specifically reserved for worshipers. Stunning arches and motifs form the interiors of the mosque while the central hall archway has words 'The Guide' written on it. People come here seeking some guidance during troubled times or some speck of respite, whatever they could find.
Old Delhi is a conservative area and precisely talking about the Jama Masjid, one must dress appropriately here. It is advisable if you can buy a stole or scarf around to cover your head while going inside. Here, women are also encouraged to come with their entire bodies covered in a comfortable outfit. While entering the mosque, you might be asked to put on a colourful robe that covers the entire body.
During Islamic festivals of Eid and Fridays, you will find a huge congregation of worshipers and other visitors here, so expect huge crowds around. If you want to indulge in photography, you can choose an appropriate or a non-crowded time for your clicks.
The entry is free, however, if you are carrying a camera along, you would have to pay Rs 300, even if you do not intend to take photographs. You can also buy a separate Rs 100 ticket if you intend to climb southern minaret.
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