JAMA MASJID

Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque managers to combine Mughal splendor with a light-footed grace, served to the visitor in a generous breezy compound in which Muslims of Many ethnicities and  nationalities find space with tourists and photographer . The mosque’s most famous images show its all minarets, three black-and-white marble domes and imposing arched entrance acting as a background to a sea of worshippers during the festival of id.

The Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built the mosque, his last important architecture offering, 1656; it tooks six years and a million rupees to build. Its architect was one Ustad Khalil. Perched on a rocky outcrop, it was thus called Masjid-e-Jahanuma (Mosque with a view of the world) and why you have to climb a lovely flight of Red sand stones steps to reach it. These steps were once the site for the colorful public life of ‘Dilli’ with jugglers, magicians and storytellers providing the evening’s entertainment  (of late, well-known Delhi artistes like Mahmood Farooqi who have revived the old art of storytelling – Dastangoi – have performed here on occasion). It is believed that a relic of Prophet Muhammad, a hair from his beard, is kept in the Masjid.

Climbing 170-odd-ft to the top of the southern minaret will leave you breathless in more ways than one. On clear says you can see far, and one of the best views is of the Masjid itself; a great photo-opportunity. The stairs are ventilated and well lit; women are not allowed without a male escort.

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