Jama Masjid Mosque

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The Jamid Masjid Mosque is the main mosque in Delhi and can hold up to 25,000 worshippers. It was built 1644-58 and needed 5000 workmen. It was commissioned by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan,who was responsible for the building of the Taj Mahal. There are three great gateways, four angle towers and two tall minarets.

The eastern gateway was the largest and originally only used by the emperor and royal family who gathered in private gallery above. Now it is open on Fridays or Muslim festival days. At other times, entry is through the north or south gates.

There is a broad flight of steps leading up to the gateway where we left our shoes. I was given an unflattering bright orange nylon overall to wear. After problems with inappropriately dressed westerners, all females are now require to wear this.

We went through the impressive doorway into a huge courtyard surrounded by a big wall with towers at the corners. In the centre is the ceremonial washing tank. The mosque can hold 25,000 worshippers. There is a raised platform in the courtyard which was used by the Dikka, second prayer leader who stood on the platform and copied the postures and chants of the iman inside mosque, relaying them to the large congregation outside. He is now replaced by loud speaker system.

In one corner is a small shrine with relics of the Prophet Mohamed with a line of faithful pilgrims waiting to see them.

The mosque area itself is quite small with a large central arch flanked by smaller arches and was made of red sandstone inlaid with marble and areas of white marble inlaid with black rock and inscriptions from the Koran. It is topped by three round domes and has two tall slender minarets. It is a stunning building.

Information about Jama Masjid Mosque: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jama_Masjid,_Delhi

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