The Great mosque
The Great Mosque of Delhi
The Jama Masjid is the most perfect mosque in India. We saw it in the pouring rain having first climbed the very steep staircase to enter through the side door as it is situated on one of the major hills in Delhi.
The full frontal view
The Jama Masjid was built by Shah Jehan, the greatest of all the Mogul emperors, whose reign from 1628 to 1658 more or less corresponding with the Civil War and the Commonwealth in England. His greatest achievement was the Taj Mahal in nearby Agra, built between 1632 and about 1653, but two years after the Taj Mahal he built the Jama Masjid between 1650 And 1656 in about half a dozen years, employing 6000 workers: did he move some of his workforce from Agra to Delhi after the completion of the Taj Mahal in order to build the Jama Masjid?
Here we see the portico which runs the width of the mosque, with the prayer mats laid out. The main hall to the left is not open to visitors.
The Jama Masjid is the largest mosque in India, but not the largest mosque in the Indian subcontinent for it was exceeded 50 years later by the building of the Badshahi mosque in Lahore, which was built by Aurangzeb, Shah Jenan’s son and successor. The Badshahi mosque is indeed considerably larger as it holds 95,000 worshippers in its courtyard and 5000 in the prayer hall as against a total of 25,000 in the Jama Masjid. Nevertheless, the Jama Masjid is the more elegant monument.
Thank goodness we brought our umbrellas with us!
(Note the white slippers – our shoes had been abandoned!)
On to the Red Fort