Tuesday, May 31, 2011

India - Jama Masjid, Delhi

The Jama Masjid in Old Delhi is the largest mosque in India.

Sent by Mansoor, a postcrosser from Mangalore, India.

This is from Wikipedia : The Masjid-i Jahān-Numā (Persian: مسجد جھان نما, Devanagari: मस्जिद झान नुमा, the 'World-reflecting Mosque'), commonly known as the Jama Masjid (Hindi: जामा मस्जिद, Urdu: جامع مسجد) of Delhi, is the principal mosque of Old Delhi in India. Commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal, and completed in the year 1628 AD, it is the largest and best-known mosque in India. It lies at the origin of a very busy central street of Old Delhi, the Chawri Bazar Road.

The later name, Jama Masjid, is a reference to the weekly Friday noon congregation prayers of Muslims, Jummah, which are usually done at a mosque, the "congregational mosque" or "jāmi' masjid". The courtyard of the mosque can hold up to twenty-five thousand worshippers. The mosque also houses several relics in a closet in the north gate, including an antique copy of the Qur'an written on deer skin.

The foundation of the historic Jama Masjid aka(Friday Mosque) was laid on a hillock in Shahjahanabad by fifth Mughal Emperor of India, Shahjahan, on Friday, October 6, 1650 AD, (10th Shawwal 1060 AH). The mosque was the result of the efforts of over 5,000 workers, over a period of six years. The cost incurred on the construction in those times was 10 lakh (1 million) Rupees, and it was the same Emperor who also built the Taj Mahal, at Agra and the Red Fort, which stands opposite the Jama Masjid, which was finally ready in 1656 AD (1066 AH), complete with three great gates, four towers and two 40 m-high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble.

Shah Jahan built several important mosques in Delhi, Agra, Ajmer and Lahore. The Jama Masjid's floorplan is very similar to the Jama Masjid, Fatehpur Sikri near Agra, but the Jama Masjid in Delhi is the bigger and more imposing of the two. Its majesty is further enhanced because of the high ground that he selected for building this mosque. The architecture and design of the slightly larger Badshahi Mosque of Lahore built by Shah Jahan's son Aurangzeb in 1673 is closely related to the Jama Masjid in Delhi.

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