As we have told you on several occasions, the coexistence of different religious cults is a great lesson of life that India offers us. In addition to the majority Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and Islam also have their place in the country. And as it shows, its capital, Delhi.
Here, very close to the Red Fort and in the heart of Old Delhi, we find one of the largest mosques in India and one of the most impressive in the region. This is the Jama Masjid, or Friday mosque, in honor of the day of prayer.
Jama Masjid was commissioned in the 17th century by the Mongolian Emperor Shah Jahan after he moved the country’s capital to Delhi. It took more than 6 years and 5,000 workers to complete the work of the imposing Jama Masjid. To this Mongol emperor we owe other works as important as the Taj Majal, so of course India was never the same after his reign…
The impressive Jama Masjid
What will you find in Jama Masjid?
Three entrance doors give access to the large central courtyard. Before crossing them, street vendors, hustle and bustle and mixed odors. Behind the doors, the rhythm slows down, the speed is different, you are in a sacred place.
One of the entrances to the mosque
Before you, the great central courtyard of the mosque. To give you an idea of the size, it is said that on the most important days of the Muslim religious calendar, the courtyard holds about 25,000 faithful in prayer. As a significant element you will find the purification pond in the center of the courtyard.
The central courtyardThe pondFrom another perspective
Its main building, quite austere inside, is crowned by three domes and surrounded by arched corridors where women who cannot enter the temple pray exclusively for men. On both sides of the temple entrance, two 40-meter minarets guard the prayer.
The main buildingDetail of the entrance archPeople prayingInterior of the mosqueViews of the courtyard from inside the mosque
If you want to have a breathtaking view of central Delhi climb one of the minarets of the Jama Masjid, the steep climb of about 100 steps will be rewarded. Although it is true that as the whole mosque is located on a hill, from the courtyard you also have a good position to photograph the city.
Side of the courtyard from which to view the city of Delhi
How to get there?
The mosque is in Old Delhi, so once you’re in the neighborhood, you can’t miss it. If you arrive by subway, get off at the Chawri Bazaar stop. Or you can always get a rickshaw from anywhere nearby.
Practical information about Jama Masjid
Opening hours: every day from 7.00 to 12.00 and from 13.30 to 18.30. Non-Muslims cannot enter the hours of prayer. If you can, avoid Friday, the holy day of prayer.
You must not miss the visit to the Jama Masjid
Admission: Admission is free, although a 300 rupee ticket is sold for entry with a camera (including mobile phone). So, if you are going to take your mobile phone out, we recommend you to pay the entrance fee and avoid discussions inside where they will demand your ticket if they see you taking pictures. If you want to go up in a minaret they will ask for 100 rupees more.
Protocol: You are in a Muslim temple and in addition to the most demanding with the clothing of men and women. You can rent a kind of blanket there to cover yourself, but as we always say, carry several sarongs in your backpack and you will avoid one more expense. Also, you’ll have to go in barefoot and leave your shoes with a shoe care worker who expects a small tip from you…