Business Sphere - - JAMA MASJID, NEW DELHI - By Our Correspondent

Tow­er­ing over Old Delhi, the mag­nif­i­cent façade of Jama Masjid stands as the re­minder of Mughal ar­chi­tec­ture. Com­mis­sioned by the Mughal Em­peror Shah Ja­han, the Masjid-i Jah?n-Num? (mean­ing Mosque com­mand­ing view of the world) was his fi­nal ar­chi­tec­tural opus. On the other hand, the pop­u­lar name, Jama Masjid is de­rived from the word 'Jummah', re­fer­ring to the con­gre­ga­tional prayer ob­served by Mus­lims on Fri­days. Built from red sand­stone and white mar­ble, the ed­i­fice dom­i­nates the sky­line of the busy Chawri Bazar in cen­tral Delhi and is con­sid­ered the largest mosque in In­dia. Each year, on Eid, thou­sands of rev­er­ent Mus­lims throng the mosque to of­fer spe­cial Eid Na­maz in the morn­ing. The mosque is jointly main­tained by the Delhi Wakf Board and the Jama Masjid com­mit­tee un­der the di­rec­tives from the Shahi Imam.

His­tory of Jama Masjid

Fol­low­ing the death of his wife, Mughal em­peror Shah Ja­han de­cided to shift his cap­i­tal from Agra to Delhi and founded the walled city of Sha­ha­ja­han­abad. It re­mained the cap­i­tal of the Mughals suc­ceed­ing him and evolved to what we now know as Old Delhi. The Jama Masjid was com­mis­sioned to be the cen­tral mosque of the new city. Built by more than 5000 ar­ti­sans un­der the

foot­marks, san­dals, and a red beard-hair of the Holy Prophet Mo­ham­mad.

De­sign & Ar­chi­tec­ture

The aus­tere grandeur of this struc­ture is sure to im­press at the first glimpse. The mosque is built on su­per­vi­sion of Wazir Saadul­lah Khan, the mosque de­signed by ar­chi­tect Us­tad Khalil, took 6 years to be com­pleted. The mosque was in­au­gu­rated by Sayed Ab­dul Ghafoor Shah BukhariI, a mul­lah from Bukhara (now Uzbek­istan), on 23 July 1656, on the in­vi­ta­tion from Shah Ja­han, whom he be­queathed the ti­tle Shahi Imam and ap­pointed to the high of­fice of Ima­mat-e-Uzma. The cost to build the mosque came to a whop­ping 1 mil­lion ru­pees at the time.The mosque houses sev­eral relics of Is­lamic re­li­gious sig­nif­i­cance like an age old tran­script of the Qu­ran printed on deer skin, the an ex­pan­sive el­e­vated stone plat­form that is ac­ces­si­ble through flights of stairs from three sides, east (35 steps), north (39 steps) and south (33 steps). The eastern gate is the largest and served as the Royal en­trance, re­mains closed on week­days. The mosque faces west to­wards the Holy city of Mecca. Three sides of the mosque are cov­ered by open arched colon­nades, fea­tur­ing a lofty tower-like arch­way in the cen­ter. The roof of the mosque is capped with three mar­ble domes with al­ter­nat­ing strip­ing in black and white mar­ble.

Im­age Credit: his­tor­i­cal­time­ofindia.blogspot.com

Im­age Credit: YouTube

Im­age Credit: ibtimes.co.uk

Im­age Credit: thou­sand­won­ders.net

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