Mosques in India
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Jama Masjid

The Masjid-i Jahan-Numa, commonly known as the Jama Masjid of Delhi, is one of the largest mosques in India. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan between 1644 and 1656 at a cost of 1 million rupees, and was inaugurated by an imam from Bukhara, present-day Uzbekistan. The mosque was completed in 1656 AD with three great gates, four towers and two 40 m high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble. The courtyard can accommodate more than 25,000 persons. There are three domes on the terrace which are surrounded by the two minarets. On the floor, a total of 899 black borders are marked for worshippers. The architectural plan of Badshahi Masjid, built by Shah Jahan's son Aurangzeb at Lahore, Pakistan, is similar to the Jama Masjid. The mosque has been the site of two attacks, one in 2006 and another in 2010. During the first, two explosions occurred in the mosque, injuring thirteen people. In the second, two Taiwanese students were injured as two gunmen opened fire upon them. Mughal emperor Shah Jahan built the Jama Masjid between 1644 and 1656. It was constructed by more than 5000 workers. It was originally called Masjid-i-Jahan-Numa, meaning 'mosque commanding view of the world'. The construction was done under the supervision of Saadullah Khan, wazir (or prime minister) during Shah Jahan's rule. The cost of the construction at the time was one million Rupees. Shah Jahan also built the Taj Mahal, at Agra and the Red Fort in New Delhi, which stands opposite the Jama Masjid. The Jama Masjid was completed in 1656 AD (1066 AH). The mosque was inaugurated by a Imam Bukhari, a mullah from Bukhara, Uzebekistan, on 23 July 1656, on the invitation from Shah Jahan. About 25,000 people can pray in the courtyard at a time and it is sometimes regarded as India's largest mosque. The mosque is commonly called "Jama" which means Friday. After the British victory in Revolt of 1857, they confiscated the mosque and stationed their soldiers here.They also wanted to destroy the mosque to punish the people of the city. But due to opposition faced, the demolition was not done. The mosque has three great gates, four towers and two 40 m high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble. The northern gate has 39 steps and the southern side has 33 steps. The eastern gate was the rural entrance and it has 35 steps. Out of all these gateways, the eastern one, which was used by the emperors, remains closed during weekdays. The mosque is built on a red sandstone porch, which is about 30 feet (9.1 m) from ground level and spreads over 1200 square metre. The dome is flanked by two lofty minarets which are 130 feet (40 m) high and consists of 130 steps, longitudinally striped by marble and red sandstone. The minarets consists of five storeys, each with a protruding balcony. The adjoining edifices are filled with calligraphy. The first three storeys of the minarets is made of red sandstone, the fourth of marble and the fifth of sandstone. The courtyard can accommodate 25,000 worshippers and occupies 408 square feet. The mosque is about 261 feet (80 m) long and 90 feet (27 m) wide. The prayer hall measures 61 metre in length and 27.5 metre in breadth. It is made up of high cusped arches and marble domes. The cabinet located in the north gate has a collection of relics of Muhammad – the Quran written on deerskin, a red beard-hair of the prophet, his sandals and his footprints implanted in a marble block. The floor plan of the mosque is similar to that of the Jama Masjid of Agra. It is covered with white and black ornamented marble to look like a Muslim prayer mat. Beside it, a thin black border measuring 3 feet (0.91 m) long and 1.5 feet (0.46 m) wide is marked for the worshippers. There are 899 total such boxes. The architecture and plan of Badshahi Masjid which was built by Shah Jahan's son Aurangzeb in Lahore is closely related to that of the mosque. Before the Revolt of 1857, there was a madrasa near the southern end of the mosque, which was during the revolt destroyed.


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