Jama Masjid (Delhi)
The Jama Masjid in Delhi was built by Mughal Emperor Shahjahan. It is the largest mosque in India.
Its foundation was laid on October 4, 1650 A.D.
The main architect was Ustad Khalil. Five thousand workmen were daily employed on it. It was completed in six years.
There are three gateways to the Jama Masjid mosque, approached by broad flights of steps on the south, east and north sides.The finest entrance is that on the east side.
This gateway of red sandstone, the highest and largest of all, was formerly reserved for the use of the Mughal emperors only.
The gateway, shaped like an irregular octagon, is an imposing three-storied tower.
On the west side of the courts is the mosque proper. It is surmounted by three while marble cupolas, with spires of gilded copper.
The central dome is the largest and highest. On the north and south sides there are two elegant tapering minarets. These minarets are 39.6 meters high and are composed of alternate stripes of white marble and red sandstone placed vertically. Each minaret has three projected galleries and 130 steps, and is surmounted by an open octagonal pavilion with a gilt-spiked dome of white marble.
The Jama Masjid resembles in plan the Moti Masjid of Agra but is much larger in size and has two noble minarets, which the latter lacks.
The chief feature of this building is its symmetry and harmony. Its principal portal, though inferior to that at Fatehpur Sikri, is quite elegant. The mosque is indeed one of the best example of Mughal architecture.