Slideshow | The Jama Masjid completes 362 years of magnificence
- The Masjid-i Jahān-Numā, later known as Jama Masjid, was commissioned for weekly Friday noon congregation prayers. The name is derived from “jāmi’ masjid” or “congregational mosque”. Photo Essay by Pooja Chaturvedi/Mint
- Jama Masjid is one of the last architectural works commissioned by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Construction began in 1650 and was completed in 1656.
- Shah Jahan laid the mosque’s foundation stone on Friday, 6 October, 1650 AD, corresponding to the 10th of Shawwal 1060 AH. Shawwāl is the tenth month of the lunar Islamic calendar.
- Pigeons inside the mosque. The sport of pigeon flying still thrives in Old Delhi. A market to trade pigeons is set up near the Jama Masjid every Friday.
- The mosque has three gateways, north, south and east. A flight of steps leads to each of them.
- During the Mughal era, these steps used to house food stalls, shops and street entertainers. In the morning, the eastern side of the mosque was converted into a bazaar for poultry and birds.
- The market tradition still continues. The nearby Meena Bazaar has wares ranging from crockery to cameras on offer.
- Sparrows, a rare site in Delhi these days, live in sheltered alcoves along walls of the Jama Masjid.
- The largest mosque in India, the Jama Masjid faced two terror attacks on 6 April 2006. Fortunately, there was no damage to the structure.