Jama Masjid or the Jami Masjid was built by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan, between 1644 and 1658 and is the final architectural piece built by him. Situated in the ancient town of Old Delhi, this pride of the Mughals was built by five thousand artisans. The mosque stands on Bho Jhala, which is one of the old Mughal capital cities of Shahjahanbad. Originally called the Masjid-i-Jahanuma, or "mosque commanding view of the world", this magnificent structure is the largest and most exquisite mosque in India and is made up of alternate vertical strips of red sandstone and white marble.
The tower is made up of five distinct storeys, each marked by a projecting balcony. Beautiful calligraphy adorns its adjacent edifices. The first three storeys of the tower are made of red sandstone, the fourth is made of marble, while the fifth is made of sandstone again. The Qutb Minar is covered with intricate carvings and deeply inscribed verses from the Koran.
On the east, this monument faces the Lal Quila (Red Fort) and has three gateways, four towers and two minarets. The gateways in the north and south are led by a fleet of steps. The main eastern entrance remains closed on most days of the week and was perhaps used by the Emperors.
The main prayer hall is used on most days by worshippers and is made up of high cusped arches and marble domes. On Fridays and other holy days the courtyard is filled with devotees who come in for 'Namaaz'.
The cupboard in the North gate of the mosque contains a collection of Muhammad's relics - the Koran written on deerskin, a red beard-hair of the prophet, his sandals and his footprint, embedded in a marble slab, all of which are still preserved.
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