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Jama Masjid made of red sandstone and white marble

by Nilutpal Gogoi
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Jama Masjid: Made of red sandstone and white marble, the Jama Masjid is the largest and one of the most popular mosques in India. Its spectacle is best appreciated during the Muslim festivals and on Fridays when thousands of Muslims gather for the namaz that is held on the courtyard or idgah. Construction of the Jama Masjid was started by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in AD1644 and it was completed in 1650 at a cost of about Rs 10 lakh. It took six years and 5,000 workers to finish.

It is located some hundred yards to the west of the Red Fort. Built atop a natural rocky projection, wide red sandstone steps lead to the three entrances on the eastern, southern and the northern sides of the mosque. The eastern side entrance is the largest and is known as the ‘Badshah Dwar’ (the Emperor’s Door). There is a sprawling courtyard. Its length is 201 feet and breadth 120 ft. The ablution tank with a spring is situated at the centre of the courtyard. Three red-and-white striped minarets made of sandstone tower above the square. They cap the main prayer hall on the western side facing Mecca. The height of the main minaret is 201 feet while that of the other two smaller ones is160 feet each. Jama Masjid remains open for public from 7a.m to 5 p.m. daily.

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