JAMA MASJID - DELHI
Jama Mosque, just opposite the Red Fort, was constructed by Emperor Shahjahan as the central place of worship for the public of his newly built and established city- Shahjahanabad. This largest mosque of India had taken 7 years (1650-56) of hard work and dedication of more than 5000 architects and masons and cost then Rupees 10 lacs to the royal exchequer. There are three huge gateways but only the north gate is used for public entrance. Its three gates are reached by flights of steps. The massive courtyard can accommodate over 20,000 worshippers. On its wall, Shah Jahan had inscribed not only the passages from Quran or Sayings of Prophet Mohammed but also the saying extolling the virtues of the builder and the architect.
The exquisite craftsmanship is perceptibly visible in the pulpit that has been carved out of a single block of marble. The cabinet in the north gate of the Jama Mosque contains a collection of Muhammad's relics - the Koran written on deerskin, a red beard-hair of the prophet, his sandals and his footprints, implanted in a marble block. Its 130 feet high minarets, made of red sandstone and white marble stripes, has 130 spirals which lead to the top.