Bharat Virasat-Jama Masjid

Jama Masjid

Place of Worship. Islam


The Jama Masjid of Delhi was constructed in 1650–56 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahān. It is an impressive example of Mughal architecture. Jama Masjid and its courtyard stand on an outcropping more than 30 steps higher than the street, giving the mosque a commanding view of the surrounding area. The formal name of the mosque, Masjid-i Jahān Numā, describes it as the Mosque that reflects the world. The mosque was built by a crew of some 5,000 workers. An 99 meter square open courtyard faces the eastern gateway of the mosque building which can accommodate about 25,000 devotees in prayer. The eastern gateway was originally reserved for royal use exclusively. Others used smaller gates on the north and south sides of the building. Two 40-metre tall minarets mark the northeast and southeast corners of the building. The largest interior space is the prayer hall, about 30m x 60m. Above the prayer hall’s entrances are calligraphic inscriptions in Persian. Three large marble domes rise from the prayer hall’s roof.

Constructed in:

17th century CE


40 m


The mosque was inaugurated on 23 July 1656 by Syed Abdul Ghafoor Shah Bukhari, from Bukhara, Uzbekistan. He had been invited by Shah Jahan to be the Shahi Imam of the mosque.

The construction was supervised primarily by Sadullah Khan, Shah Jahan's wazir

The cost of the construction is estimated to be approximately ten lakh rupees in contemporary terms.


Jama Masjid is oriented toward the holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The principal construction material was red sandstone, but some white marble was also used.

Black marble also features as a decorative element.

Arabic and Persian calligraphic pieces are found on various surfaces of the structure, whose content covers both religious and social themes.

The mosque is accessed by three sandstone gates. The most prominent of these is the three-storey high eastern gate, which historically acted as the royal entrance, reserved only for the use of the Emperor and his associates. The other two entrances are the northern and southern gates, which are two stories high and were used by the general population. Each gate is accompanied by a three-sided sandstone stairway, with white markings to designate prayer positions.

The 99m square courtyard is paved with red sandstone, and faces the eastern gate. It can accommodate 25,000 worshippers at a time.

A marble ablution tank, measuring 17m by 15m lies in the center of the courtyard.

Open arcades run along the edges of the courtyard, through which the surroundings of the Masjid are visible.

Chhatris mark the four corners of the courtyard, rising above the arcades.

Three marble domes rise up from the roof of the central prayer hall, featuring golden finials.

The facade of the prayer hall features a grand pishtaq in the centre, flanked by five smaller, cusped archways on either side.

The interior of the prayer hall bears seven mihrabs (prayer niches) on the western wall, corresponding to the seven bays into which the hall is divided. The central mihrab is intricately decorated and clad in marble and has a marble minbar (pulpit) on its right.

The hall is floored with white and black ornamented marble to look like a Muslim prayer mat.

The mosque has two 40m high minarets at the northeast and southeast corners. The minarets are longitudinally striped with white marble. Each minaret consists of 130 steps, along which viewing galleries occur at three places. Both minarets are topped with a marble chhatri.



Red Fort

(0.79 kms)



India Gate

(4.21 kms)


Purana Qila

(4.65 kms)


Humayun's tomb

(6.61 kms)



Qutub Minar

(14.8 kms)