The architectural extravaganza of medieval India was initiated by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan- who built The Taj Mahal & Red Fort. The architecture which culminated to its peak has another monument of religious nature which is the Jama Masjid of Delhi. This great mosque of Old Delhi is the largest in India, with a courtyard capable of holding 25,000 devotees. It was begun in 1644 and ended up being the final architectural extravagance of Shah Jahan.
The highly decorative mosque has three great gates, four towers and two 40 m-high minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble. Travelers can hire robes at the northern gate. There are three domes on the terrace which are surrounded by the two minarets. On the floor, a total of 899 black borders are marked for worshipers.
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built the Jama Masjid between 1644 and 1656. It was constructed by more than 5000 workers. It was originally called Masjid-i-Jahan Numa, meaning ‘mosque commanding view of the world’. The construction was done under the supervision of Saadullah Khan, wazir (or prime minister) during Shah Jahan’s reign. The cost of the construction at the time was one million Rupees.
The mosque and Red Fort were planned to be a larger planned city named Shahjahanbad. The mosque is considered as the best among all mosques built during the Mughal Empire as it has the best mixture of marble and limestone.
The northern gate has 39 steps and the southern side has 33 steps. The eastern gate was the royal entrance and it has 35 steps. Out of all these gateways, the eastern one, which was used by the emperors, remains closed during weekdays. The mosque is built on a red sandstone porch, which is about 30 feet (9.1 m) from ground level and spreads over 1200 square meter. The dome is flanked by two lofty minarets which are 130 feet (40 m) high and consists of 130 steps, longitudinally striped by marble and red sandstone. The minarets consist of five storeys, each with a protruding balcony. The adjoining edifices are filled with calligraphy. The first three storeys of the minarets is made of red sandstone, the fourth of marble and the fifth of sandstone.