Jami Masjid, Agra
Commissioned by Princess Jahanara Begum, the daughter of Emperor Shah Jahan, Jami Masjid is the grand "Friday" mosque of Agra. The red sandstone structure was completed in 1649 AD in a typical Mughal-period design, similar but smaller in scale to that of Delhi. It consists of a spacious elevated courtyard bordered by arched porticoes to the north and south, with an ablution fountain at its centre. The eastern end was once also bordered by an arched portico and a grand entrance, but those were demolished by the British in 1857 as they built the railway that cut through Agra. The prayer hall occupies the western end of the courtyard, facing Mecca, and consists of a long rectangular structure, divided into five sections and crowned by three onion shaped dome decorated in a zigzag pattern. Connecting the prayer hall to the courtyard are five archways, of which the central one is framed by a large iwan portico and a white marble façade with Persian calligraphy. Two short slender minarets, decorated in a similar zigzag pattern, once flanked the central archway, but the right hand one was destroyed, giving the façade a lopsided look. A series of chhatris (domed pavilions) line the top of the façade while numerous blind polyfoil arches decorate the walls.
For more photos, check out the travelogue: "Jami Masjid."
It is situated in front of Agra Fort Railway station.It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan as per his dear daughter Jahan Ars Begum,s wish, at the cost of Rs 5 lakhs and took a period of 5 years in construction and was completed in 1649 A.D.It is based on platfrom of 11 feet high.It has got three gates and three compartments, each surmounted by a dome built of white and red sand stone in a Zigzag style.In the courtyard of the Mosque, there is tank in its centre for the abultions of the 'Namazees' or the worshipers.The mosque has fine archways in its front.There are some rooms on both the sides having curtains, eant for the Royal Ladies.
Entering the gigantic Buland Darwaza, a grand gateway we proceeded to Jama Masjid which is also known as Jami Masjid. This huge gateway is 40 meters high was built to commemorate Akbar’s victory. Thus, we entered the marvelous edifice of Jama Masjid in Fatehpur Skiri. This is a red sandstone mosque with marble décor and blue colored painted walls and ceilings. This mosque is situated right in the middle of a bustling market and is the place for worship for Muslims of the state. We visited this mosque on one Wednesday and it had very less population of devotees there.
This mosque also has a Madrasa, Koran School where we spotted little kids busy with their daily schedule of studying rhythmically. For entering the mosque we first had to remove our shoes, which is a common trait of many religions to pay respect to the deity. Every mosque has a separate area for women and this one had a marble screen to separate women’s side of the mosque. We also visited the shrine of Sufi religious leader Sheikh Salim Chisti inside the mosque. Jama Masjid was originally decked with inscriptions and colorful tiles however today the mosque is in a very bad state due to lack of Government funds.
These schoolboys were learning the Karan and began to smile and wave at me which I did back to them. I took a picture of them which they also wanted me to do. I walked towards the main praying area where an elderly gentleman came up to me and spoke some English and started to show me around. Two large bees nests were hanging from one of the arches and he said that he collects the honey from them at night. The nests were a good 30-40 feet off the ground and he showed me a 4 sided ladder which he said was British and which he uses to climb up to them.
The Jami Masjid ("Friday Mosque"), built in 1648, is situated in the heart of the city. The red sandstone mosque is very simple and has just a little use of white marble. It was built by Jahanara Begum, daughter of Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan, at a cost of 500,000 rupees. Set on a high plinth, it has well-balanced proportions and a courtyard surrounded by cloisters on three of its sides and the prayer chamber on its western side. The cloisters have engrailed arches supported on pillars. All the bulbous domes have inverted lotus and kalash finials on the top and have narrow zigzag courses of white marble alternated by broad bands of red stone. There is a fountain with four kiosks in its corners in the centre of the courtyard.
The Jama Masjid is a one of the largest mosques in India, whose constrction was attributed to the Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great .The mosque is built at a height due its exalted purpose and has a large courtyard where the faithful can gather to pray. To the right of the mosque is the Jammat Khana hall and then the Zenana Rauza (or the tomb of the women of the royal household).
Within the mosque complex you will find the shrine of the Sufi religious leader Sheikh Salim Chisti. The lattice marble screens of the tomb are amazing in their workmanship. The tomb was earlier built in red sandstone and parts of the original structure can also be seen.
The Jama Masjid is exquisitely decorated with inscriptions, inlaid geometric designs and coloured tiles. The building is symmetrically proportioned and has an austere beauty, befitting its religious purpose.
The mosque, situated close to Agra Fort, it's very impressing, in spite of the bad contiditions(the donations allow to mantein the mosque).
We could stay there for a time and see all the details and a man explained many things about the mosque.
There are five doors shaped like an arch, and it has 3 big domes.
Jami Masjid Mosque is a very simple mosque of red sandstone with little white marble decoration and blue colour paint wall and ceilings. It’s a huge mosque in the center of Agra surrounded by a great bazaar. The mosque was completely empty of any tourist, only one man praying and the little children at the Madrasa (Koran school).
It is an interesting building to visit despite of its simplicity; if you visit the mosque plan a time for walk around the bazaar.
As we get there we took our shoes where the keeper was. He went with us to show us the mosque and explain us that the bad condition of the mosque was due the non help of government. It was really in bad conditions. Inside marble screen to separate the women side of the mosque. After he asked us for a donation for the mosque.
The entrance was free. We gave him 100 R. donation (we were going to give him more but he told us that 50 R. per person was ok) 15 R for him and 4 R for the shoes.