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Jama Masjid Agra

Jama Masjid was constructed in 1648 by the great Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan.  The Emperor constructed this mosque for his daughter, Jahan Ara Begum, as he was attached to his daughter very much.  This mosque is also known as Jami Masjid. Every Friday, there are special prayers conducted in this mosque and it is attended by thousands of devotees. This is the only day in the week, where this mosque witnesses heavy crowds.  On the other days, this mosque wears a forlorn week and there are only few tourists here and there. This mosque is located right opposite to the Agra Fort railway station. Jama Masjid is built of red sandstone and marble and this is one of the largest mosques in the country today.


Emperor Shah Jahan, the great king of the Mughal dynasty, is credited with constructing lots of beautiful structures in and around Agra.  The Taj Mahal is the most prominent of them all. The next beautiful structure is the Jama Masjid.  This mosque was built by the Emperor in 1648 and bears slight resemblances to the magic made out of marble, the Taj Mahal. Red sandstone is the basic raw material used in the construction of this mosque. It took 6 years for the mosque to get constructed. Close to 5000 workers were involved in the construction of the Jama Masjid. When it was constructed in 1648, the Jama Masjid had a massive open area in the front, known as the Tripolia Chowk, between the Jama Masjid and Agra Fort’s Delhi Gate. However, in the period between 1871 and 1873, this Chowk was destroyed in order to give room for the Agra Fort Railway station.  During those days, Islamic scholars were so spellbound by the beauty of this Jama Masjid that they compared it with the great Baitul – Mamur, a scintillating mosque in the fourth sky made from rubies and pearls.


The principal entrance of this mosque is located towards the eastern side. There are quite a few domes in this mosque. Out of these, the dome of the prayer chamber is the largest and grandest of all. The iwan located at the centre of this chamber has broad arches. Thin turrets and kiosks, arranged in an alternative pattern adorn the façade of the chamber. The domes are decorated by an inverted lotus and the finials of a Kalash at their tops. The design on top of these domes made from alternating strips of marble and red sandstone attracts tourists from a very long distance.

As soon as one enters the courtyard in the centre, a fountain welcomes them, in full glory. Marble works dominate the interiors of the mosque. The mihrab and the pulpit on which it is set up on the western side of the mosque is built out of pure, white marble. On the archway that leads into the central port, there are holy inscriptions in Persian carved out in marble and black stone, in glory of the great Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan and his beloved daughter, Jahan Ara Begum.

There is a Madrasa  in the central courtyard of the mosque, where small kids are introduced to the Islamic language, culture and the Quran. One can reach the mosque by climbing a fleet of stairs. Entry into the mosque is possible through five entrances that are neatly arched and decorated. The roof of the mosque is adorned with mystic paintings, shiny tiles, marble carvings, a dalan with pillars, a Chhajja and a Chhatri. The gateway is adorned by small layers of sandstone embellishments that one can see at the Taj Mahal as well. Even today, the Jama Masjid and the streets around it are exactly the same as they were in the days of the Mughal era. This mosque is one of the most important tourist landmarks in this area.

Current Status

Every Friday, the Jama Masjid at Agra, is abuzz with activity as a large number of devotees gather here during the afternoons to attend the special Namaz or prayers. It is the only time when the mosque witnesses huge crowds. On all the other days, the mosque is quite free and tourists can take their time in going through each and every part of the structure and to absorb in the beautiful sandstone and marble carvings here. The place is considered to be very sacred by the Muslims; hence tourists always observe silence when they go around the mosque. Entry into the mosque is free of cost and the place is open from 5AM to 9PM on all days of the week.

How to Reach

By Air

The nearest airport to Agra is the Indira Gandhi Airport at Delhi. The air base at Agra is used only by the Indian Air Force and is not open for commercial flight operations.

By Train

Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata and all other big cities in the country are well connected with Agra, as the railway junction here is quite busy always. The Luxury Train, Palace on Wheels, too stops at Agra.

By Road

Delhi is located at a distance of 204km from Agra and it is easy to drive down from there to Agra. Also, there are many government and private sector buses that connect the city with nearby cities and states.

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