Jami Masjid in Fatehpur Sikri

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Jami Masjid in Fatehpur Sikri

Jami Masjid, also known as Jama Masjid, is one of the largest and grandest building in Fatehpur Sikri.. The mosque is called Jama Masjid, which is a usual name throughout the Islamic world for the principal mosque of the town.

The word is derived from Arabic, when it literally means the Friday Mosque. The Arabic name for Friday is Day of Congregation and mosque means a place of prostration and hence the name. This mosque is a striking example of the blending of the Saracenic and Hindu styles of architecture. On account of its massive structure which is very impressive, it is regarded as one of the finest example of its kind in India. Though the shrine is richly ornamented and elaborately carved, yet it cannot compare with the delicacy of design of the Jama Masjid at Delhi.

In the centre is a paved open court for congregation. Cloisters surround it on three sides pierced by two gateways to east and south. The former was called King’s gateway as Emperor Akbar used to pass through this gate on his way from the royal palaces to the Jami Masjid and the latter is the famous Buland Darwaza or the Gate of Victory.

The shrine occupies the western end of the quadrangle and is crowned by three massive domes. The large halls on either side of the central chamber with majestic pillars of Hindu style and the entire western wall marked by arcaded arches richly ornamented make the place most imposing. When one enters into the domed prayer chamber, one sees that the external form of the building does full justice to its splendid interior. The extraordinary painting on the vast dome is a graceful example of Persian style.

There are three arches, which mark the Qibla, the direction of the Kaaba in the holy city of Mecca, to which all devout Muslims turn in prayer. In the direction of the central mihrab is located the pulpit, which is a simple marble structure of three steps. This is the place from where Khutba (Friday oration) used to be read in the name of the Mughal emperors, with prayers for their welfare. On important festivals, as per Muslim calendar Khutba used to be read in the name of the Emperor.

These subsidiary mihrabs follow the general design of the central ones but are quite differently decorated; in those nearest the centre the red sandstone is inlaid with glazed tiles of green and royal blue, turquoise and white; in the middle chambers with white marble framed in black, in the furthest entirely in white marble.

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