Delhi’s Most Famous Mosque, Jama Masjid, New Delhi, India

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New Delhi is a wonderful city for a visit on a trip to India. We were able to do it right with a stylish guided tour provided by The Leela Palace hotel. The first day of our tour exposed us to the street life in New Delhi on our way to Jama Masjid; the largest mosque in New Delhi. We had an authentic experience wandering through the mosque and interacting with it’s visitors.


This post is one chapter on our third Round the World trip via South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, the Maldives and India. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) and Hyatt Gold Passport (World of Hyatt) loyalty programs. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Delhi’s Most Famous Mosque, Jama Masjid, New Delhi, India.

“The Jama Masjid mosque in New Delhi was our first gateway as visitors into interacting with Indian locals “

On this visit to New Delhi, India, we visited Jama Masjid, took a pedi-cab through the markets of Chandi Chowk, visited the Red Fort & Raj Ghat (the memorial site for Mahamtra Gandhi), and took in the India Gate.


How toured around New Delhi, India:

On our first day in New Delhi we took it easy, setting up a guided tour for our first day in India. As I had mentioned, our arriving flight Air India Business Class Chennai – New Delhi flight the night before had us to bed by 2 AM. We had a tour planned through the hotel using a guide and a car supplied by The Leela Palace Hotel, New Delhi.

While I was checking emails at breakfast, I found it pretty entertaining that Uber Bajaj’s (Auto Rickshaws / Tuk Tuk’s) are now arriving on a smartphone near you.

After breakfast, we met our tour guide in the lobby at 1 PM. The tour guide was arranged by The Leela Palace but not employed directly by the hotel. We were provided a hotel car for the 4-hour half day tour. In lieu of a Tuk Tuk, they supplied a lovely white BMW 525d from their fleet and a driver for a flat tour rate. You can just tell the service level of The Leela Palace based this impromptu candid shot by how the uniformed staff are properly waiting on people based on their attention to detail and to their guests. 

Our hotel car and tour guide awaits

As we buckled into the car, we set off into the labyrinth of activity that is the city of New Delhi. As the capital city of India, a country now surpassing a 1.2 billion population, people were everywhere. It was slightly different than busy and crowded China; the other heavily populated world country. My experiences of China were that the cities were crowded, and everyone gets around on infrastructure that’s already been built that’s capable of high density and high quantities of people movement. In India, people had no infrastructure and every one was getting around with whatever means possible. People were out in bajaj’s, coaches and on foot. Although the streets were busy, it’s wasn’t over the top packed. Part of the thrill of traveling in India is just taking in the street scene that appears all around you.

Children travelling on rickshaw’s
Local Tuk Tuk Transport
Tuk Tuk Fleets

There was something to see around every stop. Each stop included vendors for sale, people to look at and sights to see foreign from my usual life in North America.

Traffic Vendors
A Rickshaw Operator Napping under the Heat of the Day
On the way to the Market
Vendors Selling Peppers
Flowers for Sale: even in impossible spaces under New Delhi’s Freeway Viaducts
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Touring the Jama Masjid, New Delhi:

We drove New Delhi’s elevated freeways to Jama Masjid. Jama Masjid is one of the largest mosques in India. It was built sometime between 1644 and 1658. Its courtyard was designed to hold 25,000 worshippers. MrsWT73 had to use one of the provided shawls to cover up during her visit – even to the main courtyard area. There was also a small camera “fee”.

The Masjid was evenly balanced in a square format. It wasn’t glossy like the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi or seemly rich in history like the Al – Azhar Mosque in Cairo, Egypt. Instead, it was much more discreet and subdued with minimal flair. It was interesting as it was constructed of the red brick that was so typically common around the historic buildings of India. 

Climbing the Steps of the Jama Masjid from Changi Chowk
The exterior walls of the Jama Masjid

Once inside the courtyard of the Jama Masjid, it is an impressive area with space for twenty five thousand worshippers.

Inside the Jama Masjid Compound
The front facade of the Jama Masjid mosque
The prayer hall entrance of the Jama Masjid mosque

The inside of the prayer halls featured elaborate chandeliers set against islamic calligraphy set in stone.

Chandeliers Contrasted against Islamic Callligraphy
A Side gate to the Jama Masjid courtyard
corners

The centre of the courtyard at the Jama Masjid featured a pool; which was a popular attraction for many visitors. It was a popular gathering place with many worshippers stopping by.

pool
Reflecting Pool against the contrast of the entry gate
Visitors sharing a laugh
Taking it all in at Jama Masjid

The space was a quite a welcome area to hang out in and take in the people watching of it’s visitors.

Jama Masjid Courtyard

There seemed to be quite a few domestic Indian tourists visiting, more so than there were worshippers. Many children were curious and followed MrsWT73 around thanks to her light Ukrainian skin. And so, the celebrity treatment started. . . 

interested kids

 MrsWT73 should have started charging 500 Rupees a photo but we missed out on that opportunity. She had participated in no less than a dozen impromptu photo sessions throughout India by the time this trip was over. I actually think she enjoyed all of them. 

Taking part in another family’s photos

My thoughts on our visit to Jama Masjid:

Our visit to the Jama Masjid in New Delhi was a great start to our guided day tour around New Delhi. The mosque is a grand but functional space that set up a traditional but historic mosque.


If you’ve visited Jama Masjid in New Delhi, did you find it an inspiring place to visit?

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