Jama Masjid, Delhi
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Masjid-i-Jehan-Numa (Persian: مسجدِ جهان نما), commonly known as the Jama Masjid of Delhi, is one of the largest mosques in India.
- …the principal Mosquee…is conspicuous at a great distance, being situated on the top of a rock in the centre of the town. The surface of the rock was previously levelled, and around it a space is cleared sufficiently large to form a handsome square, where four fine long streets terminate, opposite to the four sides of the Mosquee; one, opposite to the principal entrance, in front of the building; a second, at the back of the building; and the two others, to the gates that are in the middle of the two sides. The ascent to the three gates is by means of five-and-twenty or thirty steps of beautiful and large stones, which are continued the whole length of the front and sides. The back part is cased over, to the height of the rock, with large and handsome hewn stone, which hides its inequalities, and tends to give a noble appearance to the building. The three entrances, composed of marble, are magnificent, and their large doors are overlaid with finely wrought plates of copper. Above the principal gate, which greatly exceeds the others in grandeur of appearance, there are several small turrets of white marble that produce a fine effect; and at the back part of the Mosquee are seen three large domes, built also of white marble, within and without. The middle dome is much larger and loftier than the other two. The end of the Mosquee alone is covered: the space between the three domes and the principal entrance is without any roof; the extreme heat of the climate rendering such an opening absolutely necessary. The whole is paved with large slabs of marble. I grant that this building is not constructed according to those rules of architecture which we seem to think ought to be implicitly followed; yet I can perceive no fault that offends the taste; every part appears well contrived, properly executed, and correctly proportioned. I am satisfied that even in Paris a church erected after the model of this temple would be admired, were it only for its singular style of architecture, and its extra-ordinary appearance. With the exception of the three great domes, and the numerous turrets, which are all of white marble, the Mosquee is of a red colour, as if built with large slabs of red marble: although it consists of a species of stone, cut with great facility, but apt to peel off in flakes after a certain time.
- Jama Masjid, Delhi, Francois Bernier quoted from Jain, M. (editor) (2011). The India they saw: Foreign accounts. New Delhi: Ocean Books. Volume III Chapter 5