The Masjid e Jahan Numa (lit. the ‘World-reflecting Mosque’), commonly known as the Jama Masjid of Delhi, is one of the largest mosques in India. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan between 1650 and 1656 at a cost of one million rupees, and was inaugurated by Imam Syed Abdul Ghafoor Shah Bukhari from Bukhara, present-day Uzbekistan. The mosque was completed in 1656 AD with three great gates and two 40 metres high minarets constructed with strips of red sandstone and white marble. The courtyard can accommodate more than 2500 people. There are three domes on the terrace which are surrounded by the two minarets. On the floor, a total of 899 black borders are marked for worshippers. The architectural plan of Badshahi Masjid, built by Shah Jahan’s son Aurangzeb at Lahore, Pakistan, is similar to the Jama Masjid.
Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built the Jama Masjid between 1650 and 1656. It was constructed by more than 5000 workers. It was originally called Masjid e Jahan Numa, meaning ‘mosque commanding the view of the world’. The construction was done under the supervision of Saadullah Khan, wazir (or prime minister) during Shah Jahan’s reign. The cost of the construction at the time was one million Rupees. Shah Jahan also built the Taj Mahal, at Agra and the Red Fort in Old Delhi, which stands opposite the Jama Masjid.
The mosque and Red Fort were planned to be a larger planned city named Shahjahanbad. The mosque is considered as the best among all mosques built during the Mughal Empire as it has the best mixture of marble and limestone. The mosque has three great gates, four towers and two 40-metre tall minarets constructed of strips of red sandstone and smooth white marble. The northern gate has 39 steps and the southern side has 33 steps. The eastern gate was the royal entrance and has 35 steps. Out of all these gateways, the eastern one, which was used by the emperors, remains closed during weekdays. The mosque is built on a red sandstone porch, which is about 30 feet (9.1 m) from ground level and spreads over 1200 square metres. The dome is flanked by two lofty minarets which are 130 feet (40 m) high and consists of 130 steps, longitudinally striped with marble and red sandstone. The minarets consist of five storeys, each with a protruding balcony. The adjoining edifices are filled with calligraphy. The first three storeys of the minarets are made of red sandstone, the fourth of marble and the fifth of sandstone.