The Jama Masjid | Old Delhi, India
Delhi's Jama Masjid is the largest mosque in India, accommodating up to 25,000 worshippers in its prayer hall and courtyard. Its beautiful exterior might lead some to imagine a cathedral-like interior. In fact, there are no doors and no true interior. Walking up the stairs through the central entrance will take visitors to a large open alcove beneath the main dome where male Muslims prostrate themselves in prayer. (Women have a separate adjacent area.) The walls and floor are purposefully devoid of ornamentation to eliminate any potential sources of distraction for worshippers. The back wall contains a mihrab, a small niche which indicates the direction of Mecca. In India, this is west.
We arrived at the Jama Masjid shortly after sunrise hoping to enjoy the view from the top of the southern minaret. The mosque was open but, unfortunately, the minaret was not accessible until later in the morning. This meant that the light was pretty harsh by the time we got to the top.
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