Jama Masjid, Mumbai

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Timings : 5:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Time Required : 1-2 hrs

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Jama Masjid, Mumbai Overview

Just a kilometre and a half away from Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus, the Jama Masjid, popularly known as Friday Mosque, is the oldest mosque in the city of dreams - Mumbai. A popular place of pilgrimage, this mosque stands majestically on the renowned Sheikh Menon Street, near Crawford Market, in the southern part of Mumbai. The mosque boasts of beautiful and intricate carvings, breathtaking artworks and the fascinating marble stonework and has a fascinating history attached to it. A day trip to this mosque in blissful solitude will make you feel relaxed and peaceful to the core as tranquillity and peace will overpower your senses.

The original monument was originally located near Dongri but was destroyed at the commands of a Governor. After much delay, and after facing some hurdles and obstacles, the construction of the site was finally completed in 1802. Today, the place stands as a symbol of the rich culture and architecture that existed in those times and is an equally important place of religious importance as well. The place is exceptionally crowded on Fridays, which is the holy day of Namaz for the Islamic community.

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History of Jama Masjid

It is widely believed and accepted, according to old Urdu accounts, that the original Jama Masjid was situated near Dongri. It was later erected at Esplanade. In 1770, this important religious place was again demolished at the orders of the then Governor William Hornby, and at this point, this sacred mosque was moved near the Crawford Market.

Later, in about 1775, a Konkani merchant, who owned a large water tank amidst gardens and open lands at the present site of the mosque, agreed to the erection of a mosque at this spot. He had, however, placed one condition- that the water reservoir should remain intact and be preserved. Construction finally started, and the foundations of the mosque were raised in this tank. But little did anyone know that the hardships to be encountered had not yet ceased. Objections arose to this construction, which delayed the plan until 1778. More disputes arose later over the matter of illegal structures.

Finally, after much anticipation and waiting, the construction of the Jama Masjid was completed in 1802. A top floor was later added with the philanthropy of a prominent Konkani merchant, Mohammad Ali Roghay, in the year 1814.

Architecture of Jama Masjid

The main building of Jama Masjid is a quadrangular structure that has been constructed entirely out of brick and stone. The mosque is encircled by a ring of terrace and double storey buildings.
The main gate of the Jama Masjid takes the visitor directly to an open courtyard of the old tank, which is now well-furnished with masonry steps and embankments. Sixteen black stone arches emerge from the tank to give support to the entire structure of the mosque. The upper storey of the mosque is supported by five rows of wooden pillars, each having a receptacle to place sacred books.

The tank can hold around 10 feet of water and is fed by springs at its bottom. Beautiful gold and silver fishes and a few turtles can be spotted in the tank. This tank is used for traditional ablutions or the ceremonial practice of washing specific parts of the body. This is commonly known as Wudu. The mosque, however, also provides modern facilities for the same.   

A few large windows to the north, south and east sides of the Jama Masjid were added in the year 1898. A Madrasa Muhammadiah is also located in the same complex. The Madrasa aims at providing free religious and secular education to Muslim youths and has a hostel attached to it. Since the 1980s, an extensive library with rare manuscripts is attached to the Masjid. This library was fully refurbished and moved to the first floor when it was inaugurated in April in 2015. The entire collection of the library is now digitised.

How To Reach Jama Masjid, Mumbai

The Jama Masjid is easily accessible by all means of transports. If you are travelling by the local train, then the nearest train stations are Marine Lines (to the West) and Masjid Bunder (to the East). For those travelling by bus, board the ones that will stop at Mahatma Phule Market.

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