General view of the city, Delhi.
Photographer: Bourne, Samuel
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the courtyard of the Jami Masjid, Delhi, taken by Samuel Bourne in the 1860s. The Jami Masjid was the principal mosque of Shah Jahan's new capital city Shahjahanabad. The largest mosque in India, it was the last great architectural venture of Emperor Shah Jahan (r.1628-58), the most prolific builder of the Mughal dynasty. It took six years to build and functioned as a congregational mosque which could hold 250,000 people. Approached via broad flights of steps its three gateways lead into a huge courtyard with a central tank for ritual ablutions. The mosque is built of red sandstone with white marble. The main building is topped by three onion-shaped domes of white marble striated with thin strips of black marble, and is flanked by two minarets, 130 ft high.