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The Jami Masjid, Delhi

The Jami Masjid, Delhi

Photographer: Caney, W.

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1875

Shelfmark: Photo 1003/(869)

Item number: 1003869

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Jami Masjid in Delhi from the Archaeological Survey of India Collections, taken by W. Caney in the 1870s. The Jami Masjid was built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (r.1628-58) in Shahjahanabad, the seventh city of Delhi founded by him in 1639. It was the city’s principal congregational mosque for Friday prayers and at the time of construction was the largest mosque in India. Situated on an outcrop of rock in a commanding position, the mosque is laid out as a vast arcaded courtyard set on a plinth and reached by flights of steps, with the sanctuary or prayer hall situated at the western end. The hall has a main façade consisting of five arches on either side of a massive central iwan, three bulbous domes and two tall minarets set at either end of the building. Built in red sandstone, it has white and black marble decoration including vertical white stripes inlaid on the minarets and vertical black stripes inlaid on the white domes. This is a view looking across the courtyard towards the main façade, with the ablution tank in the foreground. The photograph has been taken with a lens of insufficient focal length to cover the plate, and there is vignetting at the corners.

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