Right smack dab in the center of the chaos that is New Delhi, exists the quiet center of the universe: Jama Masjid. Commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, and completed in 1656, this is the largest and most popular mosque in all of India. It can hold up to 25,000 worshippers, yet be the quietest place on Earth at the same time. Within its walls is also held an antique copy of the Qur'an. The photo above is taken from atop one the of two 130-foot tall minarets. I made the trek up, only to find myself in the company of five teenagers just hanging out and enjoying the view. And what a view it is! You get a scope of the vast expanse of Delhi from this particular vantage point. I enjoyed my perch for a while, descended the steps, took in one last moment of solitude within the mosque, and waded back into the calamity outside its sacred walls.
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Quiet Morning at the Mosque
There's little I love more than exploring new places at sunrise. Nobody's quite awake yet and time seems to be moving a little slower.
A perfect place to start your early morning visit to Old Delhi is of course the picturesque Masjid-i Jahān-Numā, commonly known as the Jama Masjid of Delhi, the principal mosque of Old Delhi in India. Completed in the year 1656 AD, it is the largest and best-known mosque in India.
It lies at the beginning of the Chawri Bazar Road, a very busy central street of Old Delhi.
Delhi offers both new and old sections for travelers to explore. Jama Masjid in the OLD Delhi section is one of the largest mosques in the world. Take a rickshaw ride around the narrow streets to see the vendors of food, produce, and a huge variety of goods. Outside the mosque you will find snake charmers waiting for photographers' tips. Then, when finished, go on to the tomb of Humayun. It is located in beautiful gardens and is a great contrast to the noisy crowded streets of Old Delhi. While there, don't miss the little gem—the tomb of Isa Khan. I LOVE India!
Jama Masjid is the biggest Mosque in Delhi, sitting in the middle of wonderfully chaotic Chandni Chowk (or Old Delhi). You can pay to climb up one of the Mosque's Minarets, from which you can see the densely packed buildings and streets for miles.
Once you are done exploring the Mosque, exit out of the South entrance of the Mosque and find Karim's. (Walk just a few hundred feet on on Matiya Mahal.and enter on the left hand side of the street). I recommend the seekh kabobs!
For dessert, wander the street and dig into some jalebis!