India’s intense sight- and monument-filled capital is a compelling blend of the modern Raj-influenced New Delhi, and the sights, sounds and smells of Old Delhi’s heaving and exotic lanes and bazaars.
Travel bucket list idea:
Completed in 1656 and still among India’s largest and most beautiful mosques, the Friday Mosque, or Jama Masjid, was yet another of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s great projects (which climaxed in the Taj Mahal).
With a huge courtyard, a great bulbous dome and a pair of slender striped minarets, its graceful form is enhanced by the decorative interplay of sandstone and marble. Pivotal to the character and atmosphere of Old Delhi, it’s often full to capacity – around 25,000 – during Friday morning prayers.
For a small fee you can climb one of the minarets. Although the narrow stairwell is claustrophobic, there are stunning views over the courtyard across Old Delhi to the Red Fort.
Getting there & doing it
The Jama Masjid stands amidst a tight and atmospheric knot of streets and lanes. The most straightforward access is via Meena Bazar from Netaji Subash Marg, though the mildly adventurous might like to navigate the streets from Chandni Chowk or simply walk up Chawri Bazar Road from Chawri Bazar metro station.
This is a working mosque: men should avoid shorts and women should dress modestly (no revealing clothes and especially no bare shoulders, shorts or short skirts). Robes can be hired at the main gate.
When to do it
It’s open all year round, seven days a week.
Destination guides including or relevant to this experience
India’s cultural essence combined with its most iconic sights and greatest bucket list experiences, all distilled into one compact, diverse and vibrant region.