Jama Masjid is the principal and largest mosque of Old Delhi. It is also arguably the most famous one in India. This impressive and elegant structure was built on the Bho Jhala hill.
Jama Masjid's mosque rises on the west side of a walled courtyard, accessible via a flight of steps ascending from three sides and three double-story gateways. It displays a beautiful mix of white marble and red sandstone. The façade is partially clad in white marble inscribed with Persian inscriptions. The eastern and largest gate was formerly reserved for the Mughal emperor. Three white onion-shaped domes with vertical black stripes, the central one surmounting the others, close the mosque. The domes are built of white marble with black marble stripes. The qibla wall with the prayer niche (mihrab) of the prayer hall supported by 260 columns faces Mecca in the west.
The roughly square courtyard's sides can accommodate more than 25,000 worshippers, and it is lined with lateral arcades. Its center is a water basin for the purification (wudū') prescribed in the Koran before prayer.
The front of the mosque is completely symmetrical - the high central portal is adjoined on both sides by five arcades, at the end of each of which rises a minaret about 40 meters high. Each of the two minarets is crowned by a twelve-sided open miniature pavilion. The portal is crowned at the corners by a combination of lotus buds and miniature pavilions.
Visitors can normally visit the mosque between 5 am and 9 pm. Robes are available at the entrance if not appropriately dressed, and visitors will need to remove their shoes before entering.