The mosque was begun in 1644 and completed in 1658 and stands on high ground opposite the Red Fort. There was a vast set of steps leading up to the gate which featured a vaulted entrance space called an iwan.
We left the monumental Jama Masjid via the Meena Bazaar, above and below, a busy market by the mosque's eastern approach. It sold prayer rugs, framed Koranic inscriptions and other Islamic items amidst the fragrant smoke of kebabs from the dozens of nearby food stalls. Leaving the bazaar we walked through the section of the city known as Old Delhi to get a sense of the 'real' Delhi.
It was fascinating walking down Old Delhi's main street called Chandni Chowk as it was a constant beehive of activity with pushcarts, vendors selling their wares, cars and motorcycles all competing with nonstop foot traffic weaving in and around the crowds.
In each of the temple openings, other holy men accepted religious offerings and other donations.
Above, the Red Fort: Shah Jahan moved his capital from Agra to Delhi in 1638 and set about building a formidable 'forbidden city' that included the imperial residence and government offices. The construction program entailed tearing down an eleventh century fortress. We had just seen enough forts in Agra so we gave the Red Fort a pass, content to see it from afar.
However we're not ones to pass up places of worship as you may have guessed from reading this blog so when we happened on a Sikh temple, below, we entered it too!
Everyone entering the temple had to wash their feet. I had never entered a Sikh temple before so was curious to see it. The temple was packed with mostly male worshipers but one of them kindly took us under his wing and showed us around his beautiful place of worship when he noticed we were interested.
Our very helpful 'guide' above who wanted nothing more than our thanks.
The prayer hall, above, and musicians, below. We were very fortunate arriving during a prayer service.
Followers could follow the music and liturgy on the huge TV screen.
We walked down a maze of narrow lanes called galis and saw several sari shops before coming to Kinari Bazaar, a sparkling bridal trimming market where Hindu families could purchase every item required for their wedding festivities.
We really had to be careful as we trod down the lanes as they bustled constantly with foot and a variety of bicycle traffic.
Wedding favors and pouches.
Beyond the stone arch of Chah Rahat, above, was a typical narrow lane with old wooden balconies and verandas.
Very ornate items for sale from Nepal.
A massive planter for sale - just a tad too big for us to lug home!
I wondered where this load of clothing was heading - to a vendor, to the garbage heap, to be re-purposed in some way...
We were amused seeing the shoe tied onto the bumper to keep it from falling off!
Walking back to the Jama Masjid, we got a tuk tuk to take us back to our hotel as it was late and we wanted to call it a day.
Posted on 1/12 from our home in Littleton, Colorado.