India // Gujarat //

Jama Masjid

The spectacular Jama Masjid, completed in 1424, stands today in its entirety except for two minarets destroyed by an earthquake in 1957. Always bustling, the mosque is busiest on Fridays, when thousands converge to worship. The 260 elegant pillars supporting the roof of the domed prayer hall (qibla) are covered with unmistakeably Hindu carvings, while close to the sanctuary’s principal arch a large black slab is said to be the base of a Jain idol inverted and buried as a sign of Muslim supremacy.

Immediately outside the east entrance of the mosque, the square Tomb of Ahmed Shah I, who died in 1442, stands surrounded by pillared verandas. Women are not permitted to enter the central chamber, the site of his grave, or those of his son and grandson.