Masjid Jama : The Unpleasant Experience

The Jama Masjid is a great, vast, beautiful building. I found it inspiring. The view from the minaret, over the mosque and the old city of Delhi, was one of highlight of my trip to the city. The ructure is beautiful…, in heart of Old delhi, the entire place gives a feeling of going backto archaic delhi when Mughals reigned.

Visiting the place, however, was not a pleasant experience. The atmosphere was quite unlike other great Islamic complexes that admit visitors.  Perhaps it’s the mission of the guards to make visitors feel unwelcome.  Too many thieves praying on tourists with no supervision and the cops looking the other way taking a piece of the action. A sad situation for a beautiful mosque with a rich history. The mosque is impressive, no doubt, given that it can hold 25ooo people and beautiful but it feels more like a big “tourist trap” rather than a holy place

  • There’s no entry fee, but carry a camera inside the mosque, you need to pay the camera charge. The camera charge is a rip-off, 300rupee camera fee and it’s also demanded/collected in an aggressive way. Be sure to keep your receipt or they will try to charge you double time.
  • the structure was pretty small. it might have been interesting if i could have climbed up the tower, but, unfortunately, one, it was ticketed, 30 per person, two, a guy (brother, dad, whoever) has to be accompanying you. i wasn’t very pleased neither with this, not with the bright hot sun.
  • as per normal mosque, you’ve to remove your footwear outside.. but in India, you need to pay “watching” fees if you leave your shoes outside the mosque. Always bring a plastic bag  or shoes bag where ever you go in India.
  • Beware of the locals that tried to be friendly by showing you around the mosque. They are ‘touts’ pretended as guides that will ask for money when you exiting the mosque. Not small tips, but they will ask for ridiculous fee such as Rs100 per person for the ‘guide fee’
  • There’s a donation counter in the mosque.. and they only want Rs100 and above… weird…

In other places in the world, people at mosques are more welcoming to visitors, but this is such a shame. Being a muslim, this is the first time in my life I’ve been expected to pay to enter a mosque.

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