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Jama Masjid: Call of the Soul

NL Batra

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ISBN 10: 8190193635 / ISBN 13: 9788190193634
Published by Niyogi Books/ Niyogi Offset, 2005
New Condition: New Hardcover
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Jama Masjid, the Call of the Soul takes the reader on a journey through the extraordinary expense of architectural excellence, the mosque, where time and tradition come together to weave a historic tale. It is an outcome of NL Batra`s deep and penetrative research in understanding the architecture and the construction of different ancient monuments, particularly those built during the Moghul period. The book meanders through Five Parts, containing different chapters, detailing different facets of the glorious structure in red sandstone, that stands about five hundred metres west of Red Fort-an enduring monument of Shah Jahan`s passion as never attempted before. The book is colourful and truly reflects the magnificence of the Mosque itself. It contains over 150 photographs and illustrations, some of which are over a century old. The Chapter one of Part One takes us back to October 6,1650 AD when the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan laid the foundation stone of `the finest mosque in the world`. " It was built under the supervision of Shah Jahan`s Prime Minister, Sadullah Khan and architect Fazil-mir-Saman. Simplicity in structure was the intent. Architects and sculptors, cartographers, calligraphers and engineers brought their combined skills and talents to the creation of the wonder, that is Jama Masjid. Over 5000 labourers worked daily for a period of six years, earning one pice a day". To begin with the beginning, Shah Jahan arrived in Delhi and started his search for a place for a large congregational mosque for public worship and for his own ceremonial usage. The site he chose was the highest point on the rocky ridge known as Koh-Hujla. Chapter two deals with Shah Jahan`s contribution to art and architecture and explores his artistic vision. His thirty-year reign witnessed the construction of several glorious buildings. Red Fort and Jama Masjid were the two buildings in Delhi where he shaped his vision in red sandstone. Places of worship have always reflected the changing times and customs of a country. Chapter three traces the history of various mosques built in India and their architecture, the salient features and the changing traditions. Shah Jahan built three mosques, the Jama Masjid at Delhi and the Jami Masjid and the Moti Masjid at Agra. But, Delhi`s Jama Masjid is hailed as the most impressive mosque of Mughal dynasty. The Chapter Four deals with Imamat and appointment of Syed Abdul Ghaffoor Bukhari as the first Imam-ul-Sultan. Part Two takes a detour of the unique architecture of the Jama Masjid. A majestic flight of steps leads you to the great mosque. The surface of the basement wall, which is 9.4 metres high is adorned with false arches of red sandstone to give it a stately appearance. You are gently to its domes, minartes arches and pinncales. Each has been crafted with care; each is special in its own way.doors of the eastern gateway are of wood, about three inches thick and are overlaid with half an inch thick brass arabesques. The soffit of the roof is decorated with honeycomb carving that is worked in to the red sandstone itself. Its shorter sides on the facade have small false recessed arches, three in each panel. The Parapet has nineteen kanjuras on the front side and each of its two shorter sides has three kanjuras. The main central hall is covered with a vaulted roof, supported by pillars and squinches. It is decorated in the centre with floral ornament and concentric rings. The decorative arches and towering minarets, all combine to enhance the austere dignity of the Jama Masjid. "In the centre of the courtyard is a marble tank that is used for washing hands and face before going for prayers". The author takes the reader inside the mosque and introduces him to the Holy Relics. The glory and splendour of Jama Masjid beckons the faithful to unite in congregatio Printed Pages: 162. Bookseller Inventory # 773

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Jama Masjid: Call of the Soul

Publisher: Niyogi Books/ Niyogi Offset

Publication Date: 2005

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:New

Edition: First edition.

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About the Author:

NL Batra has been closely associated with historical monuments in India for well over four decades. Retired as Superintending Engineer with the Archaeological Survey of India, NL Batra's deep and penetrative research has been of immense value in understanding the architecture and construction of heritage monuments, particularly those of the Mughal period. He has studied these jewels of Indian architecture from close quarters. Delhi's Jama Masjid has for long been his favourite. He finds it unique and the one that could easily be compared to the Taj Mahal in Agra for its sheer architectural marvel. However, what amazes him is that not many writers or critics have documented the mosque's magnificence and unique splendour. A prolific writer, who has regularly contributed to periodicals in India and abroad, NL Batra took up the challenge to highlight facts and attributes of the Jama Masjid, which had so far remained unknown. Jama Masjid: Call of the Soul is a realisation of his dream. His book Dillis Red Fort: by the Yamuna on heritage conservation, preservation and restoration of monuments received wide acclaim from scholars and historians. A civil engineer with an A.M.I.E. degree, NL Batra is a faculty member with a number of institutions connected with monuments, their conservation and preservation.

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