Jama Masjid, Gujarat, India
Built by Ahmed Shah in 1423, the Jama Masjid ranks as one of India’s most beautiful mosques, enhanced by an enormous, peaceful courtyard. Demolished Hindu and Jain temples provided the building materials, and the mosque displays some architectural fusion with these religions, notably in the lotuslike carving of some domes, which are supported by the prayer hall’s 260 columns. There were once two ‘shaking’ minarets, but they lost half their height in the great earthquake of 1819; their lower portions still flank the prayer hall’s central portico.
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