Complete Guide: Jama Masjid
It won’t be wrong to say that Jama Masjid in Leh is one of the most important attractions of Ladakh. It is also reckoned to be the largest mosque and the first mosque in the union territory (Leh, Ladakh). Wondering what makes it an important attraction? It is the location of the Masjid as well as its enchanting architecture. If you were to flip the pages of history, Jama Masjid was important to the kings of their time because this structure was a symbol of agreement between the Ladakhi King and Mughal Emperors.
Additionally, Mughals also agreed to offer their protection to the Ladakhi Kings for a small fee. You won’t have to worry about taking a car or a taxi to visit this monument because it is located in the main bazaar itself. So, while you visit Leh Ladakh, visiting Jama Masjid can be on cards too.
History about Jama Masjid
According to the history of Jama Masjid, it is believed to have been constructed somewhere between 1666 and 1667, and as already mentioned; it was a symbol of the treaty made by kings of both sides. To name the kings who signed the treaty; it was Aurengzeb from the Mughal Empire and Deldan Namgyal from Namgyal Dynasty. This masjid holds the memorial ground of Mir Syed Ali Hamdani named Shahi Hamda. Mir Syed Ali Hamdani was an elite Muslim Sufi Saint.
The architecture of Jama Masjid
Starting with the design of the Jama Masjid- its design is inspired by Turkish-Iranian architecture. The monument is intriguingly designed and placed right in the heart of Leh making it a masterpiece and an important attraction- both at the same time. While exploring the building one can witness the intriguing carvings and design of the dome. Here are a few more things about it.
- Jama Masjid Leh is a large mosque with a capacity of over 500 worshippers.
- The mosque is built of brick and wood, with a traditional Ladakhi-style sloping roof.
- The exterior of the mosque is adorned with intricate wood carvings and colorful patterns, including a bright blue and green façade.
- The interior of the mosque is simple and elegant, with a large central prayer hall and several smaller rooms for religious instruction and community gatherings.
- The prayer hall has a series of arched entrances and windows, with ornate wooden screens that allow light to filter into the space.
- The mosque has a large courtyard, surrounded by covered walkways and small rooms for ablutions.
- The mosque’s minaret is a square tower that rises above the surrounding buildings, with a small balcony and a traditional Islamic-style onion dome at the top.
- The architecture of Jama Masjid Leh reflects the blend of Islamic and Ladakhi styles that is characteristic of the region.
Important things to know about Jama Masjid
- Following the rules at Jama Masjid is very important and one should abide by each one of them.
- Only men are allowed to visit the Jama Masjid of Leh.
- Do ask someone before clicking pictures or recording inside the mosque.
- Do not break the silence or decorum of the masjid at any cost.
- Make sure you respect the things kept inside.
Best time to visit Jama Masjid
The best time to visit Jama Masjid in Leh is during summer. Although, it can be visited throughout the year. Being located in the heart of Leh city, it is quite accessible throughout the city without a doubt. It’s just that the weather remains pleasant during summer.
Opening and Closing timings of Jama Masjid
Jama Masjid Leh can be visited between 5 am and 9 pm every day. Please keep in mind, that the noon prayer on Friday brings an influx of a number of people. So, you can avoid at least that time if you want.
How to reach Jama Masjid
You can simply skip this section because Jama Masjid is a huge attraction which is located in the heart of Leh and having to notice it while staying in Leh or taking a walk in the Leh Market is simply inevitable. So, you can simply walk to it and explore.
Places to visit around Jama Masjid
Jama Masjid is located beautifully in the middle of Leh city and that’s the reason that makes it one of the most visited attractions here. If you want to create a day’s itinerary (maybe while acclimatizing) you can include the below-listed attractions in your list too.
While you visit Jama Masjid, these places can also be near Jama Masjid:
- Zorawar Fort– It is approximately 2 km from the Masjid
- Hall of Fame– roughly 6 km away
- Main Leh Market- Around the masjid
- Leh Palace– Approximately 3.3 km from the masjid
- Shanti Stupa– It is located approximately 3.4 km from Jama Masjid
- Central Asian Museum- It is at a walkable distance. A few minutes of walk, and you will reach here
- Sankar Gompa- It is approximately 2 km from Jama Masjid
- Spituk Monastery – It is approximately 8.1 km from Jama Masjid
- Gurudwara Pathar Sahib – It is approximately 24.7 km from Jama Masjid
- Alchi Monastery – It is approximately 67.7 km from Jama Masjid
All these attractions are also important and you can easily cover them in a single day. Spending enough time at these places.
Where to Eat around Jama Masjid
This is a valid concern and a lot of people do think of restaurants and eateries around attractions. So, if you are planning on visiting here you can rest assured that you will be filled. Here are some restaurants around Jama Masjid:
- The Grand Dragon
- World Garden Cafe
- Hotel Antelope
- Ladakh Sarai Resort
These are some of the best family restaurants offering a lot of tasty cuisines to visitors. But other than these you get a lot of small eateries, roadside stalls, and food joints.
Places to stay around Jama Masjid
While you visit Leh, there is a huge list of options available for accommodation. Some of the best amongst them are listed below and have also mentioned their distance from the monument:
- Hotel Omasila- approximately 0.98 km away
- The Indus Valley- 0.37 km away
- Spic N Span- 0.69 km from the masjid
- Grand Himalaya- 0.31 km from the monument
- Himalayan Retreat- 0.43 km from the masjid
- Hotel Ladakh Residency- 0.86 km from Jama Masjid
Jama Masjid in Leh is not only just a normal attraction but so much more than that. You get to enjoy the beautiful architecture of this monument with its amazing surroundings. There is a rule that this mosque has to follow and according to that only men are allowed to go inside. That’s a rule to be followed and it is important that you follow it without any questions asked.
It is respective of your itinerary, mode of travelling, number of people travelling, days in hand, and other things it is advised that one should not skip on visiting Jama Masjid. You do not have to worry about the location of this amazing attraction because the mosque is located right in the centre of Leh. It is used as a direction seeker because your internet would not work while in the city; unless you have a postpaid sim of Airtel or Jio (Reliance).