india | jama masjid (friday mosque)

New Delhi, India

I wish I could give you some background about this.  To be honest, when I was culling through images to blog, I had no idea what this was.  I looked up my itinerary and still didn't know what this was.  I had to go through the different sites in our itinerary and google each to figure out what this was.  I guess it is a mosque.  haha.  I couldn't remember this.  This is another observation of about tours that I was pretty unaware of.  The tour guides recited a lot of history and background, and although I appreciated about a third of it, I was not used to all this standing around.  I felt like a kid again on a field trip, getting antsy, wanting to run around explore.  Even after the talk was done, we didn't have to opportunity to explore.

Also, I should note that most of what the tour guide told us was concerning architecture.  I love architecture but I had nine months of architectural history in college and that was enough arch history for the rest of my lifetime.  I was surprised of the discrepancies between what the tour guide told us and what I had learned in school.  I'm curious if the tour guide was incorrect or if he had the true history because he was a local.  It's debatable.

Traveling often makes me regret deciding not to study abroad in college.  My program was designed for students to study abroad for their fourth year.  In fact if you didn't go abroad the faculty really didn't know what to do with you if you stuck around.  My fourth year in architecture school was pretty much a waste.  I think you must travel abroad to truly be a great architect.  (I figured that one out after I graduated and spent a month in Europe.  woops.)

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The Jama Masjid  is the only active mosque we visited while in India.  We went through the whole process of walking around barefoot and wearing these long robes (only the women) as a sign of respect.  For a mosque where people worship their gods and what not, the whole thing was pretty dirty and run down.  I was a little surprised about that.  I would think that if it was important enough for me to have to take off my shoes that they would wash it down every now and then.  But that's probably my western mindset.