Jun 282016

Jama Masjid Delhi – Ramazan Walk

Jama Masjid Delhi during Ramazan

Jama Masjid Delhi – clicked by cell phone in panorama mode 

This post is about my recent Visit to Jama Masjid Delhi  for Ramazan walk and photography in the area. The moment we say Delhi 6 fragrant nostalgia bubble wrapped in exotica overcomes our senses. The moment I say “ Let us go to Old Delhi “, my friends starts salivating at memories of street foods that we relished on our last visit to Chandni Chowk.  For the folks living in places like Gurgaon (recently sanskarised to  Guru Gram)  and Noida, the town that has no idea about its history starts imagining a wonderland.

Jama Masjid Delhi Ramazan Walk market decorations

The markets near Jama Masjid decorated for Ramazan Bazaars

The generation born after the 90s actually had no idea about the charms of Old Delhi as they grew up to be Mall Rats.  But thanks to Delhi Metro now reaching Old Delhi is a breeze and delicacies ranging from Lotan Ke Kulche to Kachoris at Chaina Mal Halwai are within everybody’s reach.  But most of my recent visits to Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi has been to the vegetarian or in religious terms so called Hindu / Jain areas of the city. For my friends who relish non-vegetarian food, for them, these vegetarian areas don’t exist and their culinary heaven is in the bylanes around  Jama Masjid.  For the most majestic of the mosques in India built by that constant builder, Emperor Shahjahan is not just a holy place for devout Muslims, it is also the a must visit place for my non-vegetarian friends irrespective of their faith. Religion may or may not divide us, but the food certainly unites us all 🙂 We are like that only jee.

Jama Masjid Delhi Ramazan Walk

A dad carries his daughter inside Jama Masjid Delhi

So friends, desis, vegetarians, carnivores, travelers, photographers, Google bots and real readers your friendly neighborhood desi Traveler visited Jama Masjid for a Ramazan Walk. But this was no ordinary walk it was led by noted historian and walking talking encyclopedia of all things Purani Dilli Dr. Navina Jafa  coordinated by  Travel Correspondents & Bloggers Group or simply TCBG. In last few months I have clicked many a picture of Jama Masjid especially from the rooftop of Haveli Dharampura the recently opened heritage hotel in Delhi 6.  But this visit was special on 2 accounts one we got to listen to Dr. Navina Jafa first hand about the stories about the building of not just Jama Masjid but also the areas around it, second as it was Ramazan time I was keen to click the spirit of Ramazan in the markets around Jama Masjid of Delhi.

Jama Masjid Delhi Ramadan Walk

Jama Masjid Delhi photographed during Ramazan Walk

Here it will not be out of place for you to check out my earlier posts about Ramazan Markets

Ramazan Night Market in Hyderabad

Ramadan Food Festival Bazaar in Singapore

As we entered Jama Masjid Delhi,  after paying a hefty fee of Rs 300/- for camera (must be the highest still camera fee for any place in India), it was almost iftar time & Those fasting were busy gathering together some in straight lines in a communal iftar dastarkhwan while others gathered with their families in small groups. As I was moving around looking for a good angle to click a boy not more than 8 years approached me and questioned

Jama Masjid Delhi Ramazan Walk (38)

The kid on the left invited me to click his family in Jama Masjid

Uncle, are you clicking pictures ?” I said yes, so he wanted me to click his picture. Which I obliged. He kind of liked the picture and said, “ Uncle can you show the picture to my Abbu ?” So we walked towards his dad who was sitting on a platform with the siblings of the boy.  Abbu jee also liked the picture and this led to clicking a few more pictures. Soon I was the unofficial photographer and official uncle of all the kids present in Jama Masjid and they were happily posing for me. As I finished my uncle duty while continuing to play the part of the photographer, it was time to break their  fast and I heard the call to pray.

Jama Masjid Delhi Ramazan Walk (24)

A boy checks his cellphone . Was he trying to click a selfie ?

Jama Masjid Delhi Ramazan Walk - mother and son clicking selfie

Mom let us click a selfie before we eat

As I was scouting for photography opportunities, I saw a family of five, 2 couples and a baby girl who have just started eating their iftar meal after the call was made to break the fast.  As I was passing by one of the guys in the group invited me to join them for the meal. I was a bit reluctant to join in the beginning as this was their family and prayer time but he insisted again.  Now I could not resist his smile and joined them on the dastarkhwan and was happy to see that a Kullhar of phirni as part of the meal. Now who can resist a phirni that too served with so much affection as part of iftar meal?

As my pious host Tufeel had to go for prayers, we quickly exchanged cards and smiles. I am not going to send this post to Tufeel and his friends ( who by the way are Aggarwals I learned later !! ), but I am pretty sure it will reach  him in one form or another as he and his family will always be in my prayers for they made me part of their family and shared their blessed food with me.

“What an overwhelming experience it was visiting Jama Masjid during Ramadan. The sights of devotees with faces glowing with faith, the soulful sounds of the call to pray, and the smells erupting from savouries brought to end the fast for the day. And the best part…I was invited by a family to join them in breaking the fast and sharing sweets they have brought with them. I never felt so welcome before by complete strangers …”

After clicking a few more pictures of the Jama Masjid glowing in evening light we went for our Ramazan walk in the nearby lanes of Jama Masjid.  Here my main focus was to click the hustle bustle of the Ramazan market. In spite of the June heat and humidity, there were countless people all around from old men walking slowly with no hurry to go anywhere to young guns almost running with no idea where they were going. The shops were decorated for the festive season and were doing brisk business. My focus during the walk was 2 fold one to learn from Dr. Navina Jafa about the history of the are not just what you read in books also the folklore, the legends and the assimilation of the cultures that traveled as far as from Turkey and central Asia to merge with local flavors.

Navina Jafa Heritage Walk

Dr. Navina Jafa explains about the history of Sufism in India

This amalgamation of various influences in the Old Delhi over centuries has lead to creation of a melting pot that has roots going back to Turkey, Central Asia, Kashmir, Rajputana,  Maratha territories, Punjab and even the influences of Raj as the British shifted their capital from Calcutta to Delhi in at the time of coronation of George Vth. This also led to the creation of New Delhi that shifted the power center from Red Fort to Lutyens Zone. But Lutyens zone may be the power center, it is Old Delhi that continues to be the cultural and culinary hub of Delhi and the muse that every artist be it, a photographer, painter or poet wants to celebrate and flirt with.

So dear readers let me share some pictures I clicked in and around Jama Masjid during our Ramazan Walk in old Delhi learning about its history from Dr. Navina Jafa.

As we got out from the Gate no 1 of Jama Masjid we were treated by a strong aroma of delicacies specially cooked for iftar during Ramazan and our first port of call was Internationally world famous in Universe Jawahar Hotel.  With great difficulty, I crossed the same and moved further, but in the meantime others in the group had already moved much ahead and now I was totally lost in the sea of humanity so I decided to do what one can do best in such a situation. I totally forgot about the Ramazan walk and the others in the TCBG group and totally focused on clicking the desi Humans around me.

Jawahar Hotel Jama Masjid Delhi

Jawahar Hotel near Jama Masjid is a must visit if you like Non-Vegetarian Food

Jama Masjid Delhi Ramazan Walk (23)

Any guess what cooks in that pot ?


Jama Masjid Delhi Ramazan Walk - Non-Vegetarian Food hotel

Or in these ones …. I can still smell them 🙂

Jama Masjid Delhi Ramzan Walk (3)

The seviyan and sweet bread for Ramazan

Jama Masjid Delhi Ramazan Walk

Well this one is selling all kind of non-veg delicacies

Jama Masjid Delhi Ramzan Walk (6)

The recipes are secret but the aromas are public 🙂

Jama Masjid Delhi Ramazan Walk

Or maybe I can invite you for a hot cup of tea with biscuits ?

Jama Masjid Delhi Ramadan Walk

Some Farsan for you ? Love those colors

Jama Masjid Delhi Ramadan Walk

Dry fruits, Farsan and savories for sale during Ramazan in Delhi

Jama Masjid Delhi Ramzan Walk (29)

Cool Sherbet was in good demand in the hot evening

Jama Masjid Delhi Ramzan Walk (9)

Uncle Ek Fotoo humara bhee 🙂

Below are some more pictures that I clicked during our Ramazan Walk around Jama Masjid in Delhi.

How to reach Jama Masjid Delhi: Your best and fastest mode of transport to reach Jama Masjid in Delhi is Yellow Line of Metro. Get down at Chawri Bazaar Metro station and exit from Gate no 3. From there you can either walk to Jama Masjid or take a rickshaw.

Jama Masjid Minar

Jama Masjid Delhi – Do you know why it has only 2 minars ?

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  24 Responses to “A Ramazan Walk at Jama Masjid Delhi with Navina Jafa”

Comments (23) Pingbacks (1)
  1. I took an Iftaar walk with friends last year. Jama Mazjid was hot, chaotic but the experience was incomparable. Especially when a few young kids called me Didi 😀

    • Yes, it was hot and humid this time also.. but totally worth it.. 🙂 Now Didi is nice.. right ? so much better than the Uncle I heard from everywhere 🙂

  2. Lovely portraits! It is always a delightful experience to be invited by strangers.

  3. Wow! Perfect place for loads of portraits. It is good opportunity for photographers and you’ve captured it well.

  4. You had a great time no doubt.. 🙂 Sharing this on Twitter..


  5. that is some cool moments and documentary 🙂

  6. what a colourful post ! Thanks for sharing !

  7. A foodlicious post! Glad to know that you were the unofficial photographer for the kids!

  8. Class apart pictures Prasad Sir.. especially the last one.. I tried to capture Jama Masjid in a similar fashion by modifying aperture but aahh!

  9. Lovely capture. Sigh! I wish I could have attended it. Time to make plans for Delhi 😀

  10. Beauitful pictures and descriptions….the panoramic view of jama masgid is beautiful

    • Thanks Hitesh. I wish it came a bit sharper.. but I guess that is what happens when you click panorama handheld with cellphonehttp://desitraveler.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php?comment_status=moderated#comments-form

  11. It must have been such a pleasure to click such beautiful pics of those kids and to see their smiling faces 🙂 (I agree, that’s the highest for cam so far here in India, but then, totally worth it 🙂 )

    • Thanks, Nomad..actually more than the camera fee I was surprised to see many people just walking in and clicking with cell phones and smaller cameras. I don’t understand the bias towards DSLRs at many places

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