Photos: Cracks in 361-year-old Jama Masjid raise conservation concerns

Updated On Dec 14, 2017 05:22 PM IST

Delhi's Jama Masjid is alarmed by water seepage and as a result the erosion of its sandstone structure. A lack of funds has been cited by the Delhi Waqf Board for its inability to perform maintenance. The last such undertaking was done by the ASI 10 years ago on the Delhi High Court’s orders.

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The 17th-century Jama Masjid is one of the largest in India and was built by Mughal emperor Shahjahan. Its construction started in 1648 after the completion of Shahjahanabad. The iconic mosque stands in urgent need of repair, with parts of its external facade and internal structure crumbling, according to the custodians of the 361-year-old mosque in Old Delhi. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Dec 14, 2017 05:22 PM IST

The 17th-century Jama Masjid is one of the largest in India and was built by Mughal emperor Shahjahan. Its construction started in 1648 after the completion of Shahjahanabad. The iconic mosque stands in urgent need of repair, with parts of its external facade and internal structure crumbling, according to the custodians of the 361-year-old mosque in Old Delhi. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

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The centrepiece of the heritage city of Shahjahanabad, the Masjid is threatened by rampant water seepage. The last restoration of this structure was undertaken by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) 10 years ago on the orders of the Delhi High Court. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Dec 14, 2017 05:22 PM IST

The centrepiece of the heritage city of Shahjahanabad, the Masjid is threatened by rampant water seepage. The last restoration of this structure was undertaken by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) 10 years ago on the orders of the Delhi High Court. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

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Tariq Bukhari, general secretary, Jama Masjid Advisory Council points to cracks inside the dome. According to mosque custodians, the central dome of the principal prayer hall is now the worst affected, with white seepage marks clearly visible. In addition, the wall joints, minarets, and smaller onion-shaped domes have developed cracks, causing rain water to seep in and weaken the structure. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Dec 14, 2017 05:22 PM IST

Tariq Bukhari, general secretary, Jama Masjid Advisory Council points to cracks inside the dome. According to mosque custodians, the central dome of the principal prayer hall is now the worst affected, with white seepage marks clearly visible. In addition, the wall joints, minarets, and smaller onion-shaped domes have developed cracks, causing rain water to seep in and weaken the structure. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

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The cracks in the arches of Jama Masjid’s main corridor are as a result of eroding sandstone. The crumbling structure of Delhi’s Jama Masjid is testimony to the administration’s neglect of the Capital’s heritage. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Dec 14, 2017 05:22 PM IST

The cracks in the arches of Jama Masjid’s main corridor are as a result of eroding sandstone. The crumbling structure of Delhi’s Jama Masjid is testimony to the administration’s neglect of the Capital’s heritage. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

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The Shahi Imam of the Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, says he had written a letter last year to PM Narendra Modi, seeking help for the urgent repair of the structure, and made several appeals to the ASI telling them that the situation is fast becoming dire. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Dec 14, 2017 05:22 PM IST

The Shahi Imam of the Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, says he had written a letter last year to PM Narendra Modi, seeking help for the urgent repair of the structure, and made several appeals to the ASI telling them that the situation is fast becoming dire. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

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A rupture seen inside the dome of the Jama Masjid. The mosque is under the jurisdiction of Delhi Waqf Board but due to inadequate funds ASI had been doing its repair since 1956 under a special arrangement. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Dec 14, 2017 05:22 PM IST

A rupture seen inside the dome of the Jama Masjid. The mosque is under the jurisdiction of Delhi Waqf Board but due to inadequate funds ASI had been doing its repair since 1956 under a special arrangement. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

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Tariq Bukhari shows the various splits in the internal structure. He suggested that before initiating any plan for the mosque’s renovation, a comprehensive study should be carried out to assess the damage. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Dec 14, 2017 05:22 PM IST

Tariq Bukhari shows the various splits in the internal structure. He suggested that before initiating any plan for the mosque’s renovation, a comprehensive study should be carried out to assess the damage. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

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A caretaker points to rubble within the mosque. “The study would also be required to ascertain the intricate damage to the walls, domes and the structure since it is not a modern structure. The special plasters used by the engineers of Shahjahan have to be protected. For this, the immediate need is to arrest the seepage of water and then a comprehensive restoration could be started,” Tariq said. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Dec 14, 2017 05:22 PM IST

A caretaker points to rubble within the mosque. “The study would also be required to ascertain the intricate damage to the walls, domes and the structure since it is not a modern structure. The special plasters used by the engineers of Shahjahan have to be protected. For this, the immediate need is to arrest the seepage of water and then a comprehensive restoration could be started,” Tariq said. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

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Portions of the eaves of all four chhattris (dome-shaped pavilions) have also started chipping. Several marble finials on the smaller domes on the northern and southern gates have also fallen. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo) View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Dec 14, 2017 05:22 PM IST

Portions of the eaves of all four chhattris (dome-shaped pavilions) have also started chipping. Several marble finials on the smaller domes on the northern and southern gates have also fallen. (Sanchit Khanna / HT Photo)

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