INTACH blueprint seeks to restore Jama Masjid’s glory

The Jama Masjid will turn 400 years old in the next four years, going by the date of its construction.

Published: 03rd June 2022 08:08 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd June 2022 08:08 AM   |  A+A-

Aam Aadmi Party MLA Amanatullah Khan with Imam Ahmed Bukhari at the Jama Masjid | Express

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: In order to retain and improve the value of Jama Masjid due to its historical, social, aesthetic and scientific significance, the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) has prepared a Comprehensive Conservation Management Plan (CCMP) that will examine how any future use, management, alteration or repair at the Masjid will be carried out.

The Jama Masjid will turn 400 years old in the next four years, going by the date of its construction.
Besides highlighting the typical problems being faced by Jama Masjid currently, the CCMP has also shared that all future interventions are required for the upkeep of the Masjid.

According to the report, the first problem Jama Masjid has been facing is the procurement of funding as it is not protected by the ASI. Another problem is about the whole building. The report states that though the building is apparently stable, the age of the building materials needs to be assessed.

“For example, the stone claddings on the façade are displaying problems of flaking with patches of salt deposition due to capillary action, amongst several other problems. In the past, there have been attempts to clean and repair deteriorating elements of the building, but these were often insensitive or inappropriate, mostly with the use of cement. Huge amount of additions and alterations can be seen inside the building which has compromised the heritage character of the building. The interior spaces have undergone alterations owing to the restoration at different areas over the years,” highlights the CCMP report.

It further points out that how disintegration and weathering of aesthetical details like the Islamic geometry and calligraphy carved in the red sandstone is striking while layers of plaster and whitewash have been added over several years which in many places along the corridors have hidden the fine moldings and cornice details. The CCMP states that the urban context needs detailed study and analysis in order to maintain the integrity of the original design and planting.

The Delhi Waqf Board, the ownership body of the Masjid, has handed over this responsibility to the INTACH which will conduct a historical research in respect of design and its built fabric. The compilation of data about the Jama Masjid through various sources including oral narratives of the community and experts will also be done. One board official said that the survey is being conducted and the repair has begun.

400-year-old decaying monument needs repair
The Jama Masjid will turn 400 years old in the next four years, going by the date of its construction. The historic mosque, like majority of mosques in the capital, is owned by the Delhi Waqf Board. However, the board has not been able to exercise its full control over the monument owing to the authoritarian grip of its imam, Ahmed Bukhari. Over the years, the mosque has been standing sans any restoration and decaying year by year



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