India houses numerous mosques named as Jama Masjids. Among these
the largest one is in Delhi. Mumbai also has one Jama Masjid of
great distinction. The Jama Masjid of Mumbai has changed its
location more than once in its years of existence. The original Jama
Masjid of Mumbai was situated near Dongri. It was later removed and
erected at Esplanade. In 1770, this mosque too was demolished by an
order of Governor William Hornby which forbade the existence of any
building within 600 years of the walls of the Fort. The construction
of the present Jama Masjid started in 1775. After 33 years of labour
only first storey of the mosque was complete. The upper storey was
added in 1837. but work on it could not be completed till 1802. The
Masjid is a quadrangular pile of brick and stone encircled by a ring
of terraced roofed and double storied buildings. The main eastern
gate leads to an ancient tank filled with about 10 feet of water.
From the depths of the tank rise 16 black stone arches which support
the whole of the mosque.