A few things about seeing Jama Masjid and other major Indian tourists sites:
1. If you’re a foreigner, you’re going to pay a higher entrance fee – With the exception of the Taj Mahal, most places to visit are 300 rupees or less. Many are free. While I was there, the exchange rate was a little over 50 rupees to the U.S. dollar (It’s now 55 rupees!), so that means no more than $6USD. Also I didn’t care that I was charged more because I think it’s important that these beautiful sights be accessible to all Indians.
2. Even if it may be free to enter, you may have to pay a fee to bring in your camera and take pictures.
3. Ladies, bring a scarf with you just in case. You never know when it’s best to have your head covered.
For Jama Masjid, women are required to be covered, preferably wearing long loose clothing that covers shoulders and legs. I was already very conservatively dressed for the day (I am going to write about dressing in India at some point), but the men at the entrance will require women to wear these unflatteringly large robe-like things to cover up. They will tell you that you need to pay them money. Like Nancy Reagan says, “JUST SAY NO” and walk on through.
Here I am in all of my glory…..
Unfortunately, all of these stairs didn’t help because all of a sudden my right leg started to cramp like you wouldn’t believe. I’m a fairly active person, so I wasn’t hurting from the climbing. Team Ozzie and I realized that I was suffering from dehydration. That make sense because I’d had a rough first day in Delhi two days before where I barely drank water for hours (That wasn’t on purpose; I’m a water fiend). I was determined to make it to the top, and I did.
I have to say that the view of Old Delhi and beyond was worth the trek up to the top. Delhi really doesn’t have a skyline to speak of, so you can really see much of the city from Jama Masjid’s tower.
Was Jama Masjid worth the attempted shakedown for extra money, dodging bird poop barefoot, and steep climb up its tower? I’d say yes.
Have you ever had to go above and beyond to truly enjoy a visit to a major sight?