The historical city of Lahore is a haven of wonders which represents endless stories and wonders to ponder upon. SD is giving you a peek into some of the most intriguing spots of this amazing city which depicts the beauty of holy relics while depicting culture in sheer colors! This week:
Presenting Mughal Era’s Work of Excellence “Badshahi Mosque”
W hen it comes to identifying how Lahore has so much to offer, one location which preserves and defines the architectural heritage of Mughal era is the Badshahi Mosque. Truly it is one of the most defining and extremely breathtaking views which have been attracting tourists from around the globe for years. Beautiful ornamental merlons, inlaid with marble lining, add grace to the perimeter of the mosque and beautify the skyline. In various architectural features, such as the vast square courtyard, the side aisles (dalans), the four corner minars, the projecting central transept of the prayer chamber, and the grand entrance gate, the history of development of mosque architecture of the Muslim world over the thousand years prior to its construction in 1673 culminates.
The Badshahi Mosque was the largest in the Islamic world for hundreds of years. Each side of this construction measures around 170 meters. Skilled architects used red sandstone and marble in the construction of this monumental mosque. Although the Badshahi Mosque no longer holds the distinction of the largest mosque in the world, it is the largest and best preserved mosque from the Mughal era.
The construction of the Badshahi Mosque started under the thriving beneficence of the sixth Mughal Emperor,Aurengzeb Alamgir. Like the character of its benefactor, the mosque is gigantic and majestic in its appearance. It was completed and opened for visitors in 1673.The mosque did not fare well during the rule of Ranjit Singh, the Maharaja of the Sikh Empire. When Ranjit Singh took control of Lahore in 1799 the mosque’s courtyard was used as a stable and the hujras (cells) around the perimeter were occupied by his soldiers. Ranjit Singh himself used the adjacent Hazuri Bagh as his official royal court. When William Moorcroft of England visited Lahore in 1820, he recorded that the mosque was being used as an exercise ground for the Sipahi infantry. Twenty years later, a moderate earthquake struck Lahore and collapsed the delicate marble turrets at the tops of each minaret. The open turrets were used as gun emplacements a year later when Ranjit Singh’s son, Sher Singh, occupied the mosque to bombard Lahore Fort during the Sikh civil war.
People who come into the Badshahi Mosque are often surprised by the heavy Persian influence throughout the complex. The first thing visitors see in this mosque’s entryway are the intricate carved paneling on the facades. There are a few upper chambers that aren’t open to the public. It’s said that two of these chambers have the hair of both the Prophet Mohammad and Mohammad’s famous son-in-law Ali.
This mosque’s beautiful courtyard measures 276,000 square feet. Believe it or not, over 100,000 people can comfortably fit here for special prayer services. Be sure to take some extra time to explore the gorgeous architecture around this area.
The Skyline of the mosque inlaid with marble and red stone lining enhances the beauty and splendor. Clad with marbles four out of eight esteemed minarets, approximately 14 feet tall can be seen from a far distance. The main building of the mosque also features additional four minarets in its each corner which gives extra topping of beauty to the Mosque.Skyline of the mosque inlaid with marble and red stone lining enhances the beauty and splendor. Clad with marbles four out of eight esteemed minarets, approximately 14 feet tall can be seen from a far distance. The main building of the mosque also features additional four minarets in its each corner which gives extra topping of beauty to the Mosque.
It is truly a marvel that takes the breath away. This majestic structure is truly one which defines the spirit with which Lahore still stands strong. The world may have progressed as we continue to move forth with a steadfast vision to excel and make a mark, it is also true that we hold on tight to our roots and cultural values which have given us our identity. The Badshahi Mosque is an exemplary structure which defines and depicts the heart and soul of Lahore.