Generous in culture, history, food, picturesque views, what is that Lahore does not have to offer to tourists coming from around the world? It is known to welcome its guests with warm vibes and a heart wide open, making sure the visitors are home away from home. Every street of Lahore has a story to tell, every wall has a depiction to share. The ‘heart of Pakistan’ is a name that does justice to this beautiful cultural hub. Apart from historic monuments and breathtaking gardens, there is a rich heritage of mesmerizing mosques that make this city worth visiting. Famous for its structure, history, and architecture, let us take you on a virtual trip to some of these intricate Mosques in Lahore.
[Featured Image: IG @nm__saeed]
The King of all mosques in Lahore the Badshahi Mosque ruled over the throne of being the world’s largest mosque for over 313 years in history. The grandeur of the mosque can be adjudged by the fact that for the first 70 years after its construction in 1673, the mosque was simply known for its exceptional and extraordinary size which was visible from almost ten miles away!
An avid tourist spot, the Badshahi mosque is one of the most prominent symbols of Mughal architecture. The history directs its architectural similarity to the Jama mosque built in Delhi. The mosque was constructed a few meters to the west of Lahore fort. Before the Faisal mosque was built, the Badshahi mosque was considered one of the largest mosques in Asia.
The mosque has the capacity to accommodate 95000 worshippers. Reflecting the inept Mughal architect, the mosque has mesmerizing red stones and uniquely carved white marble stones which elevate the beauty of the mosque. Another interesting fact about the mosque is that it was the reason behind changing river Ravi‘s bed. The beauty of this mosque is world known, hence making it a famous tourist attraction. So, it won’t be wrong to say your trip to Lahore is incomplete without a Badshahi mosque tour.
When we think about the culturally rich city of Lahore also knows as the “Paris of East”, the name Wazir Khan Mosque always rings a bell in our mind. This pinnacle of architectural excellence is located in the walled city of Lahore on the southern side of Shahi Guzargah which was the traditional route taken by the royals of the Mughal court to Lahore fort.
The great Mughal emperor Shah Jahan had taken 7 years to get this Masterpiece in place. Colorful, magnificent interior carved from dressed brick, embellished with glazed tile mosaic, the Wazir Khan Mosque also has a presence of breathtaking Persian art.
The majestic architect and extensive faience tile work awe structs the onlooker, hence making it a haven of tranquility for the worshippers and the knowledge seekers. Don’t miss the chance to visit this historical marvel if you’re a history lover. You will definitely fall in love with its captivating framework that speaks volumes about the Mughal Era.
As Islam spread in all its glory, mosques evolved gradually and with fusion in architectural styles from different cultures, the effects of globalization also became evident. One such example is the Grand Jamia Masjid. Designed by Nayar Ali Dada, this mosque is said to be the largest mosque in the country in terms of total covered area. It has the capacity to accommodate 25,000 worshippers indoors and around 70,000 in the courtyard. It possesses a magnificent grand dome with 20 smaller domes and four intricately designed minarets, each 165 ft tall. The outdoors is laid with 4 million hand-crafted Multani tiles. The interior is embellished with marbled floors, tailor-made chandeliers, and elegant carpets imported from Turkey. Mosque has various floors with one reserved for women and the others assigned for religious schooling as well as an Islamic art gallery. The splendid construction work makes this mosque an eye-catching tourists spot.
Mavi mosque in Sukh Chayn Gardens, Lahore is a replica of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. It has been beautifully constructed by Turkish artisans with blue tiles enhancing the interior part of the mosque. The ceilings dazzling with chandeliers and decorated with motifs make it look lavish. This mosque is the epitome of grace and intricacy that reminds you of the extravagant Turkish architecture. The glorified minarets and grand dome add a touch of magnificence and regality. It was constructed in 2012 and ever since has been an idol of Lahore. If you’re someone who’s interested in outstanding Turkish architecture, this mosque is surely the right place to visit, the next time you plan a trip to Lahore.
Whenever we read about Mughal history, the name Dai Anga does come across but have you ever turned the pages of history to get to know this important personality? Dai Anga was not only Emperor Shah Jahan’s wet nurse but had given several years to the royal family and also built a mosque during the Mughal era which is said to be one of the city’s best-used mosques of that period. This vibrant and majestic mosque is located in the southeast of Lahore railway station, near the Lahore Fort. With sandstone walls and wooden screens, this mosque has three prominent domes, captivated pillars, and marble floors that remind you of Mughal architecture. The tall minarets rising from a square base on the two front extremities are terminated with kiosk-like structures having cupolas. However, this mosque has failed to grab tourist’s attention unfortunately but trust me these are masterpieces and one must visit them to see the taste of the artisans of those times.
This mosque is built inside the Data Darbar Complex with fine and perfect construction. The complex was expanded in the 19th century with the Hajveri mosque rebuilt. During the renovation, improved working techniques were used along with exquisite designs making the mosque exceptional looking. The Hajveri mosque has a massive courtyard crafted with carved white marble that adds to its intricacy. As the mosque is present inside the Data darbar complex near the Hajveri shrine which is considered to be a sacred place, it has become a busy site for visitors. It is also said to be one of the only places in Lahore where the extremely rich and the extremely poor get together to share the space. If you’re in Lahore the next time make sure to visit this complex for an overjoying spiritual experience.
The Begum Shahi mosque is also known as the mosque of Mariyam Zamani Begum was built between 1611 and 1614 by the Mughal emperor Jahangir in the honor of his mother. The mosque features a series of low domes that are embellished with Mughal-era frescoes. The mosque’s prayer chamber is 130.5 feet long, and 34 feet wide. The hall is divided into 5 bays topped by three arches, the largest of which is over the central bay. Views of the mosque have been obstructed by illegally built shops that have encroached upon the mosque. However, in July 2016, the Walled City of Lahore Authority announced that the shops would be removed, and the mosque conserved and restored. We hope the mosque stays in good shape with more visitors visiting to seek spiritual, historical, and cultural knowledge.