“SYMBOL OF GREAT MUGHAL ARCHITECTURE”
Every religion in the world has different believes and to follow and worship those believes they have special places. These are the holy places of religions. Islam is the second largest religion in the world after Christianity. There are 1570 to 1650 million followers of Islam is this world. Mosque is the holy place of Muslims where the Muslims not just offer prayers but it is also a place of preaching Islam and has great social importance.
Muslims have very spiritual and emotional attachment with the mosques. Muslims around the world have built beautiful mosques. In this respect Muslim architects have done some great work. This great work was started hundreds of years back in history. Mughal architecture has great importance in the Islamic architecture history. One of the great examples of Mughal architecture is Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan. Badshahi Mosque which is also called King’s Mosque is the second largest mosque in Pakistan and South Asia and 5th largest mosque in the world.
HISTORY & FACTS
The construction of the mosque was started in 1671 by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir. The construction of this beautiful mosque took two years and completed in 1673. The construction work was done under the supervision of the governor of that time, Muzaffar Hussain who was the foster brother of Aurangzeb. The mosque has faced different kinds of situations under different rules. It remained under the Mughal rule from 1673 to 1752. Then in 1799 Sikhs took control of Lahore. This was the time when mosque was severely damaged. Rajnit Singh used the court of the mosque as stable for his horses. Then the British rule came and used the mosque for same purpose as used by the Sikh rulers. When Pakistan came into being in 1947 the mosque was getting piecemeal repair works. It took almost 21 years to restore the mosque to its original shape from 1939 to 1960. By 1960 it was full restored with the total cost of 4.8 million rupees. The mosque was not only the largest mosque in Lahore but the largest mosque in the world till 1986. The total capacity of worshipers in its main prayer hall is 5000 and the courtyard has capacity of 95,000. If day is quite clear then you can watch the mosque from a distance of 15 km.
The design of the mosque resembles with the design of Jamia Masjid in Delhi. The mosque is a masterpiece of great Mughal architecture. You will find a great and richly embellished interior of the main prayer hall with stucco tracery and fresco work. The exterior is also beautifully decorated with stone carving and marble inlay on red sandstone. The architectural beauty of the mosque is its squared courtyard, the four corner minarets, the side aisles and the grand entrance gate.
MUSEUM IN MOSQUE
Although the whole mosque is a must see place with its majestic beauty but there are some other things also important to visit. When you enter the main gate on the right side aisles you find a small museum. This museum has unique nature because there are some precious belongings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), his cousin Ali (R.A) and his daughter Fatimah (R.A). These belongings are no doubt most important things to see for the Muslims.
Badshahi Mosque is the main tourist attraction in Lahore. Pakistan has requested to enter the mosque in the list of World Heritage Site of UNESCO.