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Chiniot Mosque (built 1646-55)

The Chiniot Mosque in central Chiniot is is attributed to Saad Ullah Khan (1595- 1655), the prime minister of Emperor Shah Jahan. It was constructed from 1646-55 at the height of the Mughal Empire. The architecture of the mosque follows the typical seven-bay form common throughout the Mughal realm, with a large 21.6 x 21.6m courtyard at its center. The courtyard and the surrounding arcades are set on a plinth about 4.7m in height which is filled with shops and administrative rooms for the local waqf (the religious endowment serving the mosque).

One somewhat atypical feature of the mosque is the use of columns to support the arcades in front of the mihrab (prayer niche) facing Mecca. A similar prototype may be found in the Moti Masjid mosque in Lahore Fort, also from the Shah Jahan era.

Site Plan

Image drawn by Timothy M Ciccone based on "Development of Mosque Architecture in Pakistan", by Ahmad Nabi Khan.

Chiniot Mosque Site Plan

Location

The approximate location of the mosque is 31.719878' N, 72.976848' E (WGS 84 map datum).

Bibliography:

All images copyright 2014 Aown Ali

Khan, Ahmad Nabi. Islamic Architecture of Pakistan: An Analytical Exposition.
  Islamabad: National Hijra Council, 1990.

Khan, Ahmad Nabi. Development of Mosque Architecture in Pakistan.
  Islamabad: Lok Virsa Pub. House, 1991.

Khan, Ahmed Nabi and Robert Wheeler. Islamic Architecture in South Asia.
  Oxford Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Khan, Muhammad Wali Ullah. Chiniot and its Important Monuments.
  Karachi: Department of Archaeology, 1973.

Koch, Ebba. Mughal Architecture
  New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Michell, George (editor). Architecture of the Islamic World: Its history and Social Meaning
  London: Thames and Hudson, 1978.

Muhammad Wali Ulla Khan. Chiniot and its Important Monuments
  Karachi: Anjuman Press, 1973.

Mumtaz, Kamil Khan. Architecture in Pakistan.
  Singapore: Concept Media Pte Ltd, 1985.

Rajput, A. B. Architecture in Pakistan
  Karachi: Pakistan Publications, 1963.


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