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Badshahi Mosque (built 1672-74)

Badshahi mosque is one of the few significant architectural monuments built during Emperor Aurangzeb's long rule from 1658 to 1707. It is presently the fifth largest mosque in the world and was indisputably the largest mosque in the world from 1673 to 1986 when the Faisal Mosque was constructed in Islamabad. Although it was built late in the Mughal era in a period of relative decline, its beauty, elegance, and scale epitomize Mughal cultural achievement like no other monument in Lahore.

Construction of the mosque began in 1671 under the direction of Muzaffar Hussain (Fida'i Khan Koka), Aurangzeb's brother-in-law and the governor of Lahore. It was originally planned as a reliquary to safeguard a strand of the Prophet's hair. Its grand scale is influenced by the Jama Mosque of Delhi which had been built by Aurangzeb's father Shah Jahan. The plan of Badshahi mosque is essentially a square measuring 170 meters on each side. Since the north end of the mosque was built along the edge of the Ravi river, it was not possible to install a north gate like the one used in the Jama Mosque, and a south gate was also not constructed in order to maintain the overall symmetry. Within the courtyard, the prayer hall features four minarets that echo in minature the four minarets at each corner of the mosque's perimeter.

The prominence of the mosque in the imperial vision was such that it was constructed just a few hundred meters to the west of Lahore Fort. A special gate facing the mosque was added to the fort and designated the Alamgiri gate. The space in between--the future Hazuri Bagh garden--was used as a parade ground where Aurangzeb would review his troops and courtiers. The Hazuri Bagh appears to be at a lower level than the mosque since the latter was built on a six meter plinth to help prevent flooding.

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 as 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.

After the British took control of Lahore in 1846 they continued to use Badshahi Mosque as a military garrison. It was not until 1852 that the British established the Badshahi Mosque Authority to oversee the restoration of the mosque so that it could be returned to Muslims as a place of worship. Although repairs were carried out, it was not until 1939 that extensive repairs began under the oversight of architect Nawab Zen Yar Jang Bahadur. The repairs continued until 1960 and were completed at a cost of 4.8 million rupees.

Plan view

Image drawn by Timothy M Ciccone following plan in "Architecture in Pakistan" by Kamil Khan Mumtaz.

Badshahi Mosque Plan

Location

The approximate location of the mosque is 31.588089' N, 74.310133' E (WGS 84 map datum).

Bibliography:

All images copyright 2011 Aown Ali. Email at aownali@gmail.com

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

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. Lahore 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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tashreefullah posted on Wed Jul 09, 2014 12:15 am:

its good website about the pakistan historical knowledge

Website: google.com
Reet posted on Fri Jun 06, 2014 3:01 pm:

not informative at all.

Website: http://www.orientalarchitecture.com/pakistan/lahore/badshahi.php
Umar Mansoor posted on Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:17 am:

Majestic, lordly, elegant and imposing piece of Mughal architecture ruling the old skyline of historical city of Lahore.

Rumail Aadarish posted on Sat Dec 21, 2013 4:50 am:

very nice mosque

Website: wwwGoogle.com
t.john posted on Sat Nov 09, 2013 2:20 pm:

what the **** you on about ?

Anwar hayat posted on Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:43 am:

Mashallah its a great mosq

misery posted on Sun Oct 06, 2013 8:37 am:

These are the people that burned the good people of Badami Bagh out of their homes. I am praying for all you good people of Lahore.... Paul, a Christian prophet in 1 Corinthians 6 vs 7, asks, "Why not rather be wronged" (Love one another). Paul insists that God Himself would rather be wronged than for any ONE of the good People of Badami Bagh to be harmed. This LOVE is taught in our Bible. Jesus came, just over two thousand years ago..... When Jesus came ~ everything ~ changed. His disciples operating in the "old" Law wanted to call down "FIRE" on the Samaritans for not letting Him come to their town...... Jesus rebuking them saying, "You know NOT of what spirit you are of". Luke 9 54. I pray... Lest God Judge you severely. Make it right and do GOOD to these people. Be kind to the Shia as well. Father God hates your Blaspheme laws.... You take up personal offenses,... He does NOT. He is way more robust of character, than to take up personal offenses. He does however get very upset when people misrepresent Him.... Moses could not enter their "Promised land" (Israel) due to this very issue.... Numbers 20 vs 11

Fahad posted on Sat Aug 31, 2013 4:45 am:

great!

Faisal posted on Fri Aug 23, 2013 2:31 am:

Masha Allah, its a great Masjid.

army dr. annie shah posted on Sun Aug 04, 2013 11:29 am:

no doubt it is veryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy beautiful masjid........

Cadet Ahmed Ali Solangi posted on Tue Jul 30, 2013 10:59 pm:

I like most...

Website: no
Shahid posted on Mon Jun 03, 2013 5:41 am:

It's a very beautiful mosque in the world because Badshahi Mosque is in Pakistan . I love Pakistan .

Brad posted on Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:57 pm:

These are the people that burned the good people of Badami Bagh out of their homes. I am praying for all you good people of Lahore.... Paul, a Christian prophet in 1 Corinthians 6 vs 7, asks, "Why not rather be wronged" (Love one another). Paul insists that God Himself would rather be wronged than for any ONE of the good People of Badami Bagh to be harmed. This LOVE is taught in our Bible. Jesus came, just over two thousand years ago..... When Jesus came ~ everything ~ changed. His disciples operating in the "old" Law wanted to call down "FIRE" on the Samaritans for not letting Him come to their town...... Jesus rebuking them saying, "You know NOT of what spirit you are of". Luke 9 54. I pray... Lest God Judge you severely. Make it right and do GOOD to these people. Be kind to the Shia as well. Father God hates your Blaspheme laws.... You take up personal offenses,... He does NOT. He is way more robust of character, than to take up personal offenses. He does however get very upset when people misrepresent Him.... Moses could not enter their "Promised land" (Israel) due to this very issue.... Numbers 20 vs 11

Patrick posted on Fri Jan 11, 2013 10:03 pm:

Visited in 1972. I was truly in awe of the sanctity and beauty. I've thought back on my time there as a gift.

Website: http://www.orientalarchitecture.com/pakistan/lahore/badshahi.php
Manahil posted on Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:02 am:

veryyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy beautifullllllllllllllllllllllllll.................

yousaf posted on Fri Nov 02, 2012 12:18 pm:

badshahi mosque is vrey beautifullllllllllllllllllllllllllllll iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii love u this mosque

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malikwasi posted on Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:55 am:

iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiLove youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

Website: google.com
roma posted on Thu Aug 30, 2012 12:21 am:

muslimss r great...indeed

Website: google
Ibrar Khan posted on Wed Mar 14, 2012 3:19 am:

Musalmano ki Pehchan hai ye...

haroon posted on Fri Dec 02, 2011 12:21 pm:

Badshahi mosque is a lovely building

asma posted on Tue Nov 29, 2011 11:32 am:

wao great mosque

Kamran Akmal posted on Sun Nov 27, 2011 4:51 am:

I like it. It's very beautifull mosque. Waqai ya dunia ma 5 no pa. Gos Almighty bless Mughal Aurangzab for ths bulding...

Mohd Javed posted on Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:00 am:

I Love Badshah Masjid In Lahor. It is historical place in the world

Website: www.google.com/farhanjaved23@gmail.com
Syed Muqeem Mehmood posted on Sat Oct 22, 2011 6:28 am:

I like this anyway.It tell every thing about ancient time and it not just tells about any place but it has a kind of google maps (it size should be big).

Website: www.yahoo.com/muqeem.shah62@yahoo.com
afshari posted on Fri Oct 14, 2011 7:54 pm:

dear ...

Website: www.afshariart.com
khan posted on Thu Oct 13, 2011 1:11 pm:

i need exact dimensions of baadshahi mosque plz

mubshar yousaf posted on Thu Oct 13, 2011 4:56 am:

i lve in allah@M.Y

Mohammad Tanveer Khan posted on Fri Jul 15, 2011 6:18 am:

Badshahimosque is one of the best historical places in the world.It reflect the past muslims and the victory of muslims feelings.God Almighty bless moughal emperor Aurengzeb for building such a beautiful mosque.I love it very very much.

Website: Google
Hamnna Ayemem posted on Thu Jun 23, 2011 5:37 am:

i love badshahi mosque. it is a beautiful mosque.i love it

Website: facebook
aliza posted on Fri May 20, 2011 12:18 pm:

i luv pakistan...........my sweet home

Website: google
Izhar Minhas posted on Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:41 am:

Badshahi Masjid is one of the best masjid in the world. This is such a beautiful piece of muslim architect which must be preserved at all cost and should be declared the 8th wonder of the world. God All Mighty Bless Moughal Emperor Aurengzeb for building such a beauty in Lahore.

Abdul Qadeer posted on Thu Mar 03, 2011 5:36 am:

It is very buitifull place for saying prayer and visit. I had also visited in 1998 and found pleasure. My family members were also happy. Specially my wife was very happy. She got many pictures of building.

ALi MOhammad Baloch posted on Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:36 am:

It Is Very Beautiful Mosque That I Thout .

ALi MOhammad Baloch posted on Sat Feb 19, 2011 3:34 am:

It Is Very Beautiful Mosque That I Thout .

afsah basit posted on Sun Dec 19, 2010 5:29 am:

the Muslim architectures are the best art peace in the world! and i also appreciate the worker of this site!!

Website: http://www.orientalarchitecture.com
namrah levine posted on Tue Oct 26, 2010 1:39 pm:

i really mean this beautiful architecture

Website: www.yahoo.com
FAISAL MATEEN BUTT posted on Thu Jun 17, 2010 4:29 am:

it's very good job. i realy appriciate it. when we found any side of badshai mosque, we realy mean it.

MAJID MANZOOR posted on Thu Jun 03, 2010 3:54 am:

TO MARIAM PAREKH

Muhammad Ayub Khan posted on Mon May 03, 2010 7:58 am:

I have visited shahi mosque. What a beautfil place it is.

Website: www.bestpakistaniwebs.com
Mohammad Yosuf posted on Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:58 pm:

I have book consisted on unique history of Badshahi Mosque Lahore in English and urdu.

Iqra posted on Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:34 pm:

people just see it's beauty but they didn't realize why this is built for!.................think about it

Yousuf posted on Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:56 pm:

It has unique sound quality especially inside the mosque you can hear in every corner of this mosque standing opposite side.

Website: -
Yousuf posted on Fri Feb 05, 2010 5:48 pm:

I was appointed as Assistant protocol officer in Badshahi mosque and i spent my 2 years of my job there. I looked every corner of this mosque even I peeped into every three dome of this mosque.

Website: -
Marium Parekh posted on Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:24 am:

yeh info nihayat hi karamad hai............well ths is quite informativeit helped me in my project. thanks to the person who uploaded it

muhammad imtiaz posted on Tue Dec 08, 2009 1:35 am:

it ,s a very beautiful mosque

Website: imtiaz_uv.com
carlo posted on Fri Oct 02, 2009 10:11 pm:

hoy akin na to!!! woooooo!! jani bakla!!

Baba G posted on Thu Aug 06, 2009 4:36 am:

AMAZING MOSQUE NEVER SEEN BEFORE IN PAKISTAN

Website: G.R
Fida Mohd posted on Thu Aug 06, 2009 3:28 am:

Its realy a beautifull mosque,i like it so much.

Website: non
warda adil posted on Mon Aug 03, 2009 4:33 am:

i love my pakistan

warda adil posted on Mon Aug 03, 2009 4:26 am:

good yai bohat achii place hai or is pai apnai school ka kamm karti ho

Website: dodi
Saad posted on Wed May 20, 2009 9:09 am:

It is a really beautiful place.........

clee posted on Wed May 06, 2009 2:55 pm:

WOW THIS IS BEATIFUL

Website: DODO
susan posted on Sun Apr 05, 2009 3:32 pm:

I did not relise how amazing it looks... What a history.

Kashan posted on Sat Feb 28, 2009 2:25 pm:

The Mosque is the 2nd largest! Masjid Fasil is the largest! And if seats 55,000

Azhar saleem farooqi posted on Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:53 am:

i like this mosque becoz it is the one of the best mosque in the world.

Website: N.A
azhar saleem farooqi posted on Mon Feb 23, 2009 5:51 am:

Badshahi mosque is really very beautiful mosque in one of the beautiful mosques in the worl. i like it very much.

Website: N.A