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Shah Jahan Mosque (1644-47 onward)

The Shah Jahan Mosque was constructed by the eponymous Emperor as a gift to the people of Sindh. It is built predominantly of heavy brick and is laid out in the usual quadrilateral arrangement with a large (52 x 30 meter) courtyard at its center. The arcades around the courtyard are covered with 93 domes of varying size. One remarkable acoustical feature is that the prayers of anyone speaking loudly in front of the mihrab (the prayer niche facing Mecca) can be heard clearly throughout the building.

It was not until 1658-59 that the eastern portion of the building and the gateway were completed. Later repairs were undertaken under Emperor Alamgir in 1692 and in 1812 under the auspices of a local chieftain, Murad Ali Khan Talpur. Further renovations took place in 1855 and in 1894 during the British period. More recently, the mosque was restored during the 1960s and 70s.

The mosque has been on the UNESCO tentative World Heritage list since 1993 but has not yet achieved official recognition.

Plan View

Drawn by Timothy Ciccone following "Historic Mosques of Lahore" by Ihsan H. Nadiem.
Plan of Shah Jahan Mosque


The approximate location of the mosque is 24.747134' N, 67.928418' E (WGS 84 map datum).


All images copyright 2014 Zishan Sheikh. Click here to visit his Flickr page.

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  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

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Nadiem, Ihsan H. Historic Mosques of Lahore.
  Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 1998.

Nadiem, Ihsan H. Makli : The Necropolis at Thatta.
  Lahore: Sang-e-Meel Publications, 2000.

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

Siddiqi, M. Idris. Thatta.
  Karachi: Department of Archaeology in Pakistan, 1963.

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Iftekhar Ahmed Kham posted on Sat Mar 01, 2014 6:16 am:

I have visited this mosque, several times. I love this masjid.