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Wazir Khan Mosque: Another architectural masterpiece of Shah Jahan era

The glorious Wazir Khan Mosque stands near the Delhi gate of the walled inner city of Lahore.

The way in leads through a buzzing bazaar.

The Delhi Gate is one of nine gates leading in and out of the old, walled city of Lahore, and one of the few that have stood the test of times.

Another architectural masterpiece of Shah Jahan’s era, the Wazir Khan Mosque, It was built by the Governor (or Wazir) of the Punjab, Hakim Shaikh Ilm-ud-din Ansari. The construction of the mosque commenced in 1634. The construction work took seven years The Wazir Khan mosque is rectangular, measuring 86.17 x 50.44m (282.7 x 165.4 feet), with the four imposing minarets (minars) defining the corners of the main courtyard.

A short walk away from the Lahore Fort, the mosque acquired political importance as it became the official destination for the Emperor’s Friday congregational prayers.

Four octagonal minarets mark the corners of the main courtyard, lending the structure balance and adding to its grandeur.

As you walk inside from the main entrance, you will find that the main mosque is built from brick and tile, a construction typical of the area and period in which Wazir Khan was created.

Each of the mosque’s five compartments is crowned by a dome and opens onto a large courtyard. The one is the centre is the main prayer hall – larger than the rest, it features a high framed portal protruding from the façade, and its walls are covered by intricate frescos.

This type of architectural design was employed for the first time in Lahore. Other mosques were built later on using the same construction methods, the most famous of them being the Badshahi Mosque, also located in Lahore.

The mosque’s walls are almost completely suffused with detailed embellishment of kashi kari (tile mosaic), fresco painting, stone and chuna (lime plaster) decoration, and taza kari (brick outline fresco) on both the exterior and interior surfaces.Well-known khattats (master calligraphers) rendered verses from the Holy Quran and Persian poetry in elegant Nastaliq, Naskh scripts and Tughra forms within intricate geometric and floral outlines and forms.

Lahore hosts many architectural masterpieces like the Badshahi Mosque, Lahore Fort (Shahi Qila), Tomb of Shahjehan, Jahangir’s Tomb, Shalimar Garden, and Wazir Khan Mosque. Lahore Fort and Shalimar Garden have been on the cultural heritage list of UNESCO since 1981 while Badshahi Mosque and Wazir Khan Mosque have been on the UNESCO’s tentative list to be adopted as a cultural heritage since 1993.

The Wazir Khan Mosque is such an architectural masterpiece which mesmerizes the onlooker with its majestic architecture and extensive faience tile work.

The mosque contains some of the finest examples of Qashani tile work, taza kari (fresco) painting, stone and chuna (lime plaster) decoration on the interior and exterior walls.

It has been described as ‘a mole on the cheek of Lahore’ while British historian Lockwood Kipling said, “The beautiful building is in itself a school of design”. The Wazir Khan Mosque is a feast for the onlooker for its finest mosaic tile work while the walls have been adorned with Persian poetry and verses from the Holy Quran in calligraphy.

Government of Pakistan’ has been taking many steps to restore this beautiful Mughal Era Monument.The visitors can visit the mosque anytime and the mosque is a masterpiece of Art. Every day, many local and foreigner tourist not only visit the mosque but also come to offer prayers and thank God.

‘Wazir Khan Mosque chowk’ was the hub of cultural activities and social gatherings. The mosque is an example of the finest beauty of God and nature. The mosque is major tourist attraction of the Cultural hub ‘Lahore’ and one cannot simply miss going there. It is on the top priority of every tourist list.

Wazir Khan mosque is being recognized for its beauty not only in Pakistan but worldwide.

 

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are solely of the author and do not represent ARY policies or opinion.