Wazir Khan Mosque is the most intricately decorated, 17th century Mughal era mosque, which maintained its place as the primary location of worship in the old city. It stands tall near the Delhi gate of the walled city of Lahore, leading through a busy bazaar, where you can hear the blaring horns and quibbling voices of busy customers through the mosque’s walls.
The detailed Islamic design and architecture of the mosque takes you back to the time when Muslims ruled over the subcontinent. You will find complicated fine patterns decorating the walls – mosaic design also known as kashi kari, fresco painting, engraved stones and brick outline fresco (taza kari) that add to the mosque’s uniqueness.
We will revisit Wazir Khan Mosque’s history and explore the Islamic architecture and design of the mosque. Read our blog till the end and take a virtual tour of one of the largest mosques in Lahore!
History of Wazir Khan Mosque
It was built around an ancient tomb of a saint Syed Mohammad Ishaq Gazrooni, who is more famously known as Miran Badshah. He migrated from Iran in the 13th century and had lived in Lahore during the period of Turkish-Muslim Tughlaq dynasty. Wazir Khan Mosque was part of a larger complex that included a row of bazaars where calligraphers and book binders used to repair holy books and paint Quranic verses.
However, with time the Calligrapher’s bazaar extended and there were other merchants selling spices and other items. The earnings from these markets were used for the mosque’s maintenance. Until now, you will find many shops around the historic mosque in Lahore, which is a characteristic feature of Wazir Khan Mosque.
The construction began in 1634. A.D. Only a short walk away from the Lahore Fort, the mosque holds great significance as the Emperor Shahjehan used to offer his Friday congregational prayers in Wazir Khan Mosque.
Interestingly, Wazir Khan Mosque leads through a Royal Trail, which is a 1.6 km road from the Delhi Gate of the walled city of Lahore. Many Mughal Emperors rode on horses through Delhi Gate to the Lahore Fort.
The Mughal-era mosque is rectangular, and measures about 282.7 x 165.4 feet, having four imposing minarets, which define the corners of the main courtyard. Let us discuss the design of Wazir Khan Mosque in more detail.
Design of Wazir Khan Mosque
Like any other mosque, it has four minarets that mark the corners of a massive courtyard, adding to its opulence and grandeur. The design of Wazir Khan Mosque is most typical of the Mughal era architecture and style, with bricks and tiles adorning the walls. The entrance of the mosque is through a large Aiwan that faces the Wazir Khan Chowk. Above the Aiwan is written the Islamic declaration of faith.
The façade at the entrance is decorated with sayings of the Prophet PBUH and versus from the Quran. There are five compartments crowned by a dome which opens onto a large courtyard. The central hall is the largest prayer hall, built along Persian architectural standards.
The large dome is resting upon four arches, which makes a square pavilion – more commonly known as Char Taq. The underside of the dome is painted with intricately designed frescos depicting Islamic representation of a paradise. You will see trees, platters of food being served with wine. Another interesting fact about the Wazir Khan Mosque is that it was the first of its kind mosque in Lahore at the time. Later, other mosques like Badshahi Mosque followed the same pattern.
The Wazir Khan Mosque has the best mosaic tile work of all the mosques built during the Mughal period. The verses from the Quran are displayed as beautiful works of calligraphy adorning the walls. You will also find floral patterns and intricate designs bringing in a sense of peace and spirituality.
The unique blend of calligraphy, geometrical shapes, Persian motifs and floral patterns lends an unhindered touch of grandiosity and opulence to the building.
How to Visit Wazir Khan Mosque
It is easy to visit the mosque as a part of a three-stop trip: Delhi Gate, the renowned public baths of Emperors (Shahi Hammam) and Lahore Fort. You can either hire a guide in the walled city of Lahore or if you are opting for an unguided tour, then you will find many sign boards that will direct you to the mosque.
There is no particular fee for visiting Masjid Wazir Khan. However, you might need to pay PKR 20 for the guard who keeps your shoes outside the mosque. Once inside the mosque, you will feel an increased sense of spirituality. Watch history unfold before your eyes and enjoy every bit of this memorable trip to Wazir Khan Mosque.
So, did you enjoy a virtual tour of the most beautiful mosque in Lahore? If you are planning to visit the cultural capital of the province of Punjab, then take a look at some of our information-packed travel pieces: Walled city of Lahore, 10 places to visit in Lahore, amazing places to visit with family in Lahore and some of the most famous parks in Lahore.
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