Badshahi Mosque History: Badshahi Mosque (transformation in English: Royal Mosque) is that the second largest mosque of Pakistan, located in the capital Lahore of Punjab. It was built in 1673 A.D. by the sixth Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir. The mosque remained the most important mosque of the planet from 1673 to 1986 when it had been overtaken in capacity and size upon the completion of the Shah Faisal Mosque in Islamabad. It has a complete area of 29,867.2 square meters (321, 488 square feet) and may accommodate up to 100,000 worshipers. Now it’s 8th largest mosque within the world in terms of its capacity for accommodating worshipers and 10th largest in terms of total area. Badshahi Mosque has its beautiful Mughal style of architecture and historical background. Therefore, it is a major landmark and tourist attraction not only in Lahore but in the whole Punjab.
Badshahi Mosque was constructed during the reign of 6th Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb Alamgir in the Mughal era. He ordered the development of the Badshahi Mosque in 1671 A.D. For this purpose, he appointed his foster brother Fiadi Khan Koka governor of Lahore, specifically to undertake supervision of the development work of the mosque. In 1673 A.D. the mosque was completed after two years.
The Sikh militia Maharaja Ranjit Singh conquered Lahore in July 1799. During the Sikh rule, the mosque was badly mistreated and damaged many times. The Sikh Maharaja Ranjit Singh used the vast courtyard of the mosque as a stable for horses of his army. He also used 80 hujras (study rooms) built around the courtyard as quarters for his soldiers and as storehouses for weapons.
In 1841, a Sikh war was provoked between Sher Singh (son of Ranjeet Singh) and Maharani Chand Kaur. During the war, Sher Singh used the minarets of the Badshahi Mosque to put light guns called Zamburahs to bombard the supporters of Maharni who took refuge in Shahi Qila.
In the middle of 18th century after the British took over the Lahore, British Malay Archipelago Company continued to use the mosque for military purposes. They demolished the 80 hujras (study rooms) around the courtyard of the mosque to stop them for getting used against British and rebuilt to make dalans (side aisles) which are still there.
In 1952 British leadership in India sensed the increasing resentment in Muslims against the utilization of the Badshahi Mosque for military purposes, in order that they created Badshahi Mosque Authority to restore the mosque to its original structure and returning to Muslims.
Later in 1939 A.D. the Badshahi Mosque Authority started extensive repair work to revive the mosque.
Badshahi Mosque under Pakistan
After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, Lahore became a neighborhood of Pakistan then Badshahi Mosque with it. The restoration of the mosque started in 1939 by Badshahi Mosque Authority remained to continue, until the mosque was restored to its original condition in 1960 with a complete cost of 5.8 million rupees.
Later Fakir Family of Lahore donated relics of Holy Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W), his daughter Hazrat Fatima (R.A) and his cousin Hazrat Ali (R.A) to Badshahi Mosque. The Government of Pakistan used these relics to line up a museum inside main gateway entrance of Badshahi Mosque.
In 1993, the govt of Pakistan proposed the consideration of the Badshahi Mosque as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where it’s been added to Pakistan’s Tentative List for possible nomination to the World Heritage List.
In 2000, the repair work of Badshahi Mosque was done to the marble inlay.
The red sandstone tiles of Mosque’s large courtyard were replaced in 2008. The sandstone used for this replacement was imported form an area near Jaipur, Rajasthan in India which was original source of the sandstone used when the mosque was constructed back in 1673.
Design and Architecture:
The design and architecture of Badshahi Mosque was inspired by Islamic, Centeral Asian and Persian architectural designs. The design of Badshahi Mosque is almost almost like Jama Mosque of Delhi which was constructed by Aurangzeb Alamgir’s father Emperor Shah Jahanin1648 A.D.
The Main Prayer Hall of Badshahi Mosque features a total area of twenty-two, 825 sq. feet (2120 sq. meters). Its interior is richly decorated with inlaid marble, fresco work, and stucco tracery. Main Prayer Hall exterior is embellished with stone carvings and marble inlay on red sandstone.
The courtyard features a total area of 278, 784 sq. feet (25, 899.9 sq. meters). The present red sandstone flooring on courtyard was laid during the main renovation work done by Badshahi Mosque Authority (1939-60). Originally it had been decorated with small kiln-burnt bricks laid in Mussalah Pattern.
The mosque has four corner minarets; each features a height of 176 feet (53.75 meters) and 67 feet (20 meter) circumference.
The central dome has 70 feet 6 inches diameter at bugling and it’s 49 feet high. The mosque has also two smaller domes, one on all sides of huge dome. Each small dome has 54 feet diameter at bugling and a height of 32 feet.
Where is Badshahi Mosque?
Badshahi Masjid is a tremendous tourist attraction in Lahore, Pakistan. You can reach the masjid within a half-an-houre by driving from the Allama Iqbal International Airport. If you are at the Mall, you can either take a taxi or autorickshaw to the masjid.
Best time to visit Badshahi Mosque
The best time to go to the Badshahi Masjid is from October through March because the weather is pleasant.
Badshahi Mosque Hours
The Badshahi Masjid opens from Monday to Friday. the timing of visiting is from 6:30 am to 8:30 pm.