Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a country with the perfect mix of modernity and Islamic culture. This beautiful mixture can be seen through the architecture of the mosques in the country. In this blog, we have covered some of the most unique and beautiful mosques in Pakistan, from the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore to the Shah Jahan Mosque in Thatta.
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List of Wonderful Mosques in Pakistan
There are plenty of mosques in the country with beautiful and awe-inspiring designs and, if we start mentioning all of them, it would certainly require a lot more than just one blog, which is why we will be covering seven splendid mosques in the country.
Faisal Mosque, Islamabad
A Turkish architect named Vedat Dalokay designed a mosque in 1987, a mosque that is now used to signify the capital of Pakistan, Islamabad.
The Faisal Mosque is a perfect blend of modern and traditional architecture. Its geometric shape, inspired by the tents of the Arabian Desert dwellers, sets it apart from the rest of the mosques of the world with their traditional designs.
The exterior of the mosque contains four Turkish style minarets and has a huge courtyard which can occupy almost 2 lakh worshippers at once, as compared to the interior that has the capacity for 1 lakh people at a time. The interior of the mosque has a Turkish chandelier hanging in the middle, while the walls are covered with beautiful and intricate calligraphy.
Located at the foothills of the majestic Margalla Hills, Faisal Mosque provides the visitors with peace and serenity they often need to escape the hubbub of the city. The reason for choosing the location of the mosque is more than just a picturesque view. The location at the north of the main Shahrah-e-Islamabad was chosen, so it acts as a focal point of the city and is visible during the day as well as the night.
In conclusion, Faisal Mosque is a sight to behold, especially during the night when it lights up, making it one of the most popular places in Islamabad to visit during the night.
Location: Shah Faisal Avenue, E-8, Islamabad.
Grand Jamia Mosque, Lahore
Designed by Nayyar Ali Dada – Pakistan’s most renowned architect – the Grand Jamia Mosque is one of the most popular mosques in Lahore and rightfully so. The reason behind the popularity of the mosque can be attributed to either the artwork giving the taste of traditional Persian, Central Asian, Arabic and Turkish designs, or the custom-made Turkish carpets.
A beautiful combination of contemporary architecture and traditional design, the Grand Jamia Mosque is surely a sight to behold. The mosque has 20 small domes along with 4 minarets, almost touching the sky at 165 feet, surrounding a Grand Dome, nearly 40 feet tall.
You can see the hard work the builders have put behind the structure, from taking in the delicate, intricate handmade tiles lining the outer wall.
Located in Bahria Town Lahore, one of the most sought after housing schemes of Pakistan, the Grand Jamia Mosque can accommodate up to 1 lakh people in its main hall and its courtyard at any given time. The mosque also boasts an Islamic art gallery and a religious school within its bounds.
Location: Bahria Town Main Boulevard, Juniper Block Sector C, Bahria Town, Lahore.
Tooba Mosque, Karachi
Next on our list of the most breathtaking mosques in Pakistan is Tooba Mosque or locally deemed as Masjid-e-Tooba. Located in the Phase 2 of DHA, Karachi and due to its unique circular look, the mosque is also called ‘Gol Masjid’. The mosque has the capacity for upto five thousand visitors, while the outer terrace can accommodate 25 thousand more visitors.
The designs of the Tooba Mosque are different from that of any other mosque. Designed by Dr Babar Hamid Chauhan and Zaheer Haider Naqvi, masjid-e-Tooba has one huge dome 5148 feet high, and unlike other mosques comprising 4 minarets, this mosque only has one minaret that rises 120 feet high in the sky. Masjid-e-Tooba is the world’s largest single dome mosque.
While we are talking about the design of the mosque, we can’t really miss out on telling you about the exterior lined with white marble, signifying the purity of the mosque, while giving it a breathtaking view. The interior of the mosque in discussion is just as beautiful as the exterior, with the bewitching onyx pieces lining the walls.
Location: Old Korangi Road, Sabir SRE Karachi Cantonment, Karachi.
Badshahi Mosque, Lahore
Probably one of the most popular mosques in Pakistan, the Badshahi Mosque represents the Mughal Architecture in the best and simplest way. Constructed in the late 1600s, the mosque represents the grandeur of the Mughals of the era through its grand courtyard that can accommodate around 1 lakh people.
The mosque was built by the Emperor Aurangzeb, and is located in the heart of the City of Gardens, within the walled city. The design of the mosque is heavily influenced by the Jamia Mosque in Delhi, with its prayer hall surrounded by four minarets and additional four minarets surrounding the courtyard. The interior of the mosque consists of breathtaking stones, excellent marble work and beautiful murals.
The Mosque is connected to the Lahore Fort through the Alamgiri Gate, one of the 13 gates of Lahore. On top of that, you can also find huge gardens, beautiful fountains, Huzoori Bagh, and Roshnai Gate in the boundaries of the mosque. That’s not all, the mosque is also the resting place of our national poet, Dr Allama Iqbal and Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan.
Location: Walled City, Lahore.
Shah Jahan Mosque, Thatta
After the hospitality received by the Emperor Shah Jahan by the people of Sindh, the mosque was presented as a token of gift by the Emperor to the residents of the province.
Built in the 1600s, the Shah Jahan Mosque is another testament to the grandeur of the Mughal Era, for it is spread over a huge area and can host up to 20 thousand people at once.
The exterior of the mosque is made with red brick tiles, and covered with white and blue tiles, that are handcrafted in the town of Hala, famous for its handicrafts. What’s different about the mosque from the rest is that there are 33 arches and 93 domes, but not a single minaret is in sight.
While 93 domes have been counted, the locals say that the mosque actually contains 100 domes, but one can’t count all of them in a single go.
Location: Thatta town, Thatta.
Wazir Khan Mosque
Located in the midst of the bustling walled city of Lahore, Wazir Khan mosque is another masterpiece from Shah Jahan’s period of rule. The mosque was commissioned to the viceroy (Wazir) of Punjab, and is located in such a way that all the major routes of the city and the bazaars are linked to it.
Wazir Khan mosque took a total of seven years to complete, and even though the architecture of the mosque is simple, the handwork on the walls, domes and minarets is quite complex. The courtyard of the mosque is huge, which consists of the tomb of Pir Miraan Badshah and a wuzu khana. The courtyard is surrounded by four minarets from each side.
As soon as you enter the mosque and glance over the beautiful and intricate fresco paintings and Kashi Kari on the walls and the minarets, you will be immediately taken back to the Mughal era. The gate facing the Wazir Khan Chowk, is decorated beautifully with fresco tiles and calligraphy of Quranic verses. Lockwood Kipling praises the masterpiece by calling it a school of design itself.
The wazir of Punjab also established a Shahi Hammam (royal bathhouse) along the road of the mosque. Furthermore, there is a bazaar to the east of the mosque, which to this day paints a beautiful and vibrant image of 17th century Lahore.
Location: Walled city, Lahore
Mahabat Khan Mosque
Mahabat Khan Mosque marks yet another wonder from the Mughal architectural era. This white tiled mosque has become synonymous with the identity of Peshawar. Built in the late 17th century, the mosque was named after the Mughal Governor of Peshawar, Nawab Mahabat Khan.
Walking through the main courtyard, you can enter the main prayer hall through the 5 arched entryways. The central arch is the tallest and has Mughal style cusped arches. Mahabat Khan Mosque has six small and two tall minarets built on top of the hall.
The exterior of the mosque is covered by white marble signifying the purity of the religious centre. The interior of the mosque is covered with beautiful Kash Kari tiles, while the ceiling is covered with floral and geometric motifs. The panels of both the exterior and the interior are covered with vegetal motifs and calligraphy of Quranic verses.
In the middle of the huge courtyard of the mosque, is a pool built for the purpose of ablution, with a row of rooms on the side.
Location: Andar Shehr, Mohallah Baqir Shah, Peshawar
Added as an extension to the Lahore fort in the era of Mughal Emperor Jahangir, Moti mosque was constructed in 1635. The white marbles of the mosque are the reason behind the name Pearl mosque “Moti Masjid”.
The white marbles used to cover the mosque were brought from Makran, a city in Rajasthan India. The front is made of angular archways and spindle shaped columns. As soon as you enter the mosque, you can see a slightly raised arched entryway, and three beautifully pure domes.
For a short period of time, after the Mughal era, the mosque was converted to a Sikh Temple, however, the status of the mosque was later restored.
Location: Lahore Fort
Shahi Masjid, Chitral
Located in the former princely state of Chitral, the Shahi Masjid was built on the orders of the Mehtar (King) Shuja-ul-Mulk in 1924. Until the dissolution of the state of Chitral, the Shahi Masjid was regarded as the primary mosque of Chitral.
The pinkish walls of the mosque with the onion shaped domes, give it a unique and distinct look as compared to the other mosques in Pakistan. The purpose of the onion shaped dome is not just to give a unique look to the mosque; it also does not allow snow to pile up on the top.
The pure white marble and engraved art reflects the richness of the culture of the aristocrats of Chitral.
Location: Jamia Masjid Rd, Chitral, Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
This brings us to an end on our blog about the most beautiful and stunning mosques in Pakistan. If you think that we missed out on a detail or wish to introduce us to an extraordinary mosque, write to us at email@example.com.