The Wazir Khan Mosque is a Mughal era mosque in the city of Lahore , capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab . The mosque was commissioned during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan as part of an ensemble of buildings that also included the nearby Shahi Hammam baths. Construction of Wazir Khan Mosque began in 1634 C.E., and was completed in 1641.Considered to be the most ornately decorated Mughal-era mosque. Wazir Khan Mosque is renowned for its intricate faience tile work known as kashi-kari, as well as its interior surfaces that are almost entirely embellished with elaborate Mughal-era frescoes.
|Also Called:||Mole on cheek of Lahore|
|Local Language Name:||مسجد وزیر خان|
|Coordinates :||31°34,59 N 74°19,24 E|
|Open hours :||24|
|Height :||107 feet (33 m)|
|Began in:||1634 C.E ., and was completed in 1641|
|Situated :||Approximately 260 metres west of the Delhi Gate|
|Measures :||279 feet (85 m) by 159 feet (48 m)|
|Prayer hall:||Approximately 130 feet long and 42 feet wide|
Construction of the mosque began under the reign of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in either 1634 or 1635, and was completed in approximately seven years. In the late 1880s, John Lockwood Kipling, father of Rudyard Kipling, wrote about the mosque and its decorative elements in the former Journal of Indian ArtThe British scholar Fred Henry Andrews noted in 1903 that the mosque had fallen into disrepair.
The mosque is located in the Walled City of Lahore along the southern side of Lahore’s Shahi Guzargah, or “Royal Road,” which was the traditional route traversed by Mughal nobles on their way to royal residences at the Lahore Fort. The mosque is situated approximately 260 metres west of the Delhi Gate, where the mosque’s Shahi Hammam is located. The mosque also faces a town square known as Wazir Khan Chowk.
The mosque is built on an elevated plinth, with the main portal opening onto the Wazir Khan Chowk. The outer perimeter of the Wazir Khan Mosque measures 279 feet (85 m) by 159 feet (48 m), with the long axis parallel to the Shahi GuzargahIt was built with bricks laid in kankad lime.
Entry into Wazir Khan Mosque is through a large Timurid-style Iwan over a smaller portal which faces the Wazir Khan Chowk. The iwan is flanked by two projecting balconies. Above the iwan is the Arabic Islamic declaration of faith is written in intricate tilework. The panels flanking the iwan contain Persian quatrains written by the calligraphist Muhammad Ali, who was a disciple of the Sufi saint Mian Mir The panel on the right of the iwan reads:
To all who turn towards the Qibla in prayer, may this door remain wide open with prosperity till the day of resurrection.
Passage through the portal and octagonal chamber leads into the mosque’s central courtyard. The courtyard measures approximately 160 feet by 130 feet, and features high arched galleries surrounding a central brick paved courtyard – a typical feature of imperial Persian mosques in Iran.The mosque’s courtyard contains a pool used for the Islamic ritual washing, wudu that measures 35 feet by 35 feet. The courtyard features a subterranean crypt which contains the tomb of the 14th century Sufi saint Syed Muhammad Ishaq Gazruni, also known by the name Miran Badshah.
Main prayer hall
The mosque’s prayer hall lies at the westernmost portion of the site, and is approximately 130 feet long and 42 feet wide. It is divided into five sections aligned into a single long aisle running north to south, similar to the prayer hall at the older Mosque of Mariyam Zamani Begum.The central section of the prayer hall is topped by a 31 foot tall dome with a diameter of 23 feet resting upon four arches that form a square pavilion – a Persian architectural form known as a “Char Taq.” The remaining compartment in the prayer hall are topped by a 21 foot tall dome with a diameter of 19 feet, built in a style similar to that of the earlier Lodi dynasty. The northernmost and southernmost compartments also contain small cells which house spiral staircases that lead to the rooftop.
The Minarets of the Mosque
The most distinguished and notable feature of the architecture of Wazir Khan Mosque is its Minarets at all the 4 corners. It was the first time that any mosque in Lahore had such a design. The enormous Badshahi Mosque with similar Minarets in Lahore was constructed much later in 1673 by Emperor Aurangzeb, who was son of Shah Jahan. The prayer hall of the mosque has 5-bay motif (one-aisle) which was established in the city a generation earlier at the famous Maryam Zamani Mosque for the first time. The majority of the construction of the mosque was done using the dressed bricks which are decorated with the glazed tile mosaics.
Shops in the Ground Floor
Another great and notable feature of Wazir Khan Mosque is the incorporation of as many as 22 shops in the ground plan. The shops are beautifully designed at either side of the entrance having a brick-paved passage going right in between the shops situated at both sides. This commercial area is well extended and it reaches Wazir Khan Chowk (Square) which still is the most vibrant and lively commercial area of the city of Lahore.