Badshahi Mosque |
Built by the last of Great Mughals, Aurganzeb, it is among the largest mosques in the world. No doubt Aurangzeb, well-known for his piety, was fulfilling an urge to pay the most impressive tribute to God in the form of a grand mosque. Inspired by the Jamia Mosque of Delhi and Agra, which predate it, the Badshahi Mosque is even more massive than they are. Aurangzeb entrusted the mosque to Fidai Khan Koka. Above the arched entrance are many small turrets of red sandstone and marble. A tablet of white marble on the outer face of this entrance has the following inscription (besides the Kalima): "The mosque of Abu Zafar Mohiuddin Muhammad Alamgir, the Ghazi King, completed under the superintendence of the humblest servant of the household, Fidai Khan Koka, in 1084 AH". Its exterior walls are painstakingly decorated with sculptured panels. Each corner is marked by a square tower capped with a red sandstone turret with a white marble cupola. The white-capped turret idea is repeated on a larger scale atop the 176-foot minarets which mark the corners of the mosque. These have 204 steps each.In the chambers above the gate of the mosque are housed relics attributed to the Holy Prophet of Islam, his daughter and his son-in-law. These are said to have been brought to the subcontinent by Amir Taimur. The relics include a green turban, a cap, a green coat, white trousers, and a slipper worn by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the mark of his foot impressed on a sand-colored stone, and his white banner, with verses of the Holy Quran embroidered on it. The Mosque was built at a cost "exceeding six lakhs of rupees," according to Khulasat-ul-Tawarikh by Sujan Rac.The courtyard of an immense size 530'x530', dazzles you with its vastness as you enter the peshtaq of the east portal. The prayer chamber is placed on a raised platform, in the tradition of mosques built during Shah Jahan's period, which itself forewarns you regarding the immense scale of this mosque.... [continues]
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