Badshahi Mosque (بادشاہی مسجد)
The Badshahi Mosque (Punjabi: بادشاہی مسجد, lit. ’The Imperial Mosque’) is a Mughal (مغل) era mosque in Lahore, capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab (پنجاب), Pakistan. The mosque is located west of Lahore Fort along the outskirts of the Walled City of Lahore, and is widely considered to be one of Lahore’s most iconic landmarks.
The Badshahi Mosque was constructed by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (مغل بادشاہ اورنگزیب) between 1671 and 1673. The mosque is an important example of Mughal architecture, with an exterior that is decorated with carved red sandstone with marble inlay. It remains the largest mosque of the Mughal-era, and is the second-largest mosque in Pakistan. After the fall of the Mughal Empire, the mosque was used as a garrison by the Sikh Empire and the British Empire, and is now one of Pakistan’s most iconic sights.
The mosque is located adjacent to the Walled City of Lahore, Pakistan. The entrance to the mosque lies on the western side of the rectangular Hazuri Bagh (حضوری باغ), and faces the famous Alamgiri Gate (عالمگیری گیٹ) of the Lahore Fort, which is located on the eastern side of the Hazuri Bagh. The mosque is also located next to the Roshnai Gate (روشنی گیٹ), one of the original thirteen gates of Lahore, which is located to the southern side of the Hazuri Bagh.
Near the entrance of the mosque lies the Tomb of Muhammad Iqbal (مقبرہ محمد اقبال), a poet widely revered in Pakistan as the founder of the Pakistan Movement which led to the creation of Pakistan as a homeland for the Muslims of British India. Also located near the mosque’s entrance is the tomb of Sir Sikandar Hayat Khan (سر سکندر حیات خان), who is credited for playing a major role in preservation and restoration of the mosque.
The eighth Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb, chose Lahore as the site for his new imperial mosque. Aurangzeb, unlike the previous emperors, was not a major patron of art and architecture and instead focused, during much of his reign, on various military conquests which added over 3 million square kilometres to the Mughal realm.
The mosque was built to commemorate Aurangzeb’s military campaigns in southern India, in particular against the Maratha king Shivaji. As a symbol of the mosque’s importance, it was built directly across from the Lahore Fort and its Alamgiri Gate, which was concurrently built by Aurangzeb during construction of the mosque. Wikipedia