The Most Beautiful Mosques Of Pakistan

Even though mosques are central to the Islamic faith, most possess a rich history of their own. Pakistani mosques in particular are appreciated for their cascading domes, slender minarets and intricately raveled art; from the ancient beauty of Badshahi Mosque to futuristic lines of Faisal Mosque, the country has some of the world’s most impressive, largest, and beautiful mosques.

Faisal Mosque
Faisal Masjid has eight-sided concrete shells and is shaped liked a desert Bedouin’s tent. It is named after the Saudi King Faisal Bin Abdul-Aziz. Dominating the landscape of Islamabad, it stands at an elevated position at the foot of the Margalla Hills. Faisal Mosque is one of the most famous places to see in the city and attracts tourists from all over. A contemporary and influential piece of Islamic architecture that can accommodate more than 300,000 worshippers in its porticoes, courtyard and adjoining grounds it is the work of noted Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay whose design was approved in an international competition in which architects from 17 countries participated. The architectural nod of the mosque is positioned towards Kaaba. Unlike the traditional mosque design, it does not have a dome; the minaret draws on the traditional Turkish design that is slender and pencil-shaped.

Mahabat Khan Mosque
The 17th-century mosque tucked away in the western part of Chowk Yadgar in Peshawar, it is famous for its gorgeous geometric design and was named after the Mughal ruler of Peshawar Nawab Mahabat Khan. He was designated as governor in the reign of two great Mughal emperors, Aurangzeb and Shah Jahan. The mosque was built in 1630. A washbasin in the middle of the courtyard and rows of rooms on both sides can be seen in its open courtyard. The prayer hall is located on the west side, surrounded by two tall minarets. The interior of the auditorium is protected by three low groove domes, painted in beautifully contrasting colours with floral and geometric patterns.

Shah Jahan Mosque
As the name suggests, this mosque was built during the reign of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and is situated in the town of Thatta, 60 miles from Karachi, in the Sindh province. It has been known that the mosque was gifted to the people of the town for their hospitality during his royal visit. The construction of the mosque was completed in 1647. The design was influenced by Timurid architectural styles from Central Asia – from where the previous rulers of Sindh, the Tarkhans, had hailed before the region was annexed by the Mughals in 1592. Famous for its 100 domes and world’s only mosque having such number of domes made from red bricks, each decorated with a mosaic of radiating blue and white tiles, it is known for its remarkable echo which means that the prayer can be heard from anywhere in the building. It is listed on the tentative UNESCO World Heritage list since 1993.

Grand Jamia Mosque
The next famous mosque on the list is Grand Jamia Mosque which is located in Lahore’s Bahria Town. The mosque is a very recent addition to the city and can accommodate at least 70,000 worshippers. It is the third greatest mosque in Pakistan and the seventh-largest in the world. A beautiful addition to Lahore’s skyline, its imposing structure was designed by Nayyar Ali Dada in 2014. The mosque’s interior design is covered by over four million handcrafted tiles from Multan. What adds to its grand beauty is that it is decorated with custom-made Turkish carpets and 50 chandeliers imported from Iran. To top it all, it also has an Islamic heritage museum with rare Quranic collections, an Islamic library, and an Islamic art gallery. The cost of this mega-mosque was approximately US$ 40 million. It was inaugurated on 6 October, 2014 on the day of Eid-ul-Adha and can accommodate a total of 95,000 worshipers.

Moti Mosque
This pearl of Lahore has many stories, myths, and mysteries associated with it. The small mosque is rumoured to house spirits and ghosts. The mosque was also built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in 1645. It is named Moti Masjid or Pearl Mosque because of its white pearl-like colour and small size. Shah Jahan built three Moti Masjids; the first in Lahore, the second at Agra Fort in 1654 and the third at Red Fort, Delhi in 1662.

Badshahi Mosque
This is a breath-taking structure located in the west heart of Lahore which has been one of the most visited spots in the city. It’s been visited by many celebrities and public figures, including the Princess of Wales, Diana, and most recently the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Kate Middleton. Representing the grandeur of the Mughal era, the mosque was built by the sixth Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1671 and was completed in 1673. The artistry in the arches, stucco tracery and intricate frescoes, embellished with red sandstone and marble inlay make it ever-so-fascinating. With an elaborated courtyard and red brick structure, it was the first largest mosque in Pakistan until Faisal mosque took the title in 1986. The courtyard of the mosque can accommodate up to 100,000 worshipers. Its ideal location in the Allama Iqbal Park with other historical monuments has made it a more valued tourist attraction of Lahore.

Tooba Masjid
A single-dome mosque located in Karachi’s Defence area, it is also known as the Gol Masjid. Its distinctive architecture, built using pure white marble, was designed by Pakistani architect Dr Babar Hamid Chauhan and the engineering services were carried out by Zaheer Haider Naqvi. The mosque’s primary prayer hall can hold up to 5,000 worshippers. It was built in 1969 and is the 18th largest mosque in the world. Its dome is 236 feet in diameter and rests on an enclosed wall without a central pillar while its minaret is 70-meter-high.

Wazir Khan Mosque
Located in Lahore, Wazir Khan is famous for its extensive tile work. It is described as ‘a mole on the cheek in Lahore’ and is one of the most visited historical places in Pakistan. It was built during the seven-year reign of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, commissioned by the Mughal Governor of Lahore Shaikh Ilam-ud-Din Ansari who was commonly known as Wazir Khan. The construction started in 1634 and completed in 1635. Since it is situated in the downtown of Lahore it can easily be reached through Delhi Gate. The mosque’s distinctive onion-shaped domes and minarets covered in mosaics, consisting of brightly coloured tiles depict its true artistry. Not just a place for worship, it’s more than art engraved with stunning calligraphic verses of the Holy Quran and Persian poetry in floral designs.