Wazir Khan Mosque
Wazir Khan Mosque is located in Lahore and the direct opposite of the Wazir Khan Chowk near the Delhi Gate Lahore. It was built by the Governor (or Wazir) of the Punjab, Hakim Shaikh Ilm-ud-din Ansari. It is the best attraction of the Royals. Despite being one of the last prominent remnants of the Mughal Dynasty in Lahore, this mosque gets a little mention when listing must-see places in Lahore. In recent years, however, the place has seen a surge in visitors. Social media worthy photo-ops may be one reason why.
The din and dust of the bustling Walled City resound in Wazir Khan’s atmosphere. This makes for a fitting backdrop as one admires the outer façade of the Mosque. Even though the original entrance at the front of the Wazir Khan Mosque is no longer used, you can stand at the Chowk of Wazir khan and take in the structure of this mosque. Its grandeur demands appreciation in silence. The dominating feature of this entrance is the minarets on either side.
The most commonly used entrance is a recently constructed one, towards one of the mosque’s sides. This change and many others have been made by the Trust of Aga Khan to preserve this cultural marvel. This path is outlined by arches on either side, with rooms between them dedicated to the Ministry of Religious Affairs and other administrative bodies. On further inquiry, I was told that these spaces were previously occupied by vendors and shop owners.
The Wazir Khan Mosque structure looks like the of the Badshahi Mosque, despite being considerably smaller in size. However, Wazir Khan still holds its own. Most architecture and colorful borders increase the sun-baked brick floor in the courtyard. A water fountain running for ablution rests in the center of the mosque. The open space is enclosed by rooms with arched entrances on all four sides. Although these rooms are empty now, they were historically the residential quarters for the Imam (prayer leader) and his family. Iranian Sufi-saint Hazrat Miran Shah Shrine here is the western side of a mosque in the courtyard.
Sturdy minarets stand tall and strong at the corners of the courtyard. These minarets giants have domes over them with comprehensive designs from the same Persian-styled color palette as the mosaics on the mosque walls. I would even risk being pooped on by pigeons hovering around them if I could sit on top of one of them and marvel at the craft of those who made them.