Badshahi Mosque at Lahore was built during the period of Emperor Aurangzeb Alamgiri in the year 1673-74 A.D, 576 feet square in plan the mosque is built on a raised platform. The main entrance is on the east which is approached by a flight of 22 stairs rising from three sides and ending on the red sandstone platform. The vast courtyard measuring about 530 feet square is divided into two parts: the upper and the lower. This latter part is called fina where funeral prayers can also be offered. It is also in this part that the ablution tank lies though it is not used for this purpose now. The upper part is further divided into three parts: the central portion or the main courtimage015yard of the mosque proper and the two side open which are lower by one step than the central one.

The courtyard is flanked all-round the huiras80 in all which served as madrassa (college) in the Mughal days. Hujras on the east were pulled down by the British in 1856 but have now been reconstructed and converted into long arcaded ablution halls. 50 feet square in plan and about 3’ deep the side walls of the central tank were originally lined with sang-e-abri slabs.

The interior consists of two deep and long hall the front compartment is divided into two big balls by the intercepting central vault. The back portion is divided into seven

image014intercommunicated halls or bays by means of eight this arched on massive jambs which were a technical necessity to take the load of the heavy roof and domes above. The dado of the whole of the interior with the exception of the mehrab and spandrels of the central hall which have marble veneer is finished with lime plaster bearing in relief a floral network of excellent workmanship, attractive in shape and the curves suited to different positions. Though it was tastefully painted with bright colors in fresco yet the overall effect is that of a sober composition.

On the top or the skyline of the prayer chamber four corner octagonal minarets four Guldastas two in front flanking the central vault and two on the back in response and three image013beautiful Bulbuous domes with a superb refined curvature constructed at the neck greatly add to its architectural accomplishment. Central dome with a diameter of 63 feet is bigger than the rest. The minarets and Guldastas in order to break the monotony are all in laid with white marble vertical lines and surmounted with pavilions crowned with beautiful cupolas in white marble with beautiful glittering gilded pinnacles of copper.

The four corneimage017r minars with an outer circumference of 67 feet rise 176 high above their plinth. The top pavilion carried over 8 octagonal columns is alone 32 high circular and hollow inside the Centre is occupied by a vertical shaft round which run 204 steps to ascend to the top pavilion which gives a bird’s eye view of Lahore.