Heritage

October 21, 2018

Inside Masjid Wazir Khan

You will find a lot of photographers visiting this mosque and for a good reason. I find the light inside challenging, but the end result is rewarding. While I took various images of the interior of the mosque over the years, this one with a fisheye lens, is one of my personal favorites.

” It will be observed that in these arabesques each leaf and each detatched portion of the white ground is a separate piece of pot or tile, and the work is strictly inlay and not painted decoration. The panels of the pottery are set in hard mortar. In the mosque itself are some very good specimens of Perso-Indian arabesque painting on the smooth chunam walls. This work, which is freely painted and good in style, is true fresco painting, the ‘bunono fresco’ of the Italians, and, like the inlaid ceramic work, is now no longer practised, modern native decoration being usually fresco secco or mere distemper painting. The reason for this is that there has been no demand for this kind of work for many years. Though the buildiner was a native of the Punjab, the style is more Perso-Mughal and less Indian than that of any other building in the city.”

– LAHORE AS IT WAS, Travelogue, 1860, J L Kipling & T H Thornton

It was built in seven years starting around 1634–1635 AD during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan. Shaikh Ilm-ud-din Ansari (Kipling quotes him as Ali-ud-Din), a native of Chiniot who rose to be the court physician to Shah Jahan and the governor of Lahore. He was commonly known as Wazir Khan and thus the mosque came to be known as the Wazir Khan Mosque. The mosque is inside the old walled city and is easiest accessed from Delhi Gate.

” This mosque was built on the site of the tomb of an old Ghaznavid saint in AD 1634 by Hakim Ali-ud-Din, a Patan of Chiniot, who rose to the position of wazir in the reign of Shahjehan. It is remarkable for the profusion and excellence of the inlaid pottery decorations in the panelling of the walls. Local legend says that artists were sent for expressly from China to execute work; but there is no histrocial authority for this, nor is there any trace of Chinese style in either the design or the execution. Its origin is manifestly Persian, and the descendents of the craftsman employed to this day pride themselves on their persian origin.”

– LAHORE AS IT WAS, Travelogue, 1860, J L Kipling & T H Thornton

Watercolor on Paper (1870-1883) by Mohammed Din who was trained at the Lahore School of Art.

Taken with Sony Alpha 7R II

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Shutter Speed 1/125s

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Taken In May, 2017

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