Pakistan is an historic country; it has ancient buildings and newly constructed monuments as well. Badshahi Mosque is one of the greatest tourist attractions in the country. It is present in Lahore, which is considered as the heart of the country.
The mosque was built by the Mughal emperor, Aurangzeb. The construction of the Badshahi mosque was started in 1671 and it completed in 1673, after the period of two years. The area, where the mosque is located, is the historical hub of the Lahore city. Lahore Fort is present just in front of the mosque, which is another historic building, associated with Mughal emperors. In the past river Ravi was present very near to the Mosque, so to avoid the flooding water, mosque was constructed on a high platform, but now the river has changed its course and there is no chance of flooding.
The construction of mosque is done with bricks and red stone is also used in the construction. Use of white marble is also visible at some places. These unique stones were brought to Lahore from the Jaipur, for the construction of this mosque. In the Sikh and British era, the mosque was badly damaged and used for military purposes. British rulers made some changes in the construction as well.
If we talk about the design of the mosque, it resembles with the mosque in Delhi, India. This mosque was constructed by the emperor Shah Jahan in 1648. The design has touch of Persian, Indian and central Asian architecture. The Badshahi mosque is vast and really majestic. The interior of the mosque is decorated with fresco work and marble is used inside the mosque.
The mosque has the capacity to hold 55,000 people in the hall and the total capacity of the mosque is 95,000. For many years it was the largest mosque in the world, and now it is the second largest in the country. After the foundation of Pakistan, the Mosque was restored to its original form. Now, there is a small museum inside the mosque, which is open for the public as well.
Another big event, held in the mosque was the gathering of 39 heads of states in the mosque. During the second Islamic summit, they all offered prayer in the mosque. The repair work is carried on in the mosque, whenever needed. Recently, sandstone was repaired few years back. The mosque is a great tourist attraction and its working too, people go to the mosque to offer prayer five times a day.