Aga Khan Cultural Services, Pakistan and Walled City Lahore Authority: Rescuing Lahore’s Masjid Wazir Khan

Aga Khan Cultural Services, Pakistan & Walled City Lahore Authority: Rescuing Lahore's Masjid Wazir KhanThe Mughal Era Masjid Wazir Khan needs immediate measures for its renovation, preservation and conservation otherwise it may face a horrible fate.

The mosque is facing serious threats due to indifferent management, improper and inadequate conservation and upkeep.

Masjid Wazir Khan (Wazir Khan Mosque) was built in 1634-35 AD (1044-45 AH), by Hakim Aliuddin, subedar (governor) of the Punjab from 1632-1639 in the reign of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan. It was the largest mosque in Lahore at that time, with the Badshahi Masjid construction still fifty years away while superseding the Begum Shahi Mosque built in 1614 AD (1023 AH).

A senior official of WCLA said a comprehensive documentation of the monument that started in May 2009 was carried out by a technical team of conservation architects and engineers from the Aga Khan Trust for Culture – Aga Khan Cultural Services Pakistan (AKTC – AKCSP), to determine the range of problems and issues faced by the Wazir Khan Mosque.

He said such a detailed examination has never been attempted for a historic monument in Lahore before. He maintained that documentation was carried out using laser electronic measurement and photo orthorectification technologies coupled together, resulting in very accurate coverage of the mosque’s condition.

The mosque suffers from several instances of structural failure, a special report prepared by Walled City Lahore Authority (WCLA) revealed. It claimed that the serious threats being faced by the mosque are manifested in the leaning out of the four minarets, in the resultant structural cracks induced in the structure of the prayer chamber, in cracks caused by subsidence of southern flank of the courtyard due to water ingress from badly sited and maintained ablution and toilet facilities, from the prevention of the egress of water from roof tops, particularly because of the houses built against and on the top of the southern wall of the monument.

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