Grand Jamia Masjid is the third largest mosque in Pakistan, located in Bahria Town, Lahore. It is the largest and most beautiful of South Asia’s mosques. With a capacity of 70,000 worshippers, this mosque is the fourteenth largest mosque in the world. Grand Jamia Masjid is also known as Badshahi Masjid.
Construction: This historic mosque was designed by Nayar Ali Dada. The mosque was built in the late 17th century during the Mughal Empire. The mosque, flanked by Badshahi Mosque, Wajib Khan Mosque, and Sheikh Zayed Mosque, cost over 4 billion rupees (about $39 million) to build. The mosque was inaugurated on 6th October 2014, i.e., the holy day of Eid-Ul-Azhar.
Architecture: The mosque blends traditional Islamic architecture with modern design elements. Four minarets measure 165 feet in height, and 20 smaller domes surround a large dome. One floor houses a museum dedicated to Islamic heritage. It houses a rare Quran collection, an Islamic library, and a gallery of Islamic artwork, including ancient handicrafts. Outside the mosque, more than four million Multani hand-crafted mosaic tiles cover the surface of the mosque. The grand mosque is decorated with custom-made carpets imported from Turkey and over 50 chandeliers imported from Iran.
Design: The foundation of the entire structure is 20 feet from the ground, and the roof is 80 feet high. Massive four minarets mark the peaks of the structure. Its beauty is an awe-inspiring blend of traditional Islamic and modern architectural styles, with the most prominent central dome and several minarets. The dome measuring 40 feet in height and 50 feet in diameter, is the crown jewel of the exquisitely crafted mosque. At the base of each minaret are four arched wooden doors decorated with colorful, elaborate mosaic art that ascend in all directions to the top of the structure. The landscaped courtyard is designed in the “Charbagh” style, and many of the great mosques of the sub-continent have similar Persian garden layouts. This quadrangular garden is divided into four sections with four walkways and a beautiful fountain.
The mosque has several other facilities. Some examples are a large prayer hall, classrooms, religious education classes, a library, and many courtyards. The Grand Jamia Masjid is a popular destination for local worshipers and tourists visiting Lahore and is known for its spacious grounds and exquisite architectural features. Apart from serving as a place of worship, the Grand Jamia Masjid is also used for community events and activities such as religious festivals, political gatherings, and cultural events.