New Lahore mosque will have largest indoor capacity

Published: February 15, 2013
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Construction is underway for a mosque that will attempt to capture the essence of Lahore. PHOTO: SONIA MALIK

Construction is underway for a mosque that will attempt to capture the essence of Lahore. PHOTO: SONIA MALIK

Construction is underway for a mosque that will attempt to capture the essence of Lahore. PHOTO: SONIA MALIK Construction is underway for a mosque that will attempt to capture the essence of Lahore. PHOTO: SONIA MALIK Construction is underway for a mosque that will attempt to capture the essence of Lahore. PHOTO: SONIA MALIK
LAHORE: 

The calligraphic inlays will resemble those of the Badshahi Masjid in Lahore. Tiles for indoor flooring will mirror the ones at Lahore’s Wazir Khan Masjid. Sandstone bricks for the courtyard are derivative of the orange-hued ones found in Multan.

A grand salad of popular architectural patterns in Pakistan, being built to accommodate up to 14,000 worshippers indoors, the under-construction mosque at Bahria Town, Lahore boasts of elaborate planning. The courtyard and corridor leading to the main halls of worship can accommodate another 14,000.

Faisal Masjid in Islamabad, the current largest mosque of Pakistan, can accommodate up to 10,000 worshippers indoors (shade area). While Badshahi Masjid in Lahore, the second largest, can accommodate 8,500 (shade area).

Nayyar Ali Dada, explaining the glimpse of Badshahi Masjid and Wazir Khan Masjid within the architecture of the new mosque said that it has been designed to capture the historical essence of Lahore and its surrounding cities. “The previous design was inspired by an Abu Dhabi mosque. I had that remodelled.”

The sandstone bricks for the exterior bear the characteristic orange hue. “The sands of Multan have an orange colour. While Lahore’s is more impure, which is why Multan’s sand was brought in to make the exterior bricks,” said Dada.

“We found some old craftsmen, while some new ones were trained to make geometric and floral patterned tiles. Not similar to those at Wazir Khan — but inspired by them,” said Dada.

Work on the mosque began about three years ago and between 800 and 1,000 labourers have been constantly working at the site ever since, says Waseem Ahmad, the general manager of Bahria Constructions. The cost of the building stands at over a billion rupees already, according to him.

The main, three-dimensional arched dome, at a height of 150 feet and will be embossed with floral inlays and Mughal-era calligraphy. Eight chandeliers, synchronised to make a mammoth chandelier, will be installed at the dome’s centre.

Eight different varieties of marble are being flown in to floor the ground immediately beneath the dome.

“This place will accommodate more worshippers indoors. The circular side of the mosque and a broad corridor connecting it with the courtyard has a basement as big. While eight balconies circle the main dome, largely increasing space of the covered area of the mosque,” said Ahmad.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2013. 

Correction: An earlier version of this story mentioned unclear capacity figures for Faisal and Badshahi mosques. These figures have now been clarified.

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Reader Comments (27)

  • Baba Ji
    Feb 15, 2013 - 10:29AM

    Is it close to Bilawal house ? and I heard there shall be an entry ticket of Rs. 50/- per person for this !!!! Annual pass, senior citizen pass and student pass are also being considered along with VIP cards …

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  • Asad Malik
    Feb 15, 2013 - 10:52AM

    How about we spend some money on family planning and education for once? You can pray at home but you need to have an education to make a living and have a home.

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  • aslam
    Feb 15, 2013 - 11:06AM

    Why don’t you build a large school instead and earn our respect for a change?Recommend

  • Feb 15, 2013 - 11:20AM

    make a VIP enclosure please

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  • Acorn Guts
    Feb 15, 2013 - 11:59AM

    Have we ever filled Badshahi or Faisal mosque to capacity for the daily prayers?

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  • s malik
    Feb 15, 2013 - 12:32PM

    Enough mosques, we need schools and colleges

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  • Happens
    Feb 15, 2013 - 1:18PM

    @Asad Malik
    Don’t worry , this will be used to educate both educated and uneducated minds.

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  • Fareed
    Feb 15, 2013 - 1:27PM

    @Asad MAlik
    @Acorn Guts

    Are you guys Indians who are asking these questions and making such comments? No true Muslim would talk like this. No true patriotic Pakistani would make these comments.

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  • Ali
    Feb 15, 2013 - 3:12PM

    I think the figures are missing a 0 at the end in terms of number of worshipers in the various mosques. Please correct ET.

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  • Shah
    Feb 15, 2013 - 3:27PM

    Mashallah!!!!

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  • Zahra
    Feb 15, 2013 - 3:37PM

    @Fareed:
    Yes we are Pakistani’s and we want education. We have enough mosques. The day the mosques are full of capacity then you may build more. The need of the hour is education. We are becoming similar to muslims of India in the 19 century when we refused to learn the english language and participate in daily life – hence we suffered! I ask you when do you see mosques full? Only on Fridays and Eid.

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  • shoaib
    Feb 15, 2013 - 3:43PM

    so whats the point man of building “this mosque” .i get building the mosque for the sake of building it coz i dont think baharia town has that many NAMAZI’s.
    may be malik sahib got reminded if you build mosque you go to jannah . aah poor fellow’s getting the wrong idea .

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  • Danish
    Feb 15, 2013 - 3:46PM

    I swear I am a pakistani and I fully support building of schools, hospitals and universities instead of mosques.

    Please stop saying that whosoever doesn’t agree with you is ‘not a true pakistani’.

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  • Rana
    Feb 15, 2013 - 3:56PM

    Design of the minarets clearing suggest which schools thought of KSA may have funded for!! I hope it would not be used as TTP hatchery.

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  • mkb
    Feb 15, 2013 - 4:39PM

    And parking? I hope they are making arrangements for parking.

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  • Fahad
    Feb 15, 2013 - 5:10PM

    More schools. I agree with s Malik.
    @Fareed only true Pakistanis would say this!

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  • Ishrat salim
    Feb 15, 2013 - 5:29PM

    Is Lahore only Punjab ? why all money being spent in Lahore while the rest of Punjab lacks even basic facilities….this creating sense of deprivation among people of other districts of Punjab…billions being spent but not on electricity n energy for industries n factories and Punjab govt pointing fingers towards central govt…..why ?.

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Feb 15, 2013 - 5:42PM

    @Fareed:

    @Asad MAlik @Acorn Guts

    Are you guys Indians who are asking
    these questions and making such
    comments?

    yep! it’s an Indian conspiracy to educate Pakistanis.

    Recommend

  • Fudge
    Feb 15, 2013 - 5:56PM

    @Fareed:
    who are you to label anybody Indian who doesn’t agree with you? I am Pakistani and I would rather have a large school built. And excuse me, please stop classifying true Muslims and not so true Muslims by yourself; you are NO authority!

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  • Huma
    Feb 15, 2013 - 6:03PM

    Everyone advocating that more schools should have been built with that money should put their money where their mouth is and pay for a school to be built!

    This mosque is being built with the money of a private individual NOT the government. You are within your rights to go build a school, college or even a hospital with YOUR OWN money.
    This one individual has already built schools, universities and hospitals. To go along with this development he is building a place of prayer and education – a mosque.

    I cannot tell you where to go spend your money, so please do not go off on a tangent and start dictating where a private individual should spend his.

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  • aj
    Feb 15, 2013 - 6:07PM

    @Ishrat salim:
    these comments are damn old now..lol

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  • Ali Tanoli
    Feb 15, 2013 - 6:35PM

    If there was a university next to this great mosque with same name i think that would be a something else …..

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  • Mussawer
    Feb 15, 2013 - 7:57PM

    I really can’t figure out the reason behind all this raving against building a mosque. No doubt we need schools and hospitals. But building a mosque is not a crime. Besides this is just a news story based on a piece of information. If you guys don’t want to say prayers it’s upto you but jabbering against building a place of worship is plain senselessness.

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  • Tamoor R
    Feb 16, 2013 - 5:28PM

    Mashallah

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  • Feb 21, 2013 - 1:12PM

    It is really beautifull Masjid and a wonderfull addition in Lahore beauty. It has a large capacity for Namazis. Hope fully this Masjid will attract people to say prayer 5 times a day in Bahria Town Lahore.

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  • expaki
    Feb 23, 2013 - 12:47AM

    to all Pakistani MUSALMANS, how about for 10 years people should donate their HAJ money for education? Do not all musalmans say that educating poor is HAJ e AKBAR? I for one, was asked by my teacher, to allow him to donate money for education than him going to Mecca.

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  • expaki
    Feb 23, 2013 - 1:36AM

    @Ishrat salim: Salim Sahib, ok ok, take all the mosques from Lahore, along their their MULLAHS and and give Lahore back all the schools you can. DEAL?

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