Badshahi Mosque, Lahore, Pakistan
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Badshahi Mosque is the biggest mosque in Pakistan. It is located in Lahore, across from Lahore Fort. It is known as the King's Mosque, as it was built in 1673 for the king, the sixth Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. Aurangzeb is of course the son who imprisoned his father Shah Jahan, builder of the Taj Mahal. The mosque sits on a raised platform to avoid flooding by the nearby Ravi River.
Construction of Badshahi Mosque was carried out under the supervision of Muzaffar Hussain, also known as Fidai Khan Koka, whom Aurangzeb appointed as Governor of Lahore in 1671. To accommodate the mosque, a new gate was built for Lahore Fort facing the main entrance of the mosque. It was called Alamgiri Gate, after the title Aurangzeb gave to himself, Alamgiri, meaning "Conqueror of the World".
Badshahi Mosque entrance
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Badshahi Mosque has eight minarets, four big ones and four smaller ones. The four major minarets are each 53.75 m (176 ft) in height. They are 4.2 m (13.9 ft) taller than the minarets of the Taj Mahal. For 313 years, from the time it was completed in 1673 until 1986, Badshahi Mosque was the biggest mosque in the world. It was only surpassed when the Faisal Mosque of Islamabad was completed in 1986. Subsequently the completion of the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco made it the biggest mosque. With the expansion of Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina completed, the world's biggest mosques are Masjid al-Haram, Masjid al-Nabawi, Hassan II Mosque, Faisal Mosque and Badshahi Mosque.
A replica of the Badshahi Mosque can be found at Taman Tamadun Islam, an Islamic-themed monument park in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia.
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