Considered one of the last great monuments of the Mughal period, the mosque remains the largest on the Indian subcontinent. It is adjacent to the western wall of the Lahore Fort, and was commissioned by Emperor Awrangzib (1658-1707) to house a number of relics of the Prophet. The scheme is based upon that of the Jami Masjid of Shahjahanabad, Delhi, and uses similar materials --red sandstone decorated with white marble-- that depart from the tilework facing typical of Lahore architecture.
The mosque stands in a walled enclosure with high minarets at each corner, the whole built upon a high plinth that raises it above the city and Fort. Another set of minarets marks each corner of the mosque itself. The façade is arcaded, with a high central Iran. Three white marble double-domes, the central one slightly larger than the others, complete the composition. The interior is decorated with elaborate floral and cartouche motifs in painted plaster reliefwork, as well as with white marble inlay. Sources:
Tillotson, G. H. R. Mughal India, 134. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 1990.
Koch, Ebba. Mughal Architecture: An Outline of its History and Development (1526-1858), 129. Munich: Prestel, 1991.
Chaudhry, Nazir Ahmad. Lahore: Glimpses of a Glorious Heritage, 139-44. Lahore: Sang-e Meel Publications, 1998.