The 14th century
Amburiq Mosque represents the first Islamic religious monument in the Shigar Valley built by Iranian craftsmen who were travelling with the Kashmiri preacher,
Syed Ali Hamdani. The Mosque which is richly adorned with carved motifs has strong
structural elements using the traditional ‘cribbage and cator’ technique,.
the mosque suffered severe deterioration over time, with its central tower destroyed and the mosque
having developed unstability as it was affected by leaning. Prior to physical
work, intensive documentation created a thorough understanding of the
building’s structure and informed the subsequent conservation work. The
conservation plan emphasized on using locally-available materials and artisans
trained in previous restoration activities in other parts of Gilgit-Baltistan. Furthermore,
the implementation plan stressed on protection of as much historic building
fabric as possible through the primary use of indigenous materials and crafts
and through use of supplementary modern
preservation techniques. This effort has helped to restore the authentic
Tibetan and Kashmiri architecture prevalent in the region in that time. The mosque and its courtyard have been returned to their original use with a
provision of its new ablution and washing space annexe. Similarly a small
museum has also been established in the mosque premises, giving renewed life,
to one of the region’s oldest historically and socially significant structures.
The total covered
area of the Mosque is 63m². Building restoration was started in April 1998 and was completed
in August 2000. Of the total restoration
cost of US$ 18'300, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Islamabad provided US$ 16'250, while the remaining amount was contributed by the local community. Aga Khan Cultural Services-Pakistan provided
technical assistance and oversight of the project. The project won the Award of Merit in the UNESCO
Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards of 2005.
Source: Aga Khan Cultural Services-Pakistan
14th c., restored 1998, restoration 1998-2000
near Shigar, Shigar, Northern Areas Controlled Region
Klimburg, Max. 2007. Traditional Art and Architecture in Baltistan. In Karakoram: Hidden Treasures in the Northern Areas of Pakistan, 2nd ed, edited by Stephano Bianca. Turin, Italy: Umberto Allemandi & Co.
This is the seventh chapter of the book, and the last of seven chapters in Part I: Historic Context.