The mosque was founded by Hakim Ilmud Din Ansari, a distinguished physician from Chiniot who received the Ministerial title of 'Wazir Khan' under the reign of Shah Jahan, and was later promoted to the position of Viceroy of Punjab. He was active in commissioning buildings in Lahore. The mosque stands near the Delhi gate of Lahore, and is accessed through a gate leading into a forecourt which functions as a bazaar. A flight of stairs leads onto the raised platform on which the mosque is built. The mosque stands on the grave of the saint Miran Badshah, whose tomb is located in the elongated main courtyard, which also contains an ablution tank. The mosque is surrounded by shops, a serai, houses, and a large hammam, whose income helped support it. The main mosque is built in the brick and tile construction typical of the area, and is remarked for its fine, colourful ornament in paint and kashi work, or glazed tile mosaic. The designs include calligraphy and floral motifs. The mosque is divided into five compartments, each opening into a large courtyard and covered by a dome. The central of these, the main prayer hall, is larger than the rest, and is marked by a high pishtaq, or framed portal, protruding from the facade. Octagonal minarets mark the four corners of the interior courtyard.
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Koch, Ebba. Mughal Architecture: An Outline of its History and Development (1526-1858), 118-19. Munich: Prestel, 1991.
Latif, Syad Muhammad. Lahore: Architectural Remains: Its History, Architectural Remains and Antiquities, With an Account of its Modern Institutions, Inhabitants, their Trade, Customs, &c., 214-22. Lahore: New Imperial Press, 1892.
Mumtaz, Kamil Khan. "The Provinces." Architecture in Pakistan, 6. Edited by Judith Shaw. Singapore: Concept Media Pte Ltd, 1985.
Aga Khan Cultural Services - Pakistan. "History and Background" in Conservation of the Wazir Khan Mosque Lahore: Preliminary Report on Condition and Risk Assessment. Lahore, Pakistan. Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme, 2012.
The spectacular monumental ensemble of the Wazir Khan Mosque in the Walled City of Lahore was built in 1634 during the reign of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Its endowment then comprised the congregational mosque, an elaborate forecourt, a serai, a hammam, a bazaar, and a special bazaar for calligraphers and bookbinders. The mosque, the calligraphers’ bazaar, and the hammam still stand,while the other elements have disappeared—victims to Lahore’s turbulent history over nearly four centuries since the original dedication. What remains is increasingly in need of care and attention.
Over a two year period starting in 2009, the Historic Cities Programme of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, through the Aga Khan Cultural Service - Pakistan, conducted a baseline documentation of the monument and its surrounding areas. This volume contains the result of this work and presents an assessment of the organisational, technical and financial requirements for the conservation of the mosque as well as the revitalisation and enhancement of its surrounding context.
The Trust has been actively engaged with the Punjab Government in the conservation of the urban fabric of the Walled City of Lahore and has, since 2007, collaborated in urban rehabilitation and infrastructure improvement efforts in the neighbourhood of the monument.