Shah Jahan Mosque, Thatta

Pakistan
Date of Submission: 14/12/1993
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Pakistan National Commission for UNESCO Ministry of Education
Coordinates: 24°46' latitude north / 67°59’ longitude north 96 kms east of Karachi
Ref.: 1286

Description

The mosque, a heavy brick structure of simple construction built upon a stone plinth, with heavy square pillars and massive walls, is centered around a courtyard 169' X 97'. The prayer chamber is of a similar size. Both are covered by large domes. On the north and south two aisled galleries open by means of arcades onto the courtyard. Ninety three domes cover the entire structure, and are probably the cause of a remarkable echo, which enables the prayers in front of the Mibrab to be heard in any part of the building. The mosque contains the most elaborate display of tile-work in the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent. The two main chambers, in particular, are entirely covered with them. Their domes have been exquisitely laid with a mosaic of radiating blue and white tiles. Stylish floral patterns, akin the seventeenth century Kashi work of Iran, decorate the spandrels of the main arches and elsewhere geometrical designs on square tiles are disposed in a series of panels.