Lahore History Tour – Installment #22
In the last history tour installment we finished off the Shish Mahal courtyard of the Lahore Fort and today we will be moving on to some of the seperate standing sturctures in the Fort, as opposed to the structures within quadrangles which we have visited in the previous posts. Today, we will visit two of these structures, namely Maktab Khana and Moti Mosque both of which lie is close proximity to each other.
Entrance to the Maktab Khana (Clerk’s House). It is a small cloistered court surrounded by arcades in which clerks use to sit, recording the names of visitors. The inscription outside tells that King Jahangir built Maktab Khana in 1618.
Courtyard of Moti Mosque (Pearl Mosque). The Moti Mosque stands on the western side of Lahore Fort, near the Alamgiri Gate. It was built by Shah Jahan in 1644 and like many of his other buildings, it is entirely in white marble. The courtyard, measuring 55 feet by 32 feet, is paved with marble slabs and is enclosed on the west by the prayer chamber, on the north and on east by compartments of irregular shapes, and on the south by a wall.
The prayer chamber stands on a plinth a little over a foot high and is marked by a carved decorative string course which runs around the whole courtyard. The prayer chamber measures 55 feet by 25 feet, broken by five curved archways which create five compartments, each further divided by similar arched openings.