Built in 17th Century under Auragzeb Empire, Badshai Mosque became the defining legacy of Lahore. This mosque was built in order to honor the military campaigns against the Maratha leader Shivaji Bhonsle. With the transfer of power among different groups, Badshai Mosque has been used greatly for the military purpose. However, in 1852, Muslims were finally able to convince Viceroy of India to reestablish this mosque as a place of religious worship.
Since then, Badshai Mosque had been used for nothing but only for religious purposes. Badshahi mosque remained one of the largest mosques in the world for 313 years until 1986 when the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad was completed. It is now second largest mosque in Pakistan and South Asia and the fifth largest in the world.
Mughal’s obsession for the complex architectural design can be observed in this place as well. Most of the mughal era buildings in Lahore are heavily inspired by the persian architectural designs. Masjid Wazir Khan stands out to be the perfect example of this type of architectural style. However, Mughal Emperor Auragzeb chose an architectural plan similar to the Jama Masjid in Delhi. Though Badsahi Masjid is much larger in scale than Jama Masjid, the inspiration of architectural design is derived from that mosque.
Like Shalimar Gardens, Badshahi Mosque is in the tentative list as a UNESCO World Heritage Site