Known for the vibrant colors and symmetrical designs, Islamic Architecture has been a crucial part of the Muslim culture since the 7th century. It is inspired by different groups and races which include the Byzantines, the Copts, Romans and Sassanids. Mosque, tomb, palaces, and forts are built around the world reflecting the Muslim traditions with awes trucking architecture. It is usually preferred to use cheaper materials like wood and clay and forbid paintings of living things. A strict pattern is followed which is evident in structure and character. Furthermore, there are two main aspects of Islamic Architecture. They include Calligraphy and Arabesque.
Calligraphy(handwriting) is the written form of Arabic script which is used in making copies of Quran and wall designs. Arabesque, on the other hand, is the designing of patterns like vines, leaves and flowers. Patterns made with straight and curly lines, and geometric shapes are commonly used. Also, animal shapes are used although without the living effect.
The Islamic Architecture in Pakistan was mostly built by the Mughals. Details of a few monuments are as follows:
The Naulakha Pavilion:
A small, white colored marbled building that is known to be one of the most panoramic and alluring building of Lahore. The structure is laid with precious stones. The large arched gates and convex roofs give It an ancient look that goes well with the city and its traditions. Interestingly, this place has influenced many other architectural sites including The Pakistani Embassy in Washington. The curved roof is inspired by the Bengali traditions. Gilded roof and glazed tiles add on to the attraction. Images of angels are used to give it a religious effect.
Being the second largest mosque in Pakistan, and the epitome of tourist interest, The Badshahi mosque is a supreme example of how beautiful Architecture can seem. Red colored stones and white marbles are used. With closeness to the Ravi river, the mosque does not have gates in the north wall. Similarly, one was excluded in the south wall to maintain symmetry. The four minarets at each corner of the mosque help make the echo.
UNESCO has called Shalimar Bagh a World Heritage Site. Its design is inspired by Shalimar Gardens in Kashmir. It is a parallelogram shaped garden with high walls of bricks which have carvings on it. The Bagh was built on 7 ascending terraces, however, only 3 of them remain now which are called: Farah Bakhsh, Faiza Bakhsh, and Hayat Bakhsh. To give a beautiful hint of the Mughal charm, 410 fountains were added and that is enough to speak about how admirable the view is. Buildings with extravagant architecture adds on to the function and utilization of the garden. Different buildings for different purposes were built which includes Sawan Bhadun Pavilion, Aiwan, Hammam, Naqar khana, Aramgah, etc. These served well to the Royal Family and the visitors of the time.
Built by Emperor Jahangir in Lahore, the Hiran Minar is a masterpiece that speaks of Mughal Elegancy and creativity. A hunting retreat built in the memory of the Emperors most loved antelope, Mansraj, Hiran Minar is yet another piece of beauty that is 30 m tall and 10 m wide.214 holes are made which are said to be used as support of animal trophies. The architecture and structure was inspired by Hiram Minar. Projections are used to display the captured heads of rebels. A bridge connects the tower to the octagonal baradari which is surrounded by a rectangular tank. The tank is cornered using pavilions and have pyramidal roofs. Shallow ramps are made. The tank was the main water supplier to wild animals in nearby parks. This Minar is the feature of glory of the Islamic Architecture.
The main point of attraction in Bahawalpur, Noor Mahal is the prime monument of Islamic Architecture. This palace was built under the supervision of Heenan, a British Engineer and is worth 1.2 million Pkr. Five domes are built in a classic, Islamic traditional way and colorful bricks are used to make the outer part of the Mahal. A huge garden and fountains add on to the glamour of the Noor Mahal. 32 rooms and 6 verandas are built too. Along with the vast use of Islamic Architecture, The Corinthian style is evident by the columns, balustrade, ceilings, and pediments while the subcontinent culture is exhibited by the use of angular elliptical shapes.
Thus, Islamic architecture is a big asset to the tourism and adds on to the appealing culture of Pakistan.