LAHORE The conservation and restoration work on one of the hallmarks of the late Mughal architecture, Sonehri Moque (Golden Mosque), in Kashmir Bazaar is going on.

The project, started in January 2021, would is set to complete in January 2022, Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) officials told Dawn.

According to historical accounts, construction of the mosque started in 1748 and it was completed in 1753.

The WCLA officials said there were a number of conservation works being carried out, including consolidation of gilded three domes, restoration of domelets, restoration of fresco paintings, stitching of cracks, plaster of walls, Pakka Kali of walls, domes and minarets, roof treatment and improvement of rainwater outlets, cleaning, lime plastering and flooring of inner side of domes, illumination of the monument, rehabilitation of shops elevation and consolidation after shifting of transformer and high transmission lines, removal and redesign and fixing of the courtyard shed, consolidation and improvement of water pond, demolition and reconstruction of bathrooms, improvement of infrastructure i.e. cold & hot water pipes, sewage, electrification and laying of electrical conduits, wiring, sound system and CCTV cameras.

The officials concerned have conducted site visits on a need basis, giving input in implementation of the project such as lighting and illumination design. After illumination design and lighting, the mosque would wear a shimmering look.

The mosques like Wazir Khan Mosque and Badshahi Mosque were built during the peak of the Mughal Empire; however, ht eSonehri Mosque was built in 1753 during the very decline of the empire. The mosque was built by Nawab Bukhari Khan, the deputy governor of Lahore. It has a magnificent structure, built about 11 foot high from the bazaar level. The architecture of the mosque features influences of the Sikh architecture, mostly inspired by the patterns found in Amritsar.

The officials said due to the conservation and restoration work, the mosque was closed for visitors and prayers these days and a grand ceremony would be held on its reopening.

The officials expect the mosque to be a great attraction for tourists and other visitors after its conservation and restoration work. They said all the domes of the mosque would wear a new layer of gold water turning its beauty into a majestic one.

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2021

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