Moti Masjid: A Pearl Of Lahore Fort

Moti Masjid or Pearl Mosque is a majestic and splendid architectural landmark of Mughal era and shows the refined taste of Mughal emperors. Moti masjid is a most elegant part of Lahore fort that is located near the Alamgiri Gate, the main entrance to the Lahore fort on the western side and very close to the other splendid structures of Lahore fort, such as the Shish Mahal and Naulakha Pavilion.

The magnificent Moti Mosque, a religious building was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and served as a praying area for the Imperial harem. The structure is simple, austere, and chaste with a touch of majesty. It is made of white marble brought from Makrana. The exceptional ceiling, cusped arches supported by baluster columns with their smooth contours, finely swollen domes and pure marble floor are the main features of highly valued Moti Masjid. Moti Masjid is the followed by Mina Masjid (Gem Mosque) and Nagina Masjid (Jewel Mosque), both located in Agra and completed in 1637 during Emperor Shah Jahan era.

After demise of Mughal empire, Moti Masjid had to face severe damages. During the days of Sikh confederacy (1716-1799), the mosque was converted into a Sikh temple and Sikhs ousted precious inlaid stones. Later, in the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh (1799-1839), it was used as the Government treasury. When the British took over Punjab in 1848, they found diamonds and other precious stones in rolled up bits of rags which were placed in velvet purses and scattered all over the mosque.