BADSHAHI MOSQUE WITH CUPOLAS ON MINARETS
A RAREST VIEW OF THE MOSQUE IN 1725 AD
MISSING CUPOLAS NOT RAVAGES OF THE TIME
We all know that the Badshahi Mosque was in very bad condition in Sikh times, as it was used as an artillery as well as a stable by them. It was also used as a residence by one of the Generals of Ranjit Singh. Most images of the past show a view of the Badshahi Mosque with minarets minus the cupolas on them. Most writers have repeated the assertion that the cupolas were destroyed by an earthquake in 1840 and subsequently removed. However engravings of 1838 as well as 1839 show that the Cupolas were even missing at that time. This earthquake conjecture seems to be all wrong.
Sher Singh as well as Hira Singh used the top of the minarets to mount cannons on them to fire at the Lahore Fort but that was in and after 1841. What is the actual background of the missing cupolas?
Ahmad Shah Abdalli left Lahore in 1763, appointing Kabuli Mal as Governor of Lahore. G. Forster who visited Punjab in around 1783, records in his travelogue:
” The Siques….. they beseiged… they took the city of Lahore…committed violent outrages. The mosques that had been ever rebuilt or restored to use by the Mohammedans, were demolished with every mark of contempt and indignation; and the Afghans in chains, washed the foundations with the blood of hogs.”
I think it was after 1763, that the Sikhs destroyed the cupolas of the Badshahi Mosque Lahore as well as other mosques. In fact historian Mufti Ghulam Sarwar speaks of at least 2000 Muslim monuments destroyed by various Sikhs in the course of time. Proof of that is there that many mosques are still in possession of Sikhs to this day. The story of Masjid Shaheed Ganj is one such story. But that is another blog.