LAHORE: The Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) has completed almost 70 per cent of the conservation and restoration works of Makatib Khana and Moti Masjid inside Lahore Fort.
The project had started in November last year and is scheduled to be completed in another couple of months. The total cost of the project is Rs19.70 million.
According to the WCLA Assistant Director Historic Research Samina Khan, these places were among the important monuments inside the Lahore Fort.
“According to historic references, this was a place where clerks (muharirs) recorded entry into the fort. The place was built under the orders of the emperor Jahangir in the year A H 1027 (1617) under the superintendence of the architect Ma’mur Khan. Along with the Makatib Khana is the Moti Masjid which was built in 1645 by the Mughal Shah Jahan. As per historic accounts, it is stated that the Mosque might have been built along with Dolat Khana Khaas-o-Aam of Shah Jahan. It is one of those two mosques built in chaste marble by Shah Jahan,” she said.
Iqbal Aslam, a tourist and frequent visitor of Lahore Fort, was of the opinion that once this place was restored it will be more attractive for people. “Many of the people bypass Makatib Khana because it was never brought into the limelight, but I am sure that after the restoration is completed and this green covering from the building is taken off, it will turn into a beautiful piece,” he said.
A tour guide of Lahore Fort, Abdul Rehman, said that people were very keen to visit Moti Masjid as they believed that praying there made a difference. “All the tourists do visit this masjid and it is said that whatever they pray there for, it is answered by God,” he remarked.
WCLA Senior Architect Azeem Dad, while talking to Pakistan Today said, “We have completed almost 70 per cent of the works in Moti Masjid and Makatib Khana. The major interventions include the working on the roof of Makatib Khana which was extremely dilapidated. We have restored the hujras alongside Makatib Khana as well and only the fresco work in remaining inside Makatib Khana. Moreover, the main façade has also been restored along with the drainage system. The floor of the main chamber will also be restored in a few weeks’ time which is an uphill task.”
Azeem also informed this scribe that the works on Moti Masjid were also 70 per cent complete. “Marble is being re-laid inside Moti Masjid and the work on inner hujras is in process too. Drainage system is also being improved,” he added.