Bhong is a small town situated in Rahim Yar Khan District, and is 200 km away from Bhawalpur. In this unsusceptible place stands the Bhong Mosque that is like no other in Pakistan!
The Construction of Bhong Mosque
The town as well as Bhong Mosque was built by Sardar Raees Ghazi Muhammad. He was an important political and social figure. And for his exceptional contribution to the field of Public Servic, he was given a posthumous Sitara-i-Imtiaz in 2004.
Work began in 1932 and was completed in 1982. Initially a small mosque was constructed, followed by a Haveli (which is a palatial residence). When it was near completion, work on the up gradation of the mosque began. The Raees wanted to have a splendid structure for that he employed 200 craftsmen. The chief mason was from India, painters and calligraphers from Karachi, other local masons were employed for woodwork, painting, tile glazing, glass mosaic and mirror work. It is nothing less than a remarkable feat for most of them were unskilled, no advanced machinery was used and there was no experienced architect. The Raees was not only very generous with the funds but also took a great personal interest.
Furthermore a mosque for women, library, madrassa, residential portion for students and guest house are also part of the complex.
The Striking Exterior and Interior of Bhong Mosque
Usually the exteriors and interiors of mosques are done in relatively soothing colors. However a rather striking palette of colors has been used in Bhong mosque. On the exterior you will find azure & sky blue, candy pink, lemon yellow, orange, green as well as white and red.
When you will enter the inside, you would be quite amazed to see a rainbow of colors that burst forth where ever you go, especially the rooms where there are elaborately designed stained glass windows.
Every inch of the mosque is decorated. There is extensive mirror work and eye catching calligraphy adorning the ceilings. The mosaic work is very intricate. White marble and teak wood have been used, while many are carved with lovely designs. There is a lot of gilded work which is a reason for its splendor especially that done on the Mihrab and another stunning feature is that it also displays the entire Holy Quran written on one single parchment! Other materials that have been used include ivory, onyx, ceramics, mother of pearl, wrought iron, colored cement tiles, terazzo and cultured stone. The walls are made from our traditional green colored marble.
The Ornamentation of Bhong Mosque
One finds influences of different Muslim architectures i.e. Mughal, Ottoman and Safavid as well as a modern touch. Arabesque has been used most lavishly in 6 patterns such as Lahori kingarah, madakil, kerii (unripe mango), tree of life, acanthus and palmette leaf as well as rotational symmetry. Fresco is seen in form of local flowers, fruits, leaves and spiraling vines.
The geometric patterns have also been used abundantly mainly consisting of 6, 8 and 10 point star patterns as well as 8 and 10 point rosettes, as well as random shapes.
The Legend of Bhong Mosque
It is said that the Raees had a dream in which he was ordered to build this mosque. Furthermore work was to never be halted, as death would take place. According to myth this was what would happen, as whenever work stopped someone closely involved with the mosque would die.
Once the mosque was completed, the Raees himself passed away after a week. So till this day ongoing decorative touches take place to keep away the bad luck.
Must Visit Bhong Mosque
With such a dynamic architecture as well as an intriguing legend associated with it, Bhong Mosque is a place that should be definitely on your sightseeing list!!