Islamic Architecture: A Photo Montage

Lahore – The Culture Capital of Pakistan

On my recent business trip to Lahore, I managed to get some time out for sightseeing. Here are some highlights; I hope you enjoy them.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Happy

This week’s challenge is an homage to all the things that make me happy. Even though some of these moments exist in the past, remembering them never cease to put a smile on my face. Enjoy!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Near and Far

History Repeats Itself

This absolutely stunning piece of architecture lies in Thatta, a small town located near Karachi, Pakistan. For me, catching a glimpse of this corridor, echoing with the footsteps of people past, is this week’s theme personified. Hope you enjoy it!

Blast From The Past – Shah Shams Tabrez, Multan

Shah Shams Tabrez is one of the thousands of saints buried in Multan, Pakistan. There are quite a few legends and/or miracles associated with him, the most popular being him requesting the sun to come down and roast a raw fish he held in his palms. To this day, many natives relate the insanely temperate summers in Multan with this legend, but only God knows better.

His shrine was built around 1330 AD by his grandson and renovated around 1710 AD. Keeping in tradition with the exquisite Islamic architecture prevalent in that era, his shrine has a very distinct style. The use of color glazed tiles all over the dome and the exterior is note-worthy and awe-inspiring. Unfortunately when I went there though, the inside of the mausoleum was under construction and I couldn’t take any shots of the interior. Here are some photos I did manage to take and I hope you like them.

Blast From The Past – Shah Rukn-e-Alam, Multan

Shah Rukn-e-Alam (translating to ‘pillar of the world‘) is a famous Sufi Saint buried within in the Multan Fort. The 700-year-old building, which serves as his shrine, is a phenomenal piece of Islamic architecture. It never ceases to amaze me how these artisans, these architects of the past were able to put in such precise details into their buildings. From the intricate tiling to the exquisite woodwork, this shrine is a must-see attraction when visiting Multan.

Some people believe that saints like the Shah are still around (even after being dead for so long) and have the power to grant them their wishes. You can see people bringing in rose petals in plastic bags to put onto the Shah’s grave as an offering. The empty bags are then tied onto a tree in the yard along with a wish to be fulfilled (think of it as a wishing well of sorts). Similarly, people offer bajra seeds (a.k.a. pearl millet) to the thousands of pigeons all over the mausoleum, so as to please the Shah and get his blessings in return.

Even though I may not agree with this belief system, I have to agree that there is a certain degree of serenity surrounding the shrine. It was almost sunset when I first visited the shrine, but I couldn’t help myself from going back there early next day. Here are some photos of the place and I hope you enjoy seeing them as much as I did taking them.

Blast From The Past – Dubai’s Heritage Village

It’s not all architectural marvels and overflowing malls; there’s a lot more to Dubai than what meets the eye. Not too long ago, Dubai was a fisherman’s paradise, a village built near the Arabian sea. Remnants of the yesteryears are still scattered across the entire city, but one of the most interesting sites I have had the pleasure of visiting has to be the Heritage Village.

Like in other Arab cultures, the constructions in these villages were primarily focused on keeping the temperatures down. With no air conditioning back in the day, wind towers were essential for any building. The building materials include palm/date leaves, clay, bricks, hemp string, and wood.

Located at a mere 15-minute (unless you are stuck in traffic) drive from the airport, this village will take your breath away. The earthiness and the humility of the buildings and objects on display will instill in you, a sense of peace and serenity, and will transport you to simpler, happier times.