Chaqchan mosque

The Chaqchan Mosque is a mosque located in the city of Khaplu, in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of northern Pakistan. Dating from 1370, the mosque is one of the oldest in the region, and dates from the time when the area’s populace converted masses from Buddhism to Islam.The mosque’s design is heavily influenced by architecture from the Kashmir Valley, and was likely also built by Kashmiri craftsmen.

According to some sources the mosque was built by Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani while other say on arrival of Sufi saint Syed Nurbakhsh from Kashmir to Baltistan, the local ruling Raja accepted Islam and commissioned the building of the mosquein 1370 CE. However, the dating of the latter theory contradicts historical source which suggests that the mosque was actually constructed more than two decade before the birth of Syed Nurbakhsh.

The Government of Pakistan has listed the Chaqchan Mosque as a Pakistan Heritage Site. The mosque is now currently in use after extensive conservation works.

The mosque’s construction style is similar to the Roman opus craticum, in which masonry walls that are suitable for the region’s harsh winter season are built.

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