Masjid Wazir Khan, Pakistan

Masterpiece of intricate art and architecture



A group of students use photogrammetry to document Masjid Wazir Khan by CyArkCyArk

Expedition Overview

With a grant from USAID to create a Technology Center and help preserve Pakistan’s incredible architectural heritage, CyArk and the Lahore University of Management Science (LUMS) worked together to digitally preserve the Masjid Wazir Khan in June 2015. CyArk trained students and conservators in field scanning, data processing, and 3D modelling. The data collected has provided conservators with precise measurements of the current condition of the mosque, including the extent of fresco loss, cracking walls, and structural shifting of the minarets. Due to its location, the mosque suffers not only from natural deterioration but also from urban encroachment, prompting several extensive preservation projects. More information on Masjid Wasir Khan as well as a complete list of the other sites documented from this collaboration can be viewed at

A view of the minarets and walls of Masjid Wazir Khan from the street by CyArkCyArk

Introducing Masjid Wazir Khan

Since the late 17th century, the Masjid Wazir Khan Mosque has been an active part of the daily lives of those living in what is today Lahore, Pakistan. With bright colors, intricate scripts, and eclectic architectural features, the artistry of the mosque reflects the influence of the emperor at the time of its completion, Emperor Shah Jahan, and his efforts to incorporate the cultural diversity of the massive Mughal empire from Persia, Central Asia, and today’s India. When the mosque was complete in 1634 CE, over 115,000,000 people lived within the Mughal empire’s borders. Part of the a thriving community, the mosque is an important part of understanding the diversity of people who have shaped life in Lahore today.

Tomb of Sufi Saint at Wazir Khan Masjid (2014)CyArk

Sufi Saints

Tombs in the mosque’s courtyard illuminate the empire's efforts to appropriate local cultural traditions and history as it expanded. Long before the Mughal empire ruled Lahore, the city had been the capital to numerous regimes. The construction of the Masjid Wazir Khan mosque in its present location strategically incorporated tombs of three important Sufi saints, recognizing and adapting the religious beliefs and ideals of the local community.

Panoramic image taken inside the courtyard at the Masjid Wazir Khan mosque

Ceiling at Masjid Wazir Khan by CyArkCyArk

Ornately decorated ceiling at Masjid Wazir Khan in Pakistan.

Open Heritage 3D by CyArkCyArk

Data from this project is now freely available through Open Heritage 3D.

Download the data from this project

About Open Heritage 3D

The mission of the Open Heritage 3D project is to:

● Provide open access to 3D cultural heritage datasets for education, research and other
non-commercial uses.

● Minimize the technical, financial and legal barriers for publishers of 3D heritage data.

● Promote discovery and re-use of datasets through standardized metadata and data formats.

● Foster community collaboration and knowledge sharing in the 3D cultural heritage community.

● Share best practices and methodologies for the capture, processing and storage of 3D cultural heritage data

Credits: Story

Find out more about CyArk's work by signing up for our newsletter. You can also support our continued efforts on projects like this by donating.

This project was made possible through the generous support of USAID and the following partners:

Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS)

United States Agency for Internal Development (USAID)

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Explore more
Google apps