The historical Chaqchan Mosque (مسجد چقچن) is a mosque located in the Khaplu city, in the northern Pakistan region Gilgit-Baltistan. 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 Chaqchan Masjid’s construction design is heavily influenced by architecture from the Valley of Kashmir and was likely also built by Kashmiri craftsmen.
This mosque was the worship place of the Buddhists, around 700 hundred years ago. After the Buddhist era, it converted into mosques because all the people of this area became Muslim.
The beautiful Chaqchan Masjid is a vibrant mix of Persian, Kashmiri and Tibetan architecture. The architecture of this mosque reflects the civilization of Islam. It is made of mud, stones, and wood. Wood carvings adorn the inner and outer surface of the mosque.
Some sources told that the mosque was built by Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani while others say that it was built on the arrival of Sufi saint Syed Nurbakhsh from Kashmir to Baltistan, the local ruling Raja converted to Islam and commissioned the building of the masjid in 1370 CE. However, the history experts describe that this mosque may be constructed twenty years before the birth of known person Syed Nurbakhsh.
The construction style of Chaqchan Masjid is very familiar to the Roman opus craticum, because the masonry wall is used for constructions is suitable for the region’s weather.
This is the first tourist point of the district Ghanche. It is one of the oldest mosques in Asia. It is one of Northern Areas’ (Gilgit-Baltistan) most famous landmarks and a major source of tourist attraction. The Government of Pakistan has listed the Chaqchan Masjid as a Pakistan’s National Heritage Site. The Chaqchan Masjid is in use after the completion of extensive conservation works.
The mosque consists of three floors. The mosque’s top floor is in the possession of Noorbakhshia sect ( Noorbakhshia is a sect of Islam like Sunni and shia), to which 90% of the population of the district Ghanche belongs. The Shia sect is responsible for the middle floor of the Chaqchan Masjid.
Images of Chaqchan Mosque
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