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KING SHAH FAISAL MOSQUE ISLAMABAD

The Shah Faisal Masjid in Islamabad, Pakistan, is among one of the largest mosques in the world. It is a popular masjid in the Islamic world, and is renowned for both its size and its architecture covering an area of 5,000 square meters with a capacity of 300,000 worshippers.

 

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The decision to build Faisal Mosque was taken in 1966  in the regime of President Ayub Khan when the late King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia suggested it during a visit to Islamabad. In 1969, an international competition was held in which architects from 17 countries submitted 43 proposals. After four days of deliberation, Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay's design was chosen for map of Shah Faisal Masjid. Construction of the mosque began in 1976 by National Construction of Pakistan, led by Azim Borujerdi, and was funded by the government of Saudi Arabia, at a cost of over 130 million Saudi riyals (approximately $120 million USD today). King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz was instrumental in the funding, and both the mosque and the road leading to it were named after him after his assassination in 1975. The mosque was completed in 1986, and used to house the International Islamic University. The mausoleum of General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, whose 1988 funeral at the site was the largest in the history of Pakistan, is located adjacent to the Shah Faisal Masjid. The farcical nature of the burial is in the fact that the only thing that is buried there is the "alleged" lower jaw of Zia-ul-Haq. Furthermore, there is no conformation as to whether the bone belongs to either the pilot or fellow passengers on the Pakistan Air Force No. 1 in which Zia died. The site is known amongst the locals as “Jabrah chowk” (Jaw Zone). Many conservative Muslims criticised the design at first for its non-conventional design and lack of the traditional dome structure, but virtually all criticism was eventually silenced by the mosque's scale, form, and setting against the Margalla Hills upon completion.

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It is located at the end of Shaharah-e-Islamabad, putting it at one end of the city and in front of a magnificent backdrop provided by the Margalla Hills. It is a focal point of Islamabad, and famous and recognized icon of the city.

 


 During early nineteenth century, Hunza resented Kashmir's attempts to gain control and its rulers periodically expelled Kashmir garrisons, threatended Gilgit, and politicked with the rulers of Kashgar to the north where the Russians were gaining influence. Fearing Russians infiltration into their northern frontiers, the British took over direct political control at Gilgit in 1889. Incesant fratricidal intrigues in Hunza and Nagar made the areas doubly insecure. This, coupled with the Mir of Hunza's consistent intransigence induced the British to march on Hunza in December 1891, where they fought a decisive battle at Nilit, 60 km beyond Diaynor Bridge. After this the British garrisoned Aliabad until 1897 when Hunza became a princely state protected by the Government of British India. After the Pakistan was created in 1947, the people of Hunza also gained liberation and the princely state was merged in Pakistan.

Nature has given Gilgit Baltistan with perfect beauty, high peaks, snowy mountains, fresh water lakes, lush green fairy meadows, at the same time this area is also blessed with unlimited and heavy deposits of precious and semi-precious stones, precious & semi-precious metals, and industrial stones like Ruby, Gold, Topaz, Aquamarine, Tourmaline, Epidote, Paragasite, Zircon, Actinolite, Lead, Moonstone, Himalayan Quartz, Emerald, Marble, Granite, Feldspar, Mica, Calcite, Feldspar, Antimony, Graphite, Alum, Coal, Copper, Barite, China Clay etc. It is estimated that almost 95% of the precious & semi-precious stones located in Pakistan are found in Gilgit Baltistan.

 

At an elevation of 1453.90 meter lies the Gilgit valley, offers spectacular scenic beauty. It is surrounded by lakes, rivers, glaciers and high mountains ranges. Some of them world's largest peaks, such as Nanga Parbat, 8125 meter and Raka Poshi, 7788 meter are located here. The best season to visit is from May to mid October. The local dialect is Shina, however, Urdu and English are also spoken and understood.

 

 

 


 

 

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