Chaqchan Mosque is located in the Khaplu city in the Gilgit Baltistan region. “The Miraculous Mosque” as the name suggests, is one of the oldest in the region, dating all the way back to 1370. One of the salient features of the mosque is that it was built during the time when the area’s mass population converted from Buddhism to Islam.
The mosque was a worship place for the Buddhists around 700 years ago, after which it was converted into a beautiful mosque with architecture heavily inspired from the Valley of Kashmir. The mosque is a vibrant combination of Persian, Kashmiri and Tibetan architecture and is made of mud, stones and wood. Wood cravings around the interior and exterior of the mosque add a delicate touch to this ancient piece of architecture.
According to different sources, some claim it was built by Sufi saint Syed Nurbakhsh on his arrival from Kashmir to Baltistan in 1370 CE. But history experts disagree with this information and say the mosque was constructed some twenty years before the Sufi saint was even born. It was most probably built by Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani.
The mosque has been listed as a Pakistan’s National Heritage Site by the Government of Pakistan and is the first tourist point in the district of Ghanche. Coming to the architecture, the mosque is constructed in a similar style to the Roman opus criticism. It consists of three floors. The first floor is in the possession of Nurbakhshia sect of Islam to which 90% of the population of Ghanche belongs to. While the second floor is occupied by the Shia sect.
If you’re planning a trip to Khaplu, don’t forget to visit this marvelous mosque and get awestruck by the beauty and intricate architecture from a few hundred years ago.