Mosque of Pakistan – Giri Mosque Taxila
Taxila is known the world over for the centuries old Buddhist ruins. However besides Buddhist monasteries, a mosque also existed in this area and according to Dr. Ahmed Hasan Dani the leading archeologist and historian of Pakistan, it could be the first ever Muslim place of worship in South East Asia.
The mosque is located in the village of Giri near Taxila and is called the Giri Mosque. It is a single room structure with a large dome and is said to be constructed by Shahabuddin Ghauri in 13AD when he was passing through Taxila and stayed at the Giri village along with his troops. The architecture of the mosque closely resembles the architecture of the city of Bukhara which was the seat of culture and civilization at that time. The mosque has been plastered and white washed by the inhabitants of Giri and know one really knows what it originally looked like.
Unconfirmed sources have also claimed that the mosque was actually a Hindu Temple and was later converted to a mosque. The mosque at Giri may not be exceedingly beautiful but it is historic. It is surrounded by Buddhist ruins and is certainly worth visiting.