Hazuri Bagh, lined with cloisters for mendicants and
holy men, was built as a forecourt for the grand
mosque. The Hazuri Bagh pavilion that dominates the
centre of the quad was built by Ranjit Singh.
Opposite (south) is the Hazuri Bagh Gate, which was
built as part of a boarding house for scholars and
students attached to the mosque.
impressive gateway in the east, the Alamgiri
Gateway, was built specially and oriented in the
direction of the mosque to provide suitable emphasis
when entered from the citadel.
Once known as Serai of Aurangzeb, the Mosque
forecourt would be thronged by the cavalcade of the
emperor when he came to offer his Friday prayers at
the grand mosque. Hazuri Bagh provided the stage on
which the pomp of the Mughal emperor was showcased,
his train a throng of mace-bearers, omerah, grandees
and nobles. The traveler Francois Bernier recorded
that the way from the citadel, would be lined by
hundreds of soldiers in their dazzling uniforms
making a glittering passage for the emperor.
The entrance to the mosque with its lofty plinth,
makes it imperative to climb its 22 steps to reach
the platform, and provides a foretaste of the
grandeur within the mosque enclosure.
The Mughalised attractive marble baradari adorning
the Hazuri Bagh was put together on the orders of
Ranjit Singh in 1818
to celebrate the capture of the famous Koh-i-Noor
Diamond from Shah Shuja of Afghanistan. Its
Mughal character is beholden to the material removed
from Mughal monuments and reused here.
The pavilion was constructed in 1818 and originally
consisted of a basement and two storey above ground.
Elegant carved marble pillars support the baradariís
delicate cusped arches. The central area, where
Ranjit Singh held court, has a mirrored ceiling.
Both the garden and the baradari, originally a
45-foot, three-storey square with a basement
approached by fifteen steps, suffered extensive
damage during the fratricidal Sikh wars and was only
reclaimed and laid out according to the original
plan during the British period. On 19 July 1932, the
uppermost story collapsed due to heavy rainstorm and
lightning. Because of a paucity of funds the
top storey was never restored; however, the first
floor marble fretwork balustrade, which had also
been severely damaged, was rehabilitated three years
From contemporary illustrations the design of the
top storey is evident: a chamber punctured by cusped
arch openings, set in the middle of a large terrace
and well set back from the edge of the ground floor
The Baradari was the focus of regal displays during
the Sikh rule. Although the takht (or throne) was
the citadel, Ranjit Singh used the venue of the
baradari for conducting functions of state. After
his death, the pavilion continued to be utilized by