Bagh-e Babur Restoration: Shahjahani Mosque
Kabul, Afghanistan
Aga Khan Historic Cities Programme

This white marble mosque was commissioned by Shah Jahan I (1628-1657) during his visit to Babur's grave in 1645 (1055 A.H.), and marks his military victory in Balkh, for which gold commemorative coins were also struck.

The mosque stands on the thirteenth terrace of the garden below Babur's grave, and comprises three bays. It is open on three sides with archways -- three to the east and one to the north and south -- that feature cusped horseshoe arches. The fired brick structure of the mosque is faced with white marble and decorated with carvings on the parapet and plinth and small roundels above each arch. Large marble slabs, one of which has been replaced, span the three structural bays. The qibla wall, recently re-faced in white marble, is articulated by a slight central projection corresponding to the internal mihrab. There are eight carved marble finials on the parapet.

The marble elements of the mosque remained disassembled, in preparation for restoration, for about three decades before being restored in 1964-66 by the Italian Archaeological Mission led by B. C. Bono. It suffered damage during subsequent fighting and was restored again by the Aga Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC)between 2003 and 2006.


Dupree, Nancy Hatch. "Kabul". An Historical Guide to Afghanistan, Internet Edition. [Accessed December 4, 2005; inaccessible October 31, 2012. Text now available at]

Dupree, Nancy Hatch. 1965. "Babur Shah Gardens." An Historical Guide to Kabul, Internet Edition. [Accessed July 31, 2006; inaccessible October 31, 2012]

Niedermayer, Oskar von and Ernst Diez. 1924. Afganistan. Leipzig, K.W. Hiersemann.

Parpagliolo, Maria Teresa Shephard. 1972. Kabul: The Bagh-i Babur. Rome: IsMEO.

"Bagh-e Babur Excavation and Training Program." Website of the Deutsches Archaologisches Institut. [Accessed December 4, 2005]

"Historic Cities Programme Website." Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) Website. [Accessed August 10, 2006]

"In pictures: Kabul's Moghul Garden." November 6, 2003. Website of the BBC News, World Edition. [Accessed December 4, 2005]

""Paradise Garden" Restoration to Revitalise Kabul." 2002. Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) Website. [Accessed October 31, 2012]

East end of gardens, below Babur's Tomb, Kabul, Afghanistan
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Associated Names
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1646, restored 2003-2005
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Variant Names
Mosque of Shah Jahan (Shahjahan)
Babur's Gardens
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