NOWSHERA – In north Pakistan lies a unique mosque which is known neither for its marvelous architecture, towering minarets, sizable capacity, or its rich history.
On the contrary, sheikh Akhund Panju Baba mosque, or the ‘sinking mosque’ in Akbarpura, descends annually in its muddy ground with no signs of breakdown, Daily Times reported on January 13.
Locals claim that the mosque’s hall has been sinking by one centimeter every year. However, the mosque is still in good condition and the building has neither developed any cracks nor any signs of breaking down.
The unique mosque is named after sheikh Akhund Panju Baba. It was built during the rule of Mughal Emperor Akbar around 405 years ago. It has since sunk about 1.2 meters into the ground.
The Pakistani village of Akbarpura lies roughly 21 km northeast of Peshawar and is part of Pabbi Tehsil of Nowshera District in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa region. It’s named after the 3rd Mughal Emperor Abu’l-Fath Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar who reigned from 1556 to 1605.
Akbar enlarged the Mughal Empire to include nearly all of the Indian Subcontinent. His reign flourished with science and a strong economy.
Being fond of arts and culture, several Islamic landmarks have been erected during his reign like Akbar Library which contained over 24,000 volumes written in Sanskrit, Urdu, Persian, Greek, Latin, Arabic and Kashmiri, staffed by many scholars, translators, artists, calligraphers, scribes, bookbinders and readers.
The Muslim emperor also established the library of Fatehpur Sikri exclusively for women, and he decreed that schools for the education of both Muslims and Hindus should be established throughout the realm.
He also encouraged bookbinding to become high art. Prominent personnel of many faiths, poets, architects, and artisans adorned his court from all over the world for study and discussion.
Thanks to Akbar, the Persian Islamic culture began to merge and blend with indigenous Indian elements, and a distinct Indo-Persian culture emerged characterized by Mughal style arts, painting, and architecture.