The skyline of Kot Fateh (Fatehjang Tehsil) is marked by the splendid domes of a mosque built somewhere around 1890. Sardar Fateh Khan was the notable chief of the area during the British period who laid the foundation of the mosque, which today gives the village its identity.
It has a rectangular plan with three domes flanked by two minarets. The mosque is a prototype of the Wah Garden mosque, which was built by the Mughal emperor Akbar.
According to local people, Sardar Fateh Khan brought the masons from Attock to build the mosque because at that time Attock was the main centre of local arts and crafts. The masons of Attock were famous for building grand buildings. Their style is reflected in the innovations they introduced in their work.
The miniature Jharoka in the mosque is the novel addition that one does not find in any other mosque of the Potohar region except the Jharokas in the haveli of Khem Singh Bedi in Kallar Syedan.
Such innovations by the Attock artist also mark other architectures of the region. They were not only great builders of mosques and havelis but also temples and gurdwaras. Some of the temples and gurdwaras built by the Attock artists are located in Hazro, Makhad Sharif and Kot Fateh Khan.
Sardar Muhammad Nawaz Khan, one of the descendents of Sardar Fateh Khan, later on rebuilt one of the minarets of the mosque, which collapsed in 1930.
There are many threedomed mosques in the Potohar.
Of these, the mosque of Mai Qamro at Bagh Joghian in Islamabad, Jamia mosque Rawalpindi and the Wah garden mosque are quite prominent. The distinctive feature of the Kot Fateh Khan Mosque is the paintings. From the inside it is decorated with paintings and from outside with stuccowork.
The main gate is decorated with the miniature jharoka, which adds to the beauty of the entrance. Three false cusped arches also decorate the upper alcove of the entrance gate. The spandrels of the arch are embossed with two rosettes. A stairway leads to the courtyard of the mosque. The fa?ade of the mosque is decorated with false miniature Jharokas, arches and stuccowork. Three archways lead to the main hall of the mosque.
From inside the mosque is adorned with paintings. The soffits of the arches are decorated with geometric designs whereas the pendentives are adorned with floral scroll combined with glasswork. Squenches or the inner arches on which the dome rests are also adorned with floral designs with spandrels carrying floral scroll. Some of the spandrels are decorated with stucco.
The domed ceiling is also amazing with the soffit ending in lotus floral design.
The petals of the lotus are rendered with glasswork. One does not find such beautiful combination of paintings with glasswork elsewhere in Potohar. As compared to the Wah garden mosque of the Mughal period and the Jamia mosque of Rawalpindi, the Kot Fateh Khan mosque is remarkable for the paintings combined with glasswork and stucco.
Fateh Jang tehsil has great potential for tourism. In order to promote tourism in the tehsil, authorities should enlist Kot Fateh Khan as a tourist destination which represents both Muslim and Sikh architecture.
The writer is staff anthropologist at Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE). He may be contacted at: email@example.com