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Study of the ornamentation of Bhong Mosque for the survival of decorative patterns in Islamic architecture

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Subject Area

Interior Design - Islamic Pattern


Madiha Ahmad
and Neelum Nazc

Publisher Name

Elsevier B.V.

Year of Publication


1. Introduction 1.1. Historical background 1.2. Ornamental work 1.3. Significance of the research 2. Methodology 2.1. Geometry 2.2. Arabesque 3. Categorization of decorative patterns 3.1. Categorization of Geometry 3.1.1. 6- and 12-point geometric patterns 3.1.2. 8-point geometric patterns 3.1.3. 10-point geometric patterns 3.1.4. Random geometric patterns 3.2. Categorization of Arabesque 3.2.1. Category 1–spandrel patterns with scrolling vines 3.2.2. Category 2–Kingarah and Madakhil Forms 3.2.3. Category 3–Kerii pattern 3.2.4. Category 4–Tree of life and otherfloweringplant patterns 3.2.5. Category 5–acanthus and palmette leaf patterns 3.2.6. Category 6–rotational and translational symmetric patterns 4. Conclusions


Islamic architecture is rich in decorative patterns. Mosques were constructed in the past as simple buildings for offering prayers five times a day. However, in subsequent periods, various features of ornamentation in the form of geometry and arabesque were applied to the surfaces of mosques to portray paradise symbolically.

This research applied descriptive approaches to examine the surviving patterns of the Aga-Khan-awarded Bhong Mosque and categorized these patterns as geometric and arabesque. This categorization was achieved by photography, use of software for patterns, and conducting interviews with local elderly persons in the region. The geometric patterns were simple 6- and 8-point star patterns. Several of the earliest examples of rosette petals exhibited 8- and 10-point star patterns and were categorized by incorporating the geometric style and location of mosques.

This research investigated different arabesque categories and inscription types and determined the aesthetic and cultural reasons for their placement on various surfaces. Frescoes had different types of flowers, fruits, and leaves, and a few of them belonged to the local region.