has that it was founded by two sons of Lord Rama about 4000 years ago.
Historically it has been proved that Lahore is about 2000 years old.
Hieun-tsang, the famous Chinese pilgrim, has given a vivid description
of Lahore city which he visited in the early parts of the seventh
For 200 years, beginning from
about 1525 A.D., Lahore was a thriving cultural center of the great
Mughal Empire. Mughal Emperors beautified Lahore with palaces, gardens
and mosques. During the British regime many monuments sprang up in
Lahore which blended beautifully with the Mughal, Gothic and Victorian
styles of architecture.
Lahore is the second largest
city in Pakistan and provincial capital of Punjab. Apart from being the
cultural and academic center of the country, Lahore is the Mughal
"show-window" of Pakistan. The origins of Lahore are shrouded in the
mists of antiquity. Reminiscence of its hoary past is the remains of a
subterranean temple in the northern part of the Royal fort, attributed
to Lord Rama, the legendry hero of Ramayana. Lying on the main trade and
invasion routes to the sub-continent, Lahore has been ruled and
plundered by a number of dynasties and heroes. However it touched the
zenith of its glory during the rule of Mughals. The Mughals, who were
famous as builders, gave Lahore some of its finest architectural
monuments that are extinct today.
is linked with the rest of the country by air, rail and road. It lies on
the Grand Trunk Road or the Shahrah-e-Aazam, which connected Kabul with
Calcutta. The road was originally built by the Afghan ruler Sher Shah
Suri in the 16th century. The Mughals also used this road as means of
communications. One can cross over to India at Wagha, which is about
24kms east of Lahore.
PLACES OF INTEREST:
most important historical monuments of the Mughals in Lahore are the
Royal Fort, the Badshahi mosque, the Tombs of Emperor Jehangir, Empress
Noor Jehan, Anarkali and Asif-Jah and the famous Shalimar garden.
ROYAL FORT LAHORE:
most parts of the Royal Fort were constructed around 1566 A.D. by the
Mughal Emperor, Akbar the great, there is evidence that a mud fort was
in existence here in 1021 A.D. as well, when mahmood of Ghazna invaded
this area. Akbar demolished the old mud fort and constructed most of the
modern Fort, as we see it today, on the old foundations. Construction of
the fort dates back to the early Hindu period.
The Royal Fort is rectangular.
The main gates are located alongside the center of the western and
eastern walls. Every succeeding Mughal Emperor as well as the Sikhs, and
the British in their tom, added a pavilion, palace or all to the Fort.
Emperor Jehangir extended the gardens and constructed the palaces that
we see today in the Jehangir's Quadrangle, while Shah-Jehan added
Diwan-e-Khas, Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque) and his own sleeping
Chambers.Aurangzeb built the impressive main gate which faces the
Hazoori Bagh lying in between the Badshahi Mosque and the Fort. The
famous Sheesh Mahal or palace of mirrors, is in the north-east corner of
the Fort. This is the most beautiful palace in the Fort and is decorated
with small mirrors of different colors set.
The part of the wall of the
Elephant Steps towards the Fort's inner gate are scarred by bullet
marks, bearing testimony to the Sikh Civil War of 1847 A.D.
A party of Sikhs had mounted
their guns on one of the minarets of the mosque across the courtyard
from where they fired on their opponents. The Sleeping Chamber of Mai
Jindan houses a very interesting museum with relics from Mughal and the
miles east of Lahore are the famous Shalimar Gardens laid out by the
Mughal EperorShah-Jehan in 1642 A.D. The Gardens are spread out in
typical Mughal style and are surrounded by high walls with watch-towers
at the four corners. Originally, the gardens were spread over seven
ascending terraces, but only three remain now which cover an area of
about 42 acres. The brick-work of the floors of the three terraces have
been repaired according to their original designs which differ on all
three terraces. There is a marble pavilion under which water flows and
cascades down over a carved, marble slab creating a water-fall effect.
Across the water-fall is a marble throne. At the end of the second
terrace is a beautiful structure called Sawan Bhadon, a sunken tank
niches on its three sides. Water cascades down from it in sheets in
front of the niches, producing the sound of falling rain. In the olden
times, small oil lamps were placed in the niches which reflected myriad
colors, through the water. Similar gardens have the proud privilege of
being the stage of all important state receptions.
is a new landmark in Lahore and stands in the Iqbal Park to commemorate
the date when a resolution was passed there back in 1940 demanding the
creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of this sub-continent.
The Minar is a blend of Mughal and modern architecture and has been very
boldly designed. The Minar is about 60 meters tall.
Kim's Gun or Zamzama:
by Rudyard Kipping in his accounts is this famous gun now popularly
known as the Kim's Gum. It is placed just outside the museum on the
Sharah-e-Quaid-e-Azam in front of the campus.
Wazir Khan's Mosque:
the old part of the town and off the Kashmiri Bazaar, reputedly the most
beautiful Mosque in the sub-continent is situated. The Mosque was built
in 1683 A.D. by Hakim Ilmuddin who was Minister to Shah-Jehan and was
generally known as Wazir Khan. It is a marvelous specimen of tile work
and arabesque paintings.
emperor or the Badshahi Mosque is across the courtyard from Alamgiri
Gate of the Lahore Fort. The Mosque which is made up entirely of
sand-stone was built by Emperor Aurangzeb, the last of the great Mughals,
in a record time of the two and-a-half years. Its construction was
completed by 1674 A.D. It has a beautiful gate-way which measures 21.33
meters in length and a courtyard that measures 161.5 x 160.6 meters and
is said to be the largest mosque courtyard in the world for outdoor
prayers.The marble domes cover
seven prayer chambers. For lofty minarets stand at the four corners of
the mosque, each with an outer circumference of 20 meters, soaring up to
54 meters. In the chambers above the gate of the mosque, are housed
relics attributed to the Holy Prophet of Islam peace be upon him, His
Daughter and His Son-in-Law and are said to have been brought to the
sub-continent by Amir Taimur. Within the Mosque almost all the colors
have been used for painting the floral designs but the overall effect
remains one of sobriety, piousness and simplicity.
The Golden Mosqeu:
Mosque is also situated in the Kashmiri Bazaar. It was built in 1753
A.D.by Nawab Syed Bhikari Khan, who was Deputy Governor of Lahore.It is
a remarkably beautiful mosque with three golden domes.
Samadhi of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh:
ashes of the great Sikh ruler of Punjab, Maharaja Ranjeet Singh, and of
his four wives and several slave girls lie in a dome adjacent to the
Other moments include the
Dai Anga Mosque, Mariam Zamani Mosque and various shrines of Muslim Sufi
Scholars and saints and the tomb of Allama Muhammad Iqbal near Badshahi
Shrine of Data Sahib:
to the junction of the Lower Mall and the Circular Road is the shrine of
Data Sahib was a great sufi saint whose well known work, "Kashf-ul-Mahjub"
has been translated from the original Persian into several European
languages and is considered a classic. Attached to the Shrine is a
Allama Iqbal's Tob:
the Badshahi mosque, near its steps, lies the tomb of Allama Iqbal, the
poet-philosopher of the East. The mausoleum is a mixture of Afghan and
Moorish style of architecture and is constructed entirely of red
sandstone which was quarried and brought from Rajasthan.
Mausoleum of Emperor Jehangir:
tomb of the fourth great Mughal Emperor, Jehangir, lies three miles
north-west of Lahore across the river Ravi. It has a majestic structure
made of red sand-stone and marble. The outer entrance to the tomb opens
out into a court-yard which was used as a caravan serai during Mughal
times. An etrance to the right leads into a Mughal garden with exact
geometrical patterns balancing each side. The marble tomb is approached
from four corridors leading from the garden. three of these corridors
are closed by intricate marble screens. The marble grave is elaborately
inlaid with floral designs and the 99 Attributes of God are inscribed on
its two sides. On the top is a verse from the Holy Quran. The tomb was
built by Queen Noor Jehan and the Emperor's son Shah-Jehan, around 1637
Qutbuddin Aibak's Tomb:
He was appointed Governor of
India in 1191 A.D. by Muhammad Ghauri. He established the slave Dynasty
on the death of Muhammad Ghauri in 1206 when he assumed independence of
his reign and was followed by nine other slave kings. He was a patron of
the building art and is known to have erected some monumental stone
building in Delhi and elsewhere. A very avid player of polo, he died in
Lahore in 1210 A.D. While playing the game. His tomb can be visited in
Asif Khan's Mausoleum:
the courtyard near Jehangir tomb lies buried his brother-in-law, Asif
Khan, father of Shah Jehan's beloved Queen Arjumand Bano. He lies in a
tomb which today shows little of its former splendor.
Nur Jehan's Tomb:
Empress Nur Jehan, "Light of the world" was the only Empress whose name
appeared on the coins of the Mughal empire. She was buried in 1645 A.D.
at Shahdara (Lahore) outside Jehangir's mausoleum across the railway
Her tomb once had a marble
cenotaph which she had built herself during her life time. After the
decline of Mughal rule, the tomb suffered extensive damages along with
her husband's tomb at the hands of Sikh marauders when they gained power
during the early part of nineteenth century. Both were stripped of most
of its original beauty and splendor. All treasure and tiles, it is said,
were carted off to decorate the Golden Temple at Amrita India.
tomb of Nadira Begum alias Anarkali, is situated in a corner of the
Civil Secretariat of Punjab Governent at Lahore.
The tomb is circular in shape
and rooted with a vast and lofty dome supported from inside by eight
massive arches 12 feet 3 inches thick. It is a masterpiece of solid
masonry work early Mughal period and is neatly and beautifully fitted
the old University Hall, a Mughal style building on the
Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam, houses the Lahore museum. The museum contains
some fine specimens of Mughal and Sikh door-way and wood-work and has a
big collection of paintings dating back to Indo-Pakistan, Mughal, Sikh
and British times. It has also a collection of musical instruments,
very large and interesting private Museum known as Faqirkhana lies
inside the Bhati Gate and is worth visiting. The museum houses a variety
of old paintings, including some by great masters, original manuscripts
in different languages and artifacts from South East Asia and the
bazaar is the most fascinating of the city's many bazaars. The alleys
and lanes of this bazaar are full of exciting wares, especially
traditional crafts like leather ware, embroidered garments glass
bangles, beaten gold and silver jewellery, creations in silk. Any thing
that you wish for a bargain.
Minar is set in peaceful evirons near Lahore. It was constructed by
Emperor Jehangir as a monument to Hansraj, one of his pet antelopes. It
is a popular picnic resort with a lake and boating facilities.
Manga is a man-made forest 68 kms from Lahore. There is a lake, and a
miniature railway which winds its way through its forest. Chhanga Manga
has 12,510 acres of plantations. It is a popular picnic spot spread over
50 acres with a lake and row boats, motor boats, children's park,
swimming pool, cafeteria, canteen and rest houses.
archaeological site of Harappa is 204 kms south of Lahore. The town
flourished at the time when the Indus valley Civilization was at its
zenith, about 4,500 years ago.
Park is 28 kms from Lahore. It can be visited by road and by rail. A
rail-car leaves for Jallo Railway Station every half hour. Spread over
an area of 450 acres, it has expanses of lawns, a forest research
center, a children's park, zoo, a small museum and a gift ship.
There are four famous parks in
Race Course Park, Gulberg Road
Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, Allama
Model Town Park, Model Town
Nawaz Sharif Park, Ferozepur
These parks have amusement
avenues such as play lands for children, mini zoos, aviaries and
miniature lakes as well as peddle and steamboats.
check post is about 30 kms from Lahore and is the cross-over point for
travelers into India
by the land route. It is open daily to foreigners only (except Indian
and Pakistani nationals) from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. PST.