Lahore has been capital of the
Punjab for nearly 1,000 years and reached its glory under Moghuls rule (
1524 - 1752 ) .The reigns of Humayun, Akber, Jehangir, Shahjehan and
Aurungzib, may be considered the golden period of the history of Lahore. The
city became a place of Royal residence, gardens, tombs, mosques, baradaries
sprung up in all direction . In the language of Abulfazil " the grand resort
of people of all nations "and celebrated for its fine buildings and
luxuriant gardens. Father Anthony Monserrat , a Portuguese Jesuit, from Goa
India visited Lahore in 1591 A.D. when it was at its greatest splendor, on
the invitation of Emperor Akber and he had a church here confirmed by the
French traveler Thevenot in A.D. 1665.
Due to Lahore's rich history, the mughal and colonial architecture has still been presreved in all its
splendour. Mughal architecture such as, the Badshahi Mosque, Lahore Fort,
Shalimar Gardens and the mausoleums of Jehangir and Nur Jehan are very
popular tourist spots in the city. Various colonial buildings originally
built by the British, such as the Lahore High Court, General Post Offices
(GPO) and many of the older universities still retain their Mughal-Gothic
Lahore Museum was
established in 1894 in Lahore, and is one of the major museums of
South Asia. Lahore Museum is also known as Central Museum, and is located on
It is located opposite the old University Hall, a Mughal style building on
the Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam. The Museum contains some fine specimens of
Mughal and Sikh door-ways and wood-work and contains a large collection of
paintings dating back to Mughal, Sikh and British era.
It has also a collection of musical instruments, ancient jewellery,
textiles, pottery and armory. There are relics from the Graeco-Bactrian
times as well as well as some Tibetan and Nepalese work. The museum has a
number of objects of Greco-Buddhist sculptures, Mughal and Pahari paintings
on display. The Fasting Buddha  is one of the unique collections of the
It also has excellent galleries of pre
historic Pakistan and a superb collection of Buddhist stone sculpture. The
famous Zam - Zama gun casted in 1760 stand in front of the Museum.
The Lahore Fort, locally referred to as Shahi Qila citadel of the city of Lahore. It is located in the northwestern
corner of Lahore, adjacent to the Walled City. Some of the famous sites
within the fort are: Sheesh Mahal, Alamgiri Gate, Naulakha pavilion, and
Moti Masjid. The fort is 1,400 feet long and 1,115 feet wide. In 1981, the
fort was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the Shalamar
Gardens. Lahore Fort which rank in size and beauty with
the Moghul forts at Delhi and Agra. Akber began building it the 1560s on the
site of an older fort . Alamgari Gate, Maktab Khana, Diwan-e-Am,
Jahangir's Quadrangle, Shah Jahan's Quadrangle, Diwan-e-Khas, Palace of
Mirrors, Naulakha etc are the spots of visit in Lahore fort.
Badshahi Mosque built by
Emperor Aurangzeb in 1674 after the mosques of Delhi and Agra. It consists
of a huge square with a minaret at each corner. It is one of the city's best
known landmarks, and a major tourist attraction epitomising the beauty and
grandeur of the Mughal era.
Capable of accommodating over 55,000 worshippers, it is the second largest
mosque in Pakistan, after the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad. The architecture
and design of the Badshahi Masjid is closely related to the Jama Masjid in
Delhi, India, which was built in 1648 by Aurangzeb's father and predecessor,
emperor Shah Jahan
Wazir Khan Mosque
in Lahore, Pakistan, is famous for its extensive faience tile work. It has
been described as ' a mole on the cheek of Lahore'. It was built in seven
years, starting around 1634-1635 A.D., during the reign of the Mughal
Emperor Shah Jehan. It was built by Shaikh Ilm-ud-din Ansari, a native of
Chiniot, who rose to be the court physician to Shah Jahan and later, the
Governor of Lahore. He was commonly known as Wazir Khan. (The word wazir
means 'minister' in Urdu language.) The mosque is located inside the Inner
City and is easiest accessed from Delhi Gate.
Suneri Mosque or Golden Mosque is located
in the center of Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. The founder of the mosque was Nawab Syed Bhikari Khan, son of Raushan-ud-Daula Turrabaz Khan, deputy
governor of Lahore during the reign of Muhammad Shah and the viceroyalty of
Mir Noin-ul-Malik. The Golden Mosque is situated in the Kashmiri Bazaar. It
was built in 1753 AD. It features three beautiful golden domes. The mosque
is elevated on a higher plinth, surrounded by old bazaars. It has a
beautiful gateway, which measures 21.3 metres in length and a courtyard that
measures 161.5 x 160.6 metres. The marble domes cover seven prayer chambers.
Four lofty minarets stand at the four corners of the mosque, each with an
outer circumference of 20 metres, soaring up to 54 metres.
Tomb of Muhammad Iqbal is located in
Lahore, Pakistan just outside of the Badshahi Mosque, in the Hazuri Bagh.
Hundreds of visitors come to the tomb every day to pay their respects to the
Tomb of Jahangir, is the mausoleum built for
the Mughal Emperor Jahangir who ruled from 1605 to 1627. The mausoleum is
located in Lahore, Pakistan. His son Shah Jahan built the mausoleum 10 years
after his father's death. It is sited in an attractive walled garden. It has
four 30 meter high minarets. The interior is embellished with frescoes and
pietra dura inlay and colored marble. The mausoleum features prominently on
the Pakistan Rupees 1,000 denomination bank note.Lahore
Zoo in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan,
established in 1872, was once considered one of the largest zoos, if not the
largest zoo, in Asia.
It started as a small aviary that was donated by Lal Mahundra Ram. Gradually
it developed and its animal collection also increased, today the Zoo houses
about 1381 animals of 136 species including 996 birds of 82 species, 49
reptiles of 08 and 336 mammals of 45 species. It remained under the
management of Lahore Municipal Corporation from 1872 to 1923. Thereafter,
its control was given to Deputy Commissioner, Lahore until 1962. Then its
management was placed under the Livestock and Dairy Development Department.
Finally the management of Lahore Zoo was entrusted to the Wildlife & Parks
Department in 1982. During the period 1872 to 1982, it remained a small
entity with very little development taking place.
gateway remains of an extensive garden known to have existed in Mughal
times. The establishment of this garden is attributed to Mughal Princess
Zeb-un-nisa, 1646 A.D., which appears in one of the inscriptions on the
gateway. The gateway consists of four towers (chau: four, burji: tower) and
contains much of the brilliant tile work with which the entire entrance was
Shalimar Gardens, located along the Grand Trunk Road some 5
kilometers northeast of the main Lahore city
were built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in Lahore, Pakistan.
Construction began in 1641 A.D. (1051 A.H.) and was completed the following
year. The project management was carried out under the superintendence of
Khalilullah Khan, a noble of Shah Jahan's court, in cooperation with Ali
Mardan Khan and Mulla Alaul Maulk Tuni.The Shalimar Gardens are laid out in
the form of an oblong parallelogram, surrounded by a high brick wall, which
is famous for its intricate fretwork. The gardens measure 658 meters north
to south and 258 meters east to west. In 1981, Shalimar Gardens was included
as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the Lahore Fort, under the UNESCO
Convention concerning the protection of the world's cultural and natural
heritage sites in 1972.
The Gardens have been laid out from south to north in three descending
terraces, which are elevated by 4-5 metres (13-15 feet) above one another.
The three terraces have names in Urdu as follows:The upper terrace named Farah Baksh meaning Bestower of Pleasure.
The middle terrace named Faiz Baksh meaning Bestower of Goodness.The lower terrace named Hayat Baksh meaning Bestower of life
Shah Nahar : Irrigation of the Gardens
To irrigate the Gardens, a canal named Shah Nahar meaning Royal canal, later
also known as Hansti canal, meaning Laughing canal was brought from Rajpot
(present day Madhpur in India), a distance of over 161 kilometers. The canal
intersected the Gardens and discharged into a large marble basin in the
From this basin, and from the canal, rise 410 fountains, which discharge
into wide marble pools. The surrounding area is rendered cooler by the
flowing of the fountains, which is a particular relief for visitors during
Lahore's blistering summers, with temperature sometimes exceeding 120
degrees fahrenheit. It is a credit to the ingenuity of the Mughal engineers
that even today scientists are unable to fathom how the fountains were
operated originally. The distribution of the fountains is as follows:
The upper level terrace has 105 fountains.
The middle level terrace has 152 fountains.
The lower level terrace has 153 fountains.
All combined, the Gardens therefore have 410 fountains. Water cascades
The Gardens have 5 water cascades including the great marble cascade and
Sawan Bhadoon.Buildings of the Gardens
The buildings of the Gardens include:
Sawan Bhadum pavilions
Naqar Khana and its buildings
Khwabgah or Sleeping chambers
Hammam or Royal bath
The Aiwan or Grand hall
Aramgah or Resting place
Khawabgah of Begum Sahib or Dream place of the emperor's wife
Baradaries or summer pavilions to enjoy the coolness created by the Gardens'
Diwan-e-Khas-o-Aam or Hall of special & ordinary audience with the emperor
Two gateways and minarets in the corners of the Gardens
Festivals:Lahore is a very festive city, the people of Lahore celebrate many
traditions throughout the year, with blending of moghal, western and latest
trends. As Lahore has large muslim population, Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha
are celebrated in full swing with various concerts held in the city. Many
people decorate their houses and light candles to light up the streets and
Basant is a Punjab festival that marks the coming of spring. Basant
celebrations in Pakistan are centered in Lahore and people from all over the
country and abroad come to the city for the annual festivities. Kite flying
competitions take place all over the city's rooftops during Basant.
The Festival of Lamps or Mela Chiraghan is a very important and popular
event in Lahore. This is celebrated at the same time as Basant, every spring
on the last Friday of March outside the Shalimar Gardens. During the
festival, people from all walks of life gather to actively participate in
the festival. The National Horse and Cattle Show is one of the most famous
annual festivals, it is held in Spring in the Fortress Stadium. During the
week long activities, there is a display of the finest livestock, horse and
camel dances, tent pegging, colourful folk dances from all regions of
Pakistan, mass-band displays and tattoo shows in the evenings.On August 14, the people of Pakistan celebrate the day Pakistan gained its
independence from the British Raj. There are lots of celebrations in Lahore,
the streets are full of joyful people singing and dancing. Concerts are held
with many pop and classical singers.
The World Performing Arts Festival is held every autumn (usually in
November) at the Alhambra cultural complex, a mega venue consisting of
several theatres and amphitheatres. This ten day festival consists of
musicals, theatre, concerts, dance, solo, mime and puppetry shows. This has
a rich international character with nearly 80% of the shows performed by
international performers. On average 15-20 different shows are performed
every day of the festival.
The Lahore Marathon, an elite event is part of an annual package of six
international marathons being sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank across
Asia, Africa and Middle East.
Food Street in Gawalmandi, Lahore is a centre of traditional Pakistani food. The site is
surrounded by centuries old buildings and places like Landa Bazaar, Mayo
Hospital and Baansan-wala Bazaar. The food street is open to traffic in the
morning but as the sun sets, the street is blocked off. Hungry visitors
arrive and stay till very late at night, enjoying some of the best local
food available in Lahore.
The traditional Kashmiri-Persian architecture can still be seen, used
extensively in buildings surrounding that place.
One of Lahore's unique café restaurants is "Coocoo's Den", located in the
old city just behind the Badshahi Mosque and Lahore Fort. The restaurant is
housed in a 300-year old "Kothi" style house of a famous artist. At
different points in the life of this property, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian
and Muslim families have owned it. Another famous Lahore landmark is the Pak
Tea House in Anarkali, long a favoured haunt of intellectuals and artists.
Lahore is one of the most accessible cities of Pakistan. In addition to the
historic Grand Trunk Road (G.T. road), a motorway was completed in 1997,
from Lahore to Islamabad. Lahore is well connected by rail and road
with the rest of the country and India's Amritsar city. Lahore International
airport has air linkage to all over the country as well as all over the