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Lahore The City Of Gardens

Minar-e-Pakistan (Sign of Liberty) badshahi Mosque The University of Punjab Haren manar

About Lahore Places of interest Shalimar Garden Allam Iqbal's Tomb Minar-e-Pakistan Museums in Lahore Hotels in Lahore

About Lahore

Lahore is Pakistan's cultural, intellectual and artistic center. Its faded elegance, busy streets and bazaars, and wide variety of Islamic and British architecture make it a city full of atmosphere, contrast and surprise. Being the center of cultural and literary activities it may rightly be called the cultural capital of Pakistan.

Lahore is undoubtedly ancient. Legend has it that it was founded by Loh, son of Rama, the hero of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana. Some others think that the name means Loh-awar, meaning a "Fort as strong as Iron".

It is situated one mile to the south of the river Ravi, and some 23 miles from the eastern border of the district. The city is built in the form of a parallelogram, the area within the walls, exclusive of the citadel, being about 461 acres. It stands on the alluvial plain traversed by the river Ravi. The city is slightly elevated above the plain, and has a high ridge within it, running east and west on its northern side. The whole of this elevated ground is composed of the accumulated debris of many centuries. The river, which makes a very circuitous bend from the East, passes in a semi-circle to the North of Lahore.

With a population of more than 2.5 million, Lahore is Pakistan's second largest city. It occupies a choice site in the midst of fertile alluvial plains.

Historical Background

Lahore has been the capital of Punjab for about little above one thousand years; first from 1021 to 1186 under the Ghaznavid Dynasty, founded by Mahmud of Ghaznavi, then under Muhammad of Ghor followed by various Sultans of Delhi. It reached its full glory under Mughal rule from 1524 to 1752. The third Mughal emperor, Akbar, held his court in Lahore for 14 years from 1584 to 1598.

In the 18th and 19th centuries the Sikhs also had their capital at Lahore. When the British took over in 1849, they erected splendid Victorian public buildings in the style that has come to be called Mughal-Gothic.

PLACES OF INTEREST

The 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

Although 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.

The Royal Fort is rectangular. The main gates are located alongside the centre of the western and eastern walls. Every succeeding Mughal Emperor as well as the Sikhs, and the British in their turn, added a pavilion, palace or wall 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 colours 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.

The Sleeping Chamber of Mai Jindan houses a very interesting museum with relics from Mughal and the Sikh periods.

SHALIMAR GARDEN

Five kilometers east of Lahore are the famous Shalimar Gardens laid out by the Mughal Emperor Shah-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 with 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 colours, through the water.

Shalimar gardens have the proud privilege of being the stage of all important state receptions. Outside its walls the annual festival of Mela Chiraghan is held every year during the year of March. Special lights on the first and second terraces of the Gardens have been installed and the area is illuminated half-an-hour after sun-set.

MINAR-E-PAKISTAN-THE INDEPENDANCE MOVEMENT

Minar-e-Pakistan is a new landmark in Lahore and stands in the Iqbal Park to commemorate the date (23rd March when a resolution was passed there back in 1940 demanding the creation of a separate homeland for the Muslims of this South Asia. The Minaret is a blend of Mughal and modern architecture and has been very boldly designed. The Minar is about 60 metres tall.

BADSHAHI MOSQUE

Golden Mosque is situated in the Kashmiri Bazaar inside the old city. 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.

ALLAMA IQBAL'S TOMB

Outside 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 Moonsh styles of architecture and is constructed entirely of red sandstone.

MAUSOLEUM OF EMPEROR JEHANGIR

The tomb of the fourth great Mughal Emperor, Jehangir, lies 5 km 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 entrance 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 Allah 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 A.D.

NOOR JEHAN'S TOMB

The Empress Noor 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 line.

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 splendour. All treasures and tiles, it is said, were carted off to decorate the Golden Temple at Amritsar India.

NANARKALI'S TOMB

The tomb of Nadira Begum, alias Anarkali, is situated in a corner of the Civil Secretariat of Punjab Government 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 of early Mughal period and is neatly and beautifully fitted up.

Museums In Lahore

1-Lahore Museum

This museum was established during the British Raj in 1864. It displays a complete cross-section of the Culture and History of the region with rare and best collection of the Buddhist art from the Gandhara Period, Islamic artifacts, Calligraphy, Old Manuscripts, Arms, Costumes and Jewelry

2-Fakir Khana Museum

A very large and interesting private Museum known as Faqirkhana lies inside the Bhatti 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 Indo-Pak sub-continent.

3-Shakir Ali Museum

This museum was actually Shakir's House at 93, Tipu Block, New Garder Town, Lahore, which he made for himself. After his death it was bought by Idara-I-Saqafat-e-Pakistan and formally turned into a museum on April 3rd, 1976. The idea behind it was not only to preserve the great artist's paintings and other masterpieces under one roof but also to open this combination of modern and traditional archietecture to the public.

4-Mughal Museum

Situated at Poonch house, Multan Road, Lahore it was established in 1950. This is an Industrial and commercial Museum, which is meant to depict country's economic resources both in the form of raw products and worked objects. Its collection is arranged in one gallery and one large hall of the building. The main hall displays a range of variety of material such as well plated musical instruments, table lamps of camel skin from Multan and Bhawalpur, cotton, silken-woolen and embroidered textiles from all important cites of Pakistan.

Hotels In Lahore

HOTELS

ADDRESSES

PHONE NO

Pearl Continental***

Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam

6360210, 6360140

PTDC Faletti’s Hotal **

Egerton Road

6363946-55

Holiday Inn **

Egerton Road

6310077,6310088,6367879

Indus Hotel *

Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam

6302856-8

National Hotel

Muhmood ghaznavi Road

63633011-13

Hotel Asia

(near)City Railway Station

6366328-29

Parkway Hotel

(near)City Railway Station

6365908-12

Avari International Hotel

Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam

6365366.637

Orient Hotel

McLeod Road

7223906-8

Marwat Ambassador Hotel

Davis Road

6316832.632

Country Club Motel

Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam

6302275

Hotel Shalimar

Liberty Market,Gulberg-III

5712603

Liberty Hotel

Liberty Market,Gulberg-III

875731-32

Baadees Hotel

Empress Rd opp.Radio Pakistan

636537

Rays Hotel

Montgomery road

7223379,7223872,374563

Regency Hotel

Abid Majeed Road

372277.3746

Y.M.C.A

Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam

7354433

Youth Hostel

110-B firdous Market Gulberg-III

878201

Y.W.C.A

Fatima Jinnah Road

6304707

RESTAURANTS

Salloo’s Wapda House

Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam

6302449

Tabaq

Abbott Road

Shezan Sack Bar

Fortress Stadium Lahore

372781

Naimat Kadah

Out side Lahori Gate Circular Rd

 

Palky

Main Boulevard Gulberg

 

Shezan

Dyal Singh Mansion Shahra-e-Quaid-e-Azam

 

Orchid’s Restaurant

Holiday Inn Egerton Road

 

Brasserie

Hotel Pearl  Continental,Shahra-e-Qu aid-e-Azam   6360210