LAHORE PROFILE

  

 

LAHORE is a Municipal city, has been the capital of Punjab for nearly a thousand years, and the administrative head-quarters of a Division and District of the same name. 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. Lahore has a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. It is a fine place to watch the world rush by. The improbable mix of painted trucks, cars, bullock carts, buses, handcarts, scooters with whole families.

LAHORE PLACES

There is an ancient Punjabi adage,

"One who hasn't seen Lahore, hasn't been born!"

Lahore is "Queen of cities"; others are "like a golden ring, she the diamond."
Lahore Central Museum, was originally the "Industrial Art Museum of the Punjab". Lahore was important because of the key position of Punjab in the Indian Empire. Recently annexed, efficiently administered in less than 30 years there had been progress in irrigation, land settlement and a forestation. The British were also keen to foster, develop and support local craftsmanship. Many projects were undertaken. There are Gandhara, Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Indus valley and Islamic collections, wonderful paintings from Mughal times and from the Punjab Hills, and many wonderful examples of handicrafts, rugs and carvings. The collections of calligraphy are also very fine.
The Museums most famous exhibits include a Koran which is a thousand years old, and several sculptures including the emaciated fasting siddhartha from Taxila, the miracle of Sarasvati, and the green goddess, Athena.
There are some fine prehistoric displays showing archaeological finds half a million years old from the area around Islamabad, and the struggle for Pakistan is well documented.
Out side the museum, not far away, Zamzama, the 18th century fire piece immortalized by Kipling as "Kim's Gun", takes up a surprising length of space in the middle of road.
Lahore is still growing, and Just like any other city, there is incessant redevelopment. Old buildings become replaced by modern concrete architecture. Modern sites of interest include the Minar-i-Pakistan which marks the spot where the Pakistan Resolution was passed on 23rd March 1940. It is located in lqbal Park. The tomb of the philosopher and poet is in the Hazuri Bagh beside the Badshahi Masjid. The WAPDA House building is, an example of a modern office block, with a glass dome and a roof garden. Behind is the Punjab Assembly Hall and before both, the modern Summit Minar are more interesting.
The Fortress Stadium is an attempt to combine the style of merlons from a fort like Rohtas with a sports stadium. The Stadium is the site of the famous Horse and Cattle Show in March. This includes a display of livestock but also many spectacular feats of horsemanship, tentpegging, dressage, camel dancing, racing, folk dancing, pomp and pageantry. It is accompanied by exhibitions displaying Pakistani craftsmanship and industry and is one of the most colourful of Lahore's events.
Perhaps the best places to see new buildings are the suburbs being developed by returning migrants, which are a happy blend of influences and styles from the world. Lahore has plenty of fine parks and a zoo, other leisure areas for the city have been developed in the vicinity. These include Changa Manga, a man made forest, originally planted and irrigated by the British to provide wood for railway engines. Nowadays there is a miniature, steam driven railway and an artificial lake with boats on.
Jallo National Park is more recent. It is also a recreational and picnic site, with a zoo, children's play area, a lake with motor and rowing boats, and other kinds of amusement. Beside it Gulshan-e-Iqbal, Iqbal Park around the Minar-e-Pakistan, Model Town Park, Race Course Park, which deservedly attract not only town-dwellers but visitors as well.

SHALIMAR GARDEN

"A garden," Babar wrote, "is the purest of human pleasure." This impressive Mughal monument, the most complete Moghal garden in the entire Indian subcontinent, is on the Grand Trunk Road five kilometres towards the Indian border from the center of Lahore.Laid out by Shah Jahan in1642 for the pleasure of royal household, which often stayed here for days or week at a time.
In design, it conforms to the classic Mughal conception of the perfect garden and consist of three terraces of straight, shaded walk sets around a perfectly symmetrical arrangement of ponds, waterfalls, marble pavalions, all surrounded by flower beds and fruit trees and enclosed within a wall and more than 400 fountains. There are also huge fruit trees and little chipmunks scamper about.
The emperor's sleeping quarters are at the center of the west wall, across from the Hall of Public Audience, which just through the wall and out of the garden. The emperor walked through this hall daily to show himself to the public gathered in a separate walled garden outside.

WAZIR KHAN'S MOSQUE

Wazir Khan's Mosque is in the old city, 300 meters from Dehli Gate. This unique mosque is one of the most beautiful in Pakistan. It was built in 1634 by Hakim Ali-ud-din, popularly known as Wazir Khan, who was governer of the area during the reign of Shah Jahan. The Mosque is justifiably famous for the colorful fresco and tile decoration which adorn both interior and exterior of the building.

THIRTEEN GATES OF LAHORE

  • The Raushnai Gate.

  • The Kashmiri Gate.

  • The Masti Gate.

  • The Khizri Gate.

  • The Yakki Gate.

  • The Dehli Gate.

  • The Akbari Gate.

  • The Mochi Gate.

  • The Shah 'Almi Gate.

  • The Lahori Gate.

  • The Mori Gate.

  • The Bhatti Gate.

  • The Taxali Gate.

The Raushnai Gate.

 The Raushnai Gate,or the "gate of light". This is between the royal mosque and the citadels. Being the principal entrance from the fort to the city, it was most frequented by the Omerahs, courtiers, royal servants, and retinues; and as the quarters about here were profusely lighted up at night, it was called the "gate of light" , or, "gate of splendour"

The Kashmiri Gate.

The Kashmiri Gate, so called because it faces the direction of Kashmir.

The Masti Gate.

The Masti Gate, the name is the corruption of "Masjidi," the pertaining to a mosque. The mosque of Mariam Makani, mother of Akber, is in its immediate vicinity. Hence its name.

The Khizri Gate.

The Khizri Gate. As already noted, the river in former times flowed by the city walls, and the ferry was near this spot. The gate was, therefore, named Khizri, after the name of Khizr Elias, the patron saint, according to the Mahomedan belief, of running waters and streams, and the discoverer of the water of immortality. Ranjit Singh kept here two domesticated lions in a cage, and the gate came to be called "Sheranwala" or the " lions' gate". Peoole now call it by both names, the " Khizri" and the "Sheranwalla" gateway.
On the east side are:-

The Yakki Gate.

The Yakki Gate. The original name was "Zaki," that being the name of a martyr saint, who, according to tradition, fell fighting against the Moghal infidels from the north, while gallantly defending his city. His head was cut off at the gate, but the trunk continued fighting for some time, and at last fell in a quarter of the city close by. One tomb of this champion was consequently built at the spot where the head had fallen, and another at the place where the trunk lay. Both are revered by the faithful to this clay.

The Dehli Gate.

The Dehli Gate, so called from its opening on to the high road from Lahore to Delhi.

The Akbari Gate.

The Akbari Gate, named after Mahomed Jala-ud-din Akbar, who rebuilt the town and citadel. Close to this gate the Emperor also founded a market, which, after his name, is called "Akbari Mandi".
On the south side are :-

The Mochi Gate.

The Mochi Gate. The name is the corruption of Moti, a pearl. It was called so after the name of Moti Ram, an officer of Akbar, who resided here at that time.

The Shah 'Almi Gate.

The Shah 'Almi Gate, named after Mohomed Mo'azzam Shah 'Alam Bahadur Shah (the son and successor of Aurangzeb), a mild and munificent Emperor, who died at Lahore on the 28th February 1712.

The Lahori Gate.

The Lahori Gate, called also the Lohari gate. The gate was named after the city of Lahore. It is said that when Malik Ayaz rebuilt the town, in the time of Mahmud, the quarter of the city first populated was about this gate, which, together with the Lahori Mandi, or the Lahore market, was named after the city.

The Mori Gate.

The Mori Gate, is the smallest of the gateway, and as its name implies, was in old times used as an outlet for the refuse and sweepings of the city.
On the west side are:-

The Bhatti Gate.

The Bhatti Gate, named after the Bhatis, an ancient Rajput tribe who inhabited these quarters in old times.

The Taxali Gate.

The Taxali Gate, so called from the Taxal, or royal mint, having been in its neighbourhood during the period of the Mahomedan Emperors.

THE MAUSOLEUM OF JAHANGIR

A Moghul site is Shahdara, located just across the River Ravi. There are three mausoleums, those of Jahangir, his wife Nur Jahan and her brother Asif Khan, who was the father of Mumtaz, the lady of the Taj Mahal at Agra. Asif Khan's tomb has retained little of the splendour that there must have been at one time.The entrance of this superb building is through two massive gateway of stones and masonary opposite each other to the north and south, these lead to a square enclosure. From this enclosure is reached another, on a larger scale, giving a full view of the garden in front, about six hundred yard squares which is traversed by four-bricked canals proceeding from the centre, and in which innumerable fountains were introduced, but these are now in ruins. The corridor is adorned with a profusion of marble ornaments arranged in a most elegant mosaic, representing flowers and texts from the Koran. In the interior of the mausoleum is an elevated sarcophagus of white marble, enshrining the remains of the Emperor, the Sides of which are wrought with flowers of mosaic in the same style of elegance as the tombs in the Taj at Agra, on two sides are most beautifully carved the ninety-nine attributes of God.
Jahangir's Tomb is magnificent and decorated with pietra dura. The 99 names of God are inlaid in black on the marble and there are beautiful jalis which admit patterns of light. Jahangir's tomb was built by his son, Shah Jahan.
Jahangir's wife Nur Jahan was a power in the court and apparently much loved. It is said that when Jahangir was a young man, he handed the lady two of the royal pigeons to hold. While pigeon flying may not be a cult in many countries, it is a sport enjoyed by the gentle folk of the subcontinent. When Jahangir returned for his birds, one had flown.He was surprised. "But how did it fly?" he asked. "Like this!" She laughed and let go the second bird. They say that from then on he was enchanted. Nur Jahan's Tomb was stripped down to the bricks by the Sikhs, but it has been restored this century. In buildings of this sort, the grave is underneath the mausoleum, in the cellar.

LAHORE FORT

The massive walls of Lahore Fort, built by Akbar in the 1560s, tower over the old city of Lahore, and the huge rectangle they define, 380 by 330 meters (1,250 by 1,080 feet), is filled with buildings from a variety of periods. A complete tour of the fort takes about two hours.
The entrance is through Alamgiri Gate, the Maktab Khana (Clerks' House) is a small cloistered court surrounded by arcades in which clerks sat recording the names of visitors. The inscription outside tells that it was built by jahangir in 1618. The Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque) is entered via steps rising from the comer of the large courtyard north of the Maktab Khana. This little gem was built by Shah Jahan 1644. The Diwan-e-Am (Hall of Public Audience) is an open pavilion with 40 pillars built by Shah Jahan in 1631 to shelter his subjects when they appeared before him. The marble pavilion and red sandstone balcony at the back of the Diwan-e-Am are originals built by Akbar. Here the emperior appeared daily before the public-who, in his day, crowded under a canvas awning. The serpentine sandstone brackets are typical of Akbar's commissions, with the depiction of animals showing Hindu influence and reflecting Akbar's policy of religious tolerance.His two-storey Diwan-e-Khas (Hall of Private Audience), built in 1566, is behind the balcony and is reached by stairs on the tight. Masti (or Masjidi) Gate is cast of the Diwan-e-Am. It was the original main gate to the fort built by Akbar in 1566. Jahangir's Quadrangle, north of the Diwan-e-Am, and one of the fort's most attractive areas, was started by Akbar in 1566 and finished by Jahangir in 1617. The buildings on the east, west and south sides of the court reflect typical Akbari style, with richly carved red sandstone columns and elaborate animal-shaped brackets.Behind the buildings to the east is Akbar's Court. The Khwabgah-e-Jahangir (Jahangir's Room of Dreams)is the main building running the length of the north side of Jahangirs Quadrangle and is typical of Jahangir's period in its austerity.It is now a museum, containing a huge ivory model of the Taj Mahal, some excellent illustrated manuscripts (including the Akbar Nama, the daily chronicle of Akbar's reign), some beautiful calligraphy, good miniature paintings and a collection of Mughal coins.

LAHORE EDUCATION 

Many colleges and schools which found Lahore's reputation as education center of Pakistan par excellence. Most notable are Government College- first in prestige in the country, and of which Allama Iqbal, founding father of Pakistan's Independence, was distinguished alumnus; the Foreman Christian College, founded in 1864 near the Shah Almi Gate, added in 1950; the Kinnaired College for Woman and Aitchison(chiefs) College, still the most expensive educational eastablishment in the country.

King Edward Medical College

King Edward Medical College is the country's largest medical institution, founded in 1870. The National College of Arts, has separate departments in Architecture, Fine Arts & design, on the competition entry basis 450 students recieves from all over the country.

 

LAHORE BAZAR

Bazaars and market places in the Lahore is of course legendary- the Kashmiri, Suha, Chhatta, Dabbi, Anarkali of the old city, and Liberty and Gulberg main market in modern Lahore. These markets supply everything that could possibly or impossibly want; from cloth to copper, brass and silver-ware; watches and bangles to carpets, chapatis and chai.All is colour, all varity, all abundance, and all displayed to entice. 
Anarkali Bazaar is a treasure-trove, selling virtually everything from handicraft to transistor radio, tin sauce pan to refrigerator, a maze of lanes and alleys which stretch northwards from the Mall at the Central Museum end. The shops are an odd mixture of east and west. Some are organised with fronts and windows and are recognisable shops. There may be a chemist which is also recognisable, but interspersed with these are colourful bangle sellers and alleys of stalls offering dupattas in all the colours of the rainbow. A man may be embroidering a dupatta in makash, silver patterns. He will sell it to you right away, and an absolute bargain it is, too, Anarkali is convenient for visitors to go shopping. No one is likely to get impossibly lost and it does contain a range of shops to supply most requirements, and the shopkeepers are mostly patient and very kind.

Old City bazaars

The bazaars in the old city are the ones people dreams about-tiny alleys, some of which will admit a rickshaw, a string of donkeys or carts- and pedestrians have to leap into doorways to give room.some alleys are only possible single file. 
The Shahi Mohalla, behind the Fort is the Tart'sQuarter and contains the places where gentlemen can see dancing girls. In this area are some splendid embroiderers. The alleys give access to tiny booths which have a counter and a bench for potential customers to perch on.
Every thing exist that a middle class person want like Spices, vegetables, books, gold and silver, brass, jewellery, junk jewellery, antiques, carpets, kitchenware, brooms and buckets, feather dusters, shoes, pots and pans, garlands of money (for weddings or as presents to whores), garlands of flowers for shrines, blacksmiths and locksmiths, carpenters and furniture vendors, tea shops, snacks and food vendors, milk shops with huge vats of milk, South Asian fast-food, and piled displays of those highly coloured, rather substantial sweets.
There are sellers of suitcases and bags, travel agents. Cats and dogs dine under stallfronts under stollen discarded offal. Kite-flying kids stand on top of the houses and every year on kite flying day they put powdered glass on their kite strings to cut those of their rivals. The streets below are thronging with people, many of whom are kind and friendly and enjoy stopping to chat with a stranger from another land. 
For the ladies ready made stylish suits, shops near the Liberty Market and Fortress Stadium are the best. For handicraft, The Mall is very popular, which sells shadow work embriodery at reasonable prices. Ichra Bazaar has the best buys for silk, cotton and printed all sort of cloth, and the Mozang Bazaar, sells some particularly interesting hand-block printed cloth, tablecloth and bedspread.

LAHORE HOTEL

NAME

ADDRESS

PHONE NUMBER

FALETTI'S HOTEL

Egerton Road,

042-6363946-55

SERVICES INTERNATIONAL

90,Sharah-e-Quaid-e-Azam,

042-5750591-8

PEARL CONTINENTAL HOTEL

shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam

042-6360210,6360560

SHALIMAR HOTEL

Gulberg,

042-5758811-5

THE AMER

46, Lower Mall,

320101-3,6320147-8

AVARI LAHORE

Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam,

042-6365366

 
 
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