Lahore The Captial Of Punjab, Pakistan

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 style.

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 The Mall.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. Mughal and Pahari paintings on display. The Fasting Buddha [1] is one of the unique collections of the museum.

The Lahore Fort, locally referred to as Shahi Qela 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.

Suneri Mosque or Golden Mosque is located in the center of Lahore, It was built in 1753 AD. It features three beautiful golden domes. The mosque is elevated on a higher plinth, surrounded by old bazaars.
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 poet-philosopher.

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.

Zoo in Lahore, established in 1872, was once considered one of the largest zoos, in Asia.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.Chauburji 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 once covered.

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 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

Basant is a 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 (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 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.

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.


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