In the heart of Lahore stands a historical fortified fort, Lahore Fort commonly known as Shahi Qila. The fort is located in the north of Lahore known as walled city of Lahore and spreads over 20 hectares of area.There are many forts in Pakistan and India.
Walled city itself is a cultural hub of the city as well the province with great places including the Badshahi mosque, Tomb of Iqbal, the famous Anarkali market, Gurdwara Dehra Sahib Sri Guru Arjan Dev and the food street. And in the middle of all stands the fort with a diverse and remarkable history.
Built originally in 11th century by Mahmud of Ghazni, the fort was renovated many times and then fortified as the fort in the reign of Mughal emperor Akbar in mid of 16th century, which later was upgraded by his son and grandson. The fort has many notable buildings and is the perfect blend of art.
The fort was named as world heritage site in 1981 along with Shalimar gardens. The place is currently under the control of Govt. of Punjab. It is open for all.
The landmarks in the Lahore Fort
The fort itself is a spectacular landmark. But in there are many places with a diverse history and great architectural design. The places are of great historical significance with a flawless structure.
1.Akbari gate in Lahore Fort
One of the gates of the fort, the gate was built by Emperor Akbar in 1575. The gate was in front of the mosque built at that time which still stands The Badshahi mosque. The gate is also known Eastern gate.
Located on the west wall of fort, the gate is the epitome of grace and magnificence. The gate showcases the discipline. It opens towards the famous Hazoori garden of the fort. The gate was built by Alamgir and is now a symbol of Lahore. It is also seen on currency of Pakistan.
Alamgiri gate- entrance to the fort
Sheesh Mahal (palace of mirror):
The small palace was built by Jahangir, all made of mirrors. The palace was for empress and her court, and was built to protect them from all outsiders.
Another must see is Naulakha (nine lacks), the reason behind the name is not confirmed, but the marble pavilion is a master piece that was decorated with many semi precious stones and great artwork. The art was inspired by Persian design, piettra dura. One can exit the fort from here, through Hathi Pair, the great stairs originally built for elephants to move through, for the purpose of royals to move in and out of fort.
The fort where it is a wonder to visit, it has three museums which are filled with Mughals and Sikhs art, coins, armors and paintings. The Mughal gallery is a historic library with a great collection of works and goods from Mughal era. The Sikh gallery is the last museum which has paintings made by Europeans and things from Prince Bamba’s time.
Time to visit the Lahore Fort
After having just a glimpse of such spectacular fort, one will be eager to go there and witness the remarkable building. Many local buses can take you there once you reach the busy city. The rickshaw drivers also take the travelers to the fort. One can easily reach there as it is not a far or a difficult. The best time of day is morning to evening. One must go there in early hours of the day if wish to visit in blazing summers, as Lahore is not a cool spot.
Nearby places of the Lahore fort:
The fort is surrounded by many other must see places. Among these is the fifth largest mosque of the world, Badshahi Mosque. Built in Mughal era the mosque is the captivating building to visit. The modern architecture is really an eye opening thing.
Next is the tomb of Iqbal, the national poet and the one who actually dreamt of the country where we live in. Those who visit the fort also go there and recite fatiha for the good soul.
Although an Islamic state, the buildings of minorities are also kept as national heritage. Among those is the Gurdwara Dehra Sahib Sri Guru Arjan Dev. The Gurdwara was open for all believers and non believers of Sikhism, but later was only for the Sikhs. Cutting the long history short, built in late 16th century by the son as a memorial of his father and named after the father.
The food street, now known as new food street. The place is a colorful and eye catching place. The colors in day display the liveliness of the Lahoris and bright light at night is the symbol of life in the big, busy city.
new food street
You visit Lahore and never go to famous Anarkali market, named after the love of Jahangir in totally unfair. The big market with hundreds of small shops and stalls is simply amazing place. One can get all sort of traditional jewelry, clothes, shoes and much more in a reasonable price.
As the city of parks and colleges, one of the famous parks is Greater Iqbal Parks, the older Minto Park, which has the significance in the independence moment. The park has the symbol of Pakistan, The Minar e Pakistan, which is worth seeing.
Places to stay near the Lahore fort:
People across the country visit the place throughout the year. Many people especially from Punjab come and spend all day long visit the places, do shopping and eat out. Schools of the province, bring the children for one day trips to make the children aware of the rich cultural history of the country and make them aware of the art and architecture.
People from far off places stay here to discover many other modern and ancient buildings and parks like the Shalimar gardens, army museum, national history museum and a lot more. For the purpose they choose famous five star hotels of the area Pearl Continental Hotel and Avari Lahore, located on historic mall road which itself has a great history.
It is a famous quote in Punjabi Jinny Lahore nai wekhiya o jammya e nai-the one who has not seen Lahore is not even born. After just reading the description one falls in love with the historic city which has yet three more directions not even touched yet. The fort reminds us about the glory and magnificence of Muslims and Mughals who ruled subcontinent for 1000 years. Hope this urges you to visit the fort and the famous Lahore