< See also: the Lahore list.
"If you haven't seen Lahore, you haven't been born" goes the local saying. And once you have seen Lahore you will say it is true. In its heyday all roads led to Lahore. It outstripped all other cities in beauty, entertainment and opportunities. One of the main reasons for this was Royal patronage. The Moghul emperors lavished this city with monuments, mausoleums, and mosques, most of which can be seen today. Emperor Jahangir especially loved Lahore as he was born here. He would rush back here whenever he could, and it is here that he was buried at his request. View Jahangirs tomb
The history of Lahore goes back much further than the Moghuls though, but it is the thing of myths and legends. Legend has it that Loh or Lohr or Lava the son of the Hindu god Ram was the first person to settle here along the banks of the River Ravi and the resulting settlement was named after him.
Today Lahore is a bustling modern city of 8.5 million people making it the second largest city in the country and it retains its prominence even now. It is a provincial capital and has been called the cultural heart of Pakistan, and rightly so. Cultural activities in the city abound and due to the Moghul patronage of the arts, the city has a healthy number of poets and artists. The performing arts too are well represented with theatre, music and dance performed on a regular basis.
edit Lahore’s rise to Prominence
Lahore was described as a small city in 982AD by an anonymous writer in a book called 'Hudud-i-Alam'. It only began to rise in significance after its capture by Mahmood Ghaznavi in the 11th century AD when in 1021AD it became the capital of the Ghaznavid Empire. This ended in 1186AD with the demise of the Ghaznavids and the capture of the city by the Ghurids. One of the Ghurid generals, Qutb-ud-din Aybak, who conquered Delhi, broke away from the Ghurids and became the first Sultan of a dynasty known as the Delhi Sultanate, and so Lahore came under the rule of Delhi in 1206AD. The tomb of Qutb-ud-din Aybak can be found in Lahore's Anarkali Bazaar.
When the Moghals took control of Northern India after a decisive battle against Ibrahim the Lodi sultan on the plain of Panipat in April 1526AD, Babur (the first Mogul Emperor) continued to rule from Dehli. It was not until 1585AD that the Mughal emperor Akbar decided to make Lahore the capital of the Moghal Empire. This was short lived and the capital moved to Agra and then in 1649 was finally moved to Dehli.
While Lahore was the Moghul capital, the Lahore fort was built as a residence for the Royal family. The city itself was adorned with many exquisitely designed gardens and beautiful mosques. Even after it stopped being the capital, Lahore maintained the attention of its Moghul patrons who continued to add to it and enhance its beauty. Sites from the Moghul period include the Shalimar Gardens, the Badshahi Mosque, the Wazir Khan Mosque, Charburji and the tombs of Emperor Jehangir and his Queen Noor Jehan.
edit Some Wonders of the Moghul period
The Shalimar Gardens
Lahore is also the city of gardens.Some are new, others hundreds of years old. Perhaps one of the oldest and most beautiful gardens is the Shalimar Gardens. It is a paradise of fountains and water cascades, surrounded by acres of greenery. It was constructed by Shah Jahan, who is also attributed with the construction of the Taj Mahal.About 5 kms east of Lahore lies the renowned Shalimar Gardens complex, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Laid out in 1642 by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, the garden reflects the Mughal-Persian style that was perfected by the dynasty. There are three lakes, about 450 fountains and a marble pavilion over which water flows down to create a waterfall. Small earthen lamps placed in the niches created a magical effect by their interplay with the cascading flow.. Lahore has several other parks and modern playgrounds that have given the city its epithet of the City of Gardens. Maintained by the Lahore Development Authority, these include the Iqbal Park, Race Course Park and the Model Town Park. Details and photographs of Shalimar gardens
The Lahore Fort
Perhaps the place which attracts most visitors is the famous Lahore Fort. Although not even a fraction of its original grandeur remains, it still holds some spectacular sites which include the Sheesh Mahal (the palace of mirrors}. The walls and the roof of the Sheesh Mahal are covered with small mirrors (hence the name) which are said to have reflected the light of a single lamp thousands of times during the night. View photos of Lahore Fort
Within the old city inside Kashmiri Bazaar is the Golden Mosque, another marvel of Mughal architecture. Built in 1753 by the Deputy Governor of Lahore, the mosque gets its name from the three golden domes that crown it.You can also visit Wazir Khan's Mosque which reflect the mobility of Persian design and one of the best calligraphies. The old part of Lahore is called Anderoon Shehr or the inner city. In the old days Lahore was a prosperous town encircled within a fortified wall. Lahore has expanded way beyond the walled city on all sides. The inner city has truly become the inner city surrounded by a comparatively modern Lahore. But Lahore is by no means just an old city. It is a city that has grown and blossomed with time while retaining its original flavor. As the second largest city of Pakistan, Lahore is one of the fastest developing cities in the country. It provides excellent opportunities for business and investment. A lot of people can still recall Lahore sans traffic congestion and pollution. That Lahore is admittedly difficult to find these days. But in spite of the dust and the heat Lahore is still well worth a visit. The best time to visit is between the months of November and March. The city of Lahore i.e the old sites of Lahore have in them selves so many old buildings which are still maintained the same way and style they were created and the most surprising thing is that the people are still living in them and they do not want to change their surrounding. The people living there are relatively simple,kind and very helpful as compared to the modern day Lahore.
Old Gates Of Lahore Details and photos Its a walled city as said by 'Noor Jehan'. There are 13 gates of Lahore,Four on the Northern side,Four on the Eastern side and five on the southern side.
On the northern side the following gates lie:
- Raushanai gate
- Kashmiri gate
- Khizri gate
On the eastern side the following gates lie:
- Yakki gate
- Dehli gate
- Akbari gate
- Masti gate
On the southern side the following gates lie:
- Mochi gate
- Shah almi gate
- Lahori gate
- Mori gate
On the western side the following gates lie:
- Bhaati gate
- Taxalli gate
Near the Bhati Gate is the shrine of Data Ganj Bakhsh, one of Pakistan’s most revered Sufi saints. The Darbar or shrine houses the mausoleum of the saint, the hujra of saint Hazrat Khawaja Moenuddin Chishti of Ajmer (India) and a mosque. The death anniversary of Data Ganj Bakhsh is marked with celebrations at the mausoleum in the 2nd month of the Islamic calendar.
edit The British Raj
Lahore museum is occupied by a number of various objects which are unique and rich. This is the oldest museum of Pakistan which has many galleries showing artifacts from Gandhara Buddhist Jain,Moghul and Colonial periods.They have the statue of Sidhartha (Budda) as well.In 1930's emperor Jehangir mausolem was also built.We can also visit Emperors Noor Jehan's tomb.Another interseting complex of nearby buildings are the 'samadh'(remains) of Maharaja's Ranjit Sing and Guru Argun Dev which are both solid gold tombs leading to Sikh era.
edit Changes after Independence
Minar-e-Pakistan The tower on which the Muslim League had passed a resolution on 23rd march 1940 which stated the concept of an independent muslim state. View images
Lahore is a city of many flavors. The Lahoris are fond of eating and that is apparent from the number of food outlets spread all over the city which range from pure Pakistani to international cuisine. Food streets have been established at Anarkali and Gawalmandi for those who favor local delicacies. More modern franchises can be found on M.M. Alam Road.
Coco's Cafe is a very unique restaurant in Lahore. The owner of the restraunt is an artist ,who specialized in arts i.e painting,mostly his painting depict the life of dancing girls.Located in the old Lahore's Diamond Market (Heera Mandi),Coco's Den is an old 'haveli' converted into a restraunt.As,the cafe is next to Badshahi Mosque and Lahore Fort, the architectural value of the cafe 's building doubles.Advance booking is required and reserved tables in the front corner for a great view.You climb a narrow stair case almost three stories up,till you reach the terrace.The cafe is full of artifacts,painting etc. Most foreigners would enjoy and would be interested in spending their time in this cafe.Its a beautiful traditional building depicting traditional desires of Lahore.On the roof top you often find film-makers directing their film-shots.
Punjabi, Urdu and English are spoken widely.
edit Arts and Crafts
Crafts of Lahore Details and photos Lahore is the center for hand made carpets.In olden times these carpets were made by the people for their own use and they were rough in quality named as 'namdas'.Copper and brass work is done in the old 'city' of Lahore.
Arts Sadquain --the unpredicatble painter He was one of the genius artists of the world.The most famous and astonishing thing about him was that he had pen-like fingers,very long and he use to paint with them instead of brushes and by emersing the finers in colours he could paint masterpieces.He had painted such pictures that people from foriengn would visit to view his paintings.He had gained fame in 70's due to his contributions in Islamic verses-paintings.His paintings depicted his school of thoughts about many social evil issues. His amazing skills in calligraphy could certainly compete the present day calligraphy techniques.He had a natural god gifted talent in arts which made him one of the unique artists in the world. Details about him
Among the modern artists, Ustad Allah Bakhsh, Khalid Iqbal, Ijazul Hasan and Shakir Ali stand on the top. In calligraphy, a great heritage of Muslim art, Agha Mirza Imam of Lahore gave new dimensions to this art and was followed by equally renowned Sufi Abdul Majid (Perveen Raqqm) and Abdul Walid (Nadir Qalam) who changed the round form of letters to elegant ovals. In the Graphic Arts, representational paintings and landscapes continue to be produced side by side with more complex modern trends. The main art centers in the province are Al-Hamra, the National College of Arts, Fine Arts Department of the Punjab University and the Lahore Art Gallery, all located at Lahore.
edit Shopping Malls
Lahore is the natural choice for shoppers of designer wear, bridal wear and soft furnishings. Visit modern shopping malls and modern plazas with shops, play areas, food courts and recreation facilities.
There are a wide range of places to choose from:
- Pace shopping Mall
- Liberty Plaza
- Defence Shopping Mall
- Tes Mart
- Al-Fatah Departmental Stores
- Siddique Trade Center
- Empire Center Gulberg
- Panorama Center
- Fortress Stadium
Pace In 1995, when it was built it was the only shopping mall of its kind in Lahore. It has four floors connected by escalators which are a rarity in Pakistan. The ground floor supermarket has both local and foreign products with brands from well known supermarkets in the UK. This is ideal for foreign visitors who are missing their favourite treats. The upper floors house the clothing shops, gift shops, food courts and a children's play area. picture
Anarkali Named after the hapless Anarkali, the hand maiden who fell in love with the young Jehangir, this bazaar is close to the old walled city and is a popular shopping area for women who flock to the Bano Bazaar. This is a women's only bazaar and is filled to bursting with all kinds of traditional clothing and jewelry. Many brides shop for their bridal wear in these alley ways and between shops they stop for the Bazaar's famous fruit chaat (spicy fruit salad) and a mango milkshake when it's in season.
edit List of Universities in Lahore
- Aitchison College, Lahore
- University of Punjab, Lahore
- Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore
- University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore
- Wikipedia:University_of_Veterinary_and_Animal_Sciences University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore
- National College of Arts, Lahore
- Lahore College for Women University,Lahore
- Government College University, Lahore
- Virtual University, Lahore
- |University of Health Sciences, Lahore
- Lahore University of Management Sciences, Lahore
- National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences (formerly FAST), Lahore
- King Edward Medical College
- Allama Iqbal Medical College
- Lahore Medical and Dental College
- Fatima Jinnah Medical College
- Forman Christian College, Lahore
Lahore used to be the most cultural point in the entire North India on the eve of independence.The city at olden times had produced some of the pioneering names in modern classical,poular and film music of the region.
edit Film music
Film music in Pakistan has largely been dominated by one female voice, that of Noorjehan. She was already in the prime of her career when Lata Mangeshkar made her debut as a play-back singer in Bombay before Partition. Before the era of play-back singing, Noorjehan was an actress-singer. After Partition, she migrated to Lahore with her husband, Shaukat Hussain Rizvi, the famous producer/ director and film-editor who started Shah Noor Studios in Lahore, one of the centres of Pakistani film activity for the last fifty years. The legendary male film singer Muhammad Rafi made his own debut singing a duet with her. Noorjehan may well have recorded more songs than all the other vocalists in Pakistan films put together. Noorjehan has a full throated voice capable of handling lower registers with remarkable command, a quality that makes her equally at ease with Punjabi and Urdu songs. Her versatility has rendered a large number of her songs part of the region’s collective musical memory.
edit Qawwali's and Sufi Music
The range of Sufi music includes the highly structured genre of qawwali, kafi and various regional genres of similar ethos. The origin of qawwali (Sufi poetry set to music) is traced back to the 13th century saint poet musician Amir Khusrau of Delhi, who evolved and perfected the musical structure of the genre and also in a way set the tone of poetic imagery and construction which has been broadly followed by the future composers. In line with the general policy of propagation of Islamic values, the genre received special treatment in the post 1947 official policy and special slots were allocated to qawwali performances on radio and television. A host of other religious genres also developed as popular media items in the same period of time which include kafi, na’at and hamd.
In the subsequent years a number of prominent classical vocalists also experimented in the genre but a few developed it exclusively. These include Pathaney Khan, Zahida’s daughter, Shahida Parveen, Hussain Bakhsh Dhadhi, Ustad Allah Dad of Bahawalpur in the Punjabi/ Saraiki style and Abida Parveen, Ustad Jumman, Sohrab Fakir, Qurban Fakir, Faqira Bhagat, Krishan Lal Bheel and a range of others in the Sindhi style. Most of these artists have had successful international tours as well.
Qawwali developed as the major Sufi music genre through the careers of a number of prominent qawwals like Munshi Raziuddin, Baha-ud-din, Santoo Khan, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s father, Fateh Ali Khan and uncle Mubarak Ali Khan, Aziz Mian, Sabri Brothers and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Qawwali had a healthy steady patronage from the shrines of Sufi saints which have large established followings who shower money on qawwals performing on various auspicious occasions. It was the carrying of this genre abroad in the early seventies, however, that made it a powerful widely popular genre on the world music scene. Sabri Brothers performing in Carnegie Hall New York in the mid seventies received rave reviews succeeded by several very successful international tours. Aziz Mian also had a successful concert career.
edit Folk music
Amongst the pioneers in the field of folk music’s presentation were Alam Lohar, Sain Akhtar, Sain Marna, Khameesoo Khan, Misri Khan and to some extent Zahida Parveen as a large portion of her repertoire could be categorised as Sufi as well as folk. These artists frequently toured abroad and also published LPs. The genre had a sympathetic treatment from the official media also and a number of official bodies also supported its conservation and publication but the real boost came with the advent of cassette when Ataullah Esakhelvi and Abida Parveen became mega hits. The present day scene is dominated by Alam’s son Arif, Ataullah, Abida Parveen, Sohrab Fakir and Allan. A number of traditional drummers and instrumentalists like Pappu Sain from Lahore are also coming to prominence. Another prominent names of recent past include Pathaney Khan and Tufail Niazi. The genre has also attracted considerable international attention and a number of these groups have performed and recorded abroad. The recent trends in pop music have created certain unique blends of indigenous folk music themes with the western pop themes. Some of these like Abrar-ul- Haq’s ‘Billo’ have become mega hits and have also been sold to Bombay Films. A number of other musicians are also active in evolving styles closely modelled on similar patterns.
This is essentially a poetic genre which has a strong tradition of singing attached to it. At the time of partition the great exponent of ghazal singing Ustad Barkat Ali Khan was active in Lahore. As the genre received avowed official patronage, a large number of musicians tried their hands at it. Those exclusively known for ghazal singing are Ijaz Hussain Hazravi, Fareeda Khanum, Iqbal Bano and the two great contemporary stylists; Ghulam Ali and Mehdi Hassan. Also known (partly) for ghazal singing are Ustad Amanat Ali Khan, Hamid Ali Khan, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (Qawwal), Shahida Parveen and Abida Parveen. The genre received a great boost in Pakistan due to the fact that some of the best poets, in the last fifty years, lived in Pakistan.
The two great sitar players Ustad Sharif Khan and Ustad Fateh Ali Khan are survived by their sons and a few pupils. Another major sitar player is Ustad Rais Khan who migrated from India to settle here after getting married to the film singer Bilquis Khanum. His active career, however, is in singing ghazals in which he is not very prominent but which is a more lucrative pursuit in financial terms. The major classical singers include Roshan Ara Begum,Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, Ustad Fateh Ali Khan, Ustad Ghulam Hussain Shaggan, Hamid Ali Fateh Ali and Imtiaz Ali Riaz Ali.
edit Sites of Interests in Lahore
A number of festivals take place including islamic or religious ones,some related to the memories of national heroes and some commemorate political events.The dates of such festivals are annually fixed by the District Authority or Administration of the respective area.,at least one month in advance.A short list is mentioned below:
- Shab-e-barat on 8th month of Islamic Calender
- Eid-ul-Fitr on the 10th month of Islamic Calender
- Pakistan Day on 23rd March
- Mela Chiraghan (Festival of Lamps) in the last week of March
- Eid-ul-Azha a religious festival which is celebrated on 10th zilhaj of Islamic Calender
- Eid-Milad-Un-Nabi is the birthday of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammed(p.b.u.h),celebrated on 12th of Rabi-ul-awwal of the Islamic Calender
- Independence Day on 14th August
- Defence Day on 6th September
- Air Force Day 7th September
- Birthday of the National Poet Allama Iqbal is celebrated on 9th November
- National Industrial Exhibition Lahore which is arranged from 3rd week of November for further 15 days.
- National Horse and Cattle Show Lahore which is arranged from the 3rd week of November at Fortress Stadium
- Christmas and Birthday of the national founder of Pakistan (Quaid-e-Azam) is celebrated on 25th December
On Eids,people cook and distribute sweet dishes in their neighbour and in the poor.
Basant The festival is held on the second weekend of February. The skies over Lahore explode in a kaleidoscope of color. As the first kite rises over the horizon, a joust for supremacy begins that brings millions of kites of all shapes and sizes, soaring to challenge it. This is a time for festivities that reflect the true Lahori spirit of good-natured competition and appetite for celebration. For a visitor, Basant is the ideal time to appreciate the mood and magic of Lahore. From the floodlit skies, the manic beat of the 'dhol' and cries of 'Bo kata!' each time the opposition loses a kite, to a constant feast that lasts an entire week. Lahore displays a charm and hospitality unmatched and unrivaled by any other city in the world.
edit MotorWay-A Marvellous Change
The Lahore-Islamabad Motorway Project is a 333 Kms four lane divided Motorway starting, in the south, near the village of Kot Noor Shah at the junction of the Lahore-Jaranwala Road and the new Lahore Bypass (under construction) and ends 6 Kms from the junction of the Kashmir Highway and the Grand Trunk (G.T) Road, N5-Highway, near Islamabad, passing near the towns of Sheikhupura, Pindi Bhattian, Kot Momin, Bhera, Lilla, Kallar Kahar, Chakwal and Chakri. It passes through central Punjab well away from the border belt and serves the districts of Sheikhupura, Faisalabad, Sargodha, Jhelum, Chakwal, Attock and Rawalpindi. The project includes 8 interchanges, 26 flyovers, 57 conventional bridges, 3 incrementally launched box girder bridges and service and toll collection facilities along the 333 Km length