Wazir Khan Masjid
The Tomb of Jahangir
An old adage goes by in Pakistan, ‘Jinne Lahore nahin vekhaya, o jamya e nahin’ – meaning if you have not seen Lahore, you’ve not been born. Considering the architectural beauty of the city, the adage is nothing short of truth. If we were to name a place where its actual history lives, then Walled City of Lahore will be the only acceptable answer.
Old City and Androon-e-Shehr are some of the names this neighbourhood is known by. To take a peek into the glorious history of Mughal era, we’ll explore the Walled City of Lahore that boasts iconic structures and historical buildings that are a part of the World Heritage Site.
A Peek into the History of the Walled City
The history of the Walled City predates the creation of Pakistan.
It dates back to 1000 CE and is the gateway to modern Lahore. During the Medieval period, the city was protected by mud walls. Afterwards, it became the capital of the Mughal Empire in South Asia.
It gradually gained popularity as a political hub for Mughal Emperors. Hence, the Walled City was also known as the ‘Gardens of the Mughals’ and the ‘City of Gardens’.
Many people in the Mughal period started to settle outside the city walls, and there were only nine urban quarters located within the inner city.
Today, much of the area of the Walled City has been repurposed for commercial and public use.
13 Gates of the Walled City of Lahore
The thirteen gates of Lahore are a remarkable sight, but unfortunately, some of them have decayed by the time. A few of them were renovated by the British government that we still see standing tall:
- Bhati Gate
- Delhi Gate
- Sheran Wala Gate
- Kashmiri Gate
- Lohari Gate
- Mori Gate
Roshnai Gate remains the oldest and surviving gate in Lahore. And, gates like Taxali Gate, Mochi Gate, Masti Gate, and Akbari Gate cannot be seen.
Tourist Hostpots in the Walled City of Lahore
Lahore, as mentioned before, is a place where the Mughal heritage and Colonial history still lives in its full glory. For this very reason, the city successfully became a tourist attraction.
Here are some of the names that are regarded as the prominent landmarks in Pakistan:
- Lahore Fort
- Badshahi Masjid
- Shalimar Garden
- Wazir Khan Masjid
- The Tomb of Jahangir
Address: Fort Rd, Walled City, Lahore
Ticket: PKR 20 and for Sheesh Mahal its PKR 100
Timings: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Lahore Fort or Shahi Qila is a citadel situated on the northern side of the Walled City.
The fort is notable for its marvelous structure and architecture since it has twenty-one historical monuments, some dating back to the pre-partition era.
There are famous sites within the fort that have been restored and are being used as museums currently. Some mentions in this regard are Sheesh Mahal, Naulakha pavilion, Moti Masjid, Diwan-i-Aam, Diwan-i-Khas, and Summer Palace. These places are exhibiting different artefacts from the Mughal time.
Furthermore, Alamgiri Gate is the only functional entrance for the public to the fort. It is enormous with complicated designs.
Even though Lahore Fort is extremely old, it still remains magnificent as it was during the Mughal age.
Address: Opposite Lahore Fort’s Alamgiri Gate on Fort Road, Walled City, Lahore.
Tickets: PKR 40
Timings: 8:00 AM- 8:00 PM
Best known monument for tourist attraction, Badshahi Masjid enjoys a stellar position as one of the largest mosques in Pakistan right after Faisal Masjid in Islamabad.
It was constructed during the reign of Mughal ruler Aurangzeb in 1673. The masjid is important Mughal architecture and here are a few things to know:
- This masjid facilitates over 55,000 worshipers.
- Its design and structure closely resemble Jama Masjid in Delhi, India, which was built by Shah Jahan.
- Decorated with carved red sandstone with marble tiles. It is Lahore’s widely popular masjid with majestic features and four minarets that are sixty metre tall.
- Badshahi Masjid is the resting place of Allama Iqbal – the ‘Poet of East’ and the ‘Spiritual Father of Pakistan’.
Address: Shalamar Chowk, G.T. Road, Shalamar Town, Lahore
Ticket: PKR 10
Timings: 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Counted among the best tourist attractions in Lahore, Shalimar Gardens play a major part in the Walled City, covering over 80 acres and listed in World Heritage Sites in Pakistan.
It is an iconic landmark in Lahore, comprising Mughal architecture along with gardens and fountains made of brick walls. Their terraces are divided into three:
- Farah Baksh
- Faiz Baksh
- Hayat Baksh
They are often pronounced as ‘Shalamar’ Gardens.
Wazir Khan Masjid
Address: Shahi Guzargah, Dabbi Bazar, Walled City of Lahore
Timings: 8:00 AM- 8 PM
Considered to be a famous religious place with decorated ornates. It is a popular masjid in Lahore, with the Mughal architecture and complicated designs.
It took seven years to complete the whole structure that finally was completed in 1634.
Furthermore, the masjid is renowned for its Persian tile, as well the interior area containing the Mughal wall paintings.
The Tomb of Jahangir
Address: Tomb, Circular Walk, Shahdara Town, Shahdara, Lahore.
Ticket Price: PKR 20
Timing: 9:00 AM – 7PM
Built around the 17th century, it is the famous tomb of Emperor Jahangir. It is located in Shahdara Bagh towards the northwest division in the Walled City of Lahore.
The construction work was carried out by the emperor’s son Shah Jahan, and designed was suggested by the emperor’s wife Nur Jahan. She was Jahangir’s most beloved wife and was later buried alongside the emperor.
Furthermore, it is the only remaining tomb of Mughal emperor in Pakistan, while the rest are in India.
Markets and Restaurants Near the Walled City
There was a market place available for the public back in those days, but today we have a list of markets, restaurants and shops to provide refinements and eateries to everyone who happens to visit the Walled City.
Popular bazaars in area are:
- Kesara Bazaar
- Waan Bazaar
- Akbari Bazaar
- Sarafa Bazar
- Gumti Bazaar
And for eateries, the famous food streets aree:
- Fort Road Food Street: The street boasts traditional Lahori cuisine at affordable prices. You can find continental options too. There are famous dine-in restaurants like Andaaz Restaurants, Haveli Restaurants, Cooco’s Den, and Riwaj Restaurant.
- Gawalmandi Food Street: They have food stalls and dhabas serving the best food including traditional Nehari, Paye, Gol Gappay, and Haleem.
When you’re touring to Lahore, you will need a place to rest. Here are some hotels with suitable prices that will cost you within PKR 6000. These hotels include Faletti’s Hotel, One Down Town, Pearl Continental Hotel.
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