Lahore Fort


Lahore Fort

Infobox World Heritage Site
WHS = Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore


State Party = PAK
Type = Cultural
Criteria = i, ii, iii
ID = 171
Region = Asia-Pacific
Year = 1981
Session = 5th
Danger = 2000-
Link = http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/171
The Lahore Fort, locally referred to as "Shahi Qila" (Urdu: شاهی قلعہ ) is citadel of the city of Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. It is located in the northwestern corner of the Walled City of Lahore. The trapezoidal composition is spread over 20 hectares. Origins of the fort go as far back as antiquity, however, the existing base structure was built during the reign of Mughal emperor Akbar (1556-1605), and was regularly upgraded by subsequent rulers. Thus the fort manifests the rich traditions of the entire Mughal architecture. [M Taher (1997). Encyclopaedic Survey of Islamic Culture. Anmol Publications. ISBN 8174884874] Some of the famous sites inside the fort include: Sheesh Mahal, Alamgiri Gate, Naulakha pavilion, and Moti Masjid. In 1981, the fort was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the Shalimar Gardens (Lahore).

Origins

The origins of Lahore Fort are obscure and are traditionally based on various myths. [G Johnson, C A Bayly, and J F Richards (1988). The New Cambridge History of India. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521400279] However, during the excavation carried out in 1959 by the Department of Archaeology, in front of "Diwan-e-Aam", a gold coin of Mahmood of Ghazni dated A.H. 416 (1025 A.D.) was found at a depth of 7.62 metres from the level of the lawns. Cultural layers continued to a further depth of 5 metres, giving strong indications that people had lived here, long before the conquest of Lahore by Mahmood in 1021 A.D. [S. Ahmed (2007. [http://www.dawn.com/2007/04/28/nat42.htm Three floors revealed at Lahore Fort] . Dawn (newspaper). 28 April. Retrieved on 7 March, 2008.] Further mention of the fort is traceable to Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Ghuri's successive invasions of Lahore from 1180 to 1186 A.D.

Timeline

* It cannot be said with certainty when the Lahore Fort was originally constructed or by whom, since this information is lost to history, possibly forever. However, evidence found in archaeological digs gives strong indications that it was built long before 1025 A.D.
* 1241 A.D. - Destroyed by Mongols.
* 1267 A.D. - Rebuilt by Sultan Ghiyas ud din Balban.
* 1398 A.D. - Destroyed again, by Amir Tamir's army.
* 1421 A.D. - Rebuilt in mud by Sultan Mubark Shah Syed.
* 1432 A.D. - The fort is occupied by Shaikh Ali of Kabul who makes repairs to the damages inflicted on it by Shaikha Khokhar.
* 1566 A.D. - Rebuilt by Mughal emperor Akbar, in solid brick masonry on its earlier foundations. Also perhaps, its area was extended towards the river Ravi, which then and up to about 1849 A.D., used to flow along its fortification on the north. Akbar also built "Doulat Khana-e-Khas-o-Am", the famous "Jharoka-e-Darshan" (Balcony for Royal Appearance), Masjidi Gate etc.
* 1618 A.D. - Jehangir adds "Doulat Khana-e-Jehangir"
* 1631 A.D. - Shahjahan builds "Shish Mahal" (Mirror Palace).
* 1633 A.D. - Shahjahan builds "Khawabgah" (a dream place or sleeping area), "Hamam" (bath ), "Khilwat Khana" (retiring room), and "Moti Masjid" (Pearl Mosque). [Nath, R. (1982). History of Mughal Architecture. Abhinav Publications. ISBN 8170174147. p. 422]
* 1645 A.D. - Shahjahan builds "Diwan-e-Khas" ("Hall of Special Audience").
* 1674 A.D. - Aurangzeb adds the massively fluted "Alamgiri Gate".
* (Sometime during) 1799-1839 A.D. - The outer fortification wall on the north with the moat, the marble "athdera", "Havaeli Mai Jindan" and "Bara Dari Raja Dhiyan Singh" were constructed by Ranjit Singh, Sikh ruler from 1799-1839 A.D.
* 1846 A.D. - Occupied by the British.
* 1927 A.D. - The British hand over the Fort to the "Department of Archaeology" after demolishing a portion of the fortification wall on the south and converting it into a stepped form thus "defortifying" the fort.

Structure

The strategic location of Lahore city between the Mughal territories and the strongholds of Kabul, Multan, and Kashmir required the dismantling of the old mud-fort and fortification with solid brick masonry. [ [http://archnet.org/library/sites/one-site.jsp?site_id=3991 Lahore Fort Complex] . Archnet Digital Library. Retrieved on 7 March, 2008] The strcucture is dominated by Persian influence that deepened with the successive refurbishments by subsequent emperors. [N A Chaudhry (1999). Lahore Fort: A Witness to History. Sang-e-Meel Publications. ISBN 9693510402] The fort is clearly divided into two sections: first the administrative section, which is well connected with main entrances, and comprises larger garden areas and "Diwan-e-Aam" for royal audiences. The second - a private and concealed residential section - is divided into courts in the northern part, accessible through 'elephant gate'. It also contains "Shish Mahal" (Hall of Mirrors of Mirror Palace), and spacious bedrooms and smaller gardens. [Catherine E G Asher (1992) Architecture of Mughal India. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521267285] On the outside, the walls are decorated with blue Persian kashi tiles. The original entrance faces the Maryam Zamani Mosque, whereas the larger Alamgiri Gate opens to the Hazuri Bagh through to the majestic Badshahi Mosque. [A N Khan (1997). Studies in Islamic Archaeology of Pakistan. Sang-e-Meel Publications]

References

Gallery



ee also

*Alamgiri Gate
*Hazuri Bagh
*Moti Masjid (Lahore)
*Naulakha pavilion
*Roshnai Gate
*Sheesh Mahal
*Badshahi Mosque
*Wazir Khan Mosque
*Mughal Empire
*List of forts
*Hassan Nasir

External links

* [http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&hl=en&q=lahore,+pakistan&layer=&ie=UTF8&om=1&z=17&ll=31.588251,74.312972&spn=0.005365,0.010815&t=h&iwloc=addr Lahore Fort as seen from space (Google Maps)]
* [http://www.pakwheels.com/forumreply_az_TopicID!55462~ForumID!29~pw.html Pictures - Lahore Fort / Shahi Qila Lahore]
* [http://www.world-heritage-tour.org/asia/south-asia/pakistan/lahore-fort/map.html Panographic Images of Lahore Fort And Shalimar Garden at UN's World Heritage Site]
* [http://www.pbase.com/waqas/lahore Photos from Lahore Fort by Waqas Usman]
* [http://travel.webshots.com/album/147543773ujZqjm Photographs of Lahore Fort]
* [http://www.ibtada.com/ibtada.php?cur_page=main&sub=submain&mainpage=tarakhi_mukam_ki_sair&page=qila_lahore&pgno=1 Detailed Lahore Fort History/Different Portion (urdu)]
* [http://server786.com/lhrtasveer/LAHOREFORT/1LAHOREFORT.htm server786.com, Lahore larges photo Gallery]
* [http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/171 UNESCO World Heritage Centre]
* [http://www.orientalarchitecture.com/lahore/fortindex.htm Photos and information about the Lahore Fort]
* [http://www.chowrangi.com/shahi-qila.html Detailed History of Shahi Qila ]

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