"I have purchased Lahore with my life, By giving my life for Lahore, Actually I have purchased another Paradise" Moghul Empress Noor JahanLahore is undoubtedly ancient. Legend has it that it was founded by Loh, son of Rama, the hero of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana. Some others think that the name means Loh-awar, meaning a "Fort as strong as Iron". It waxed and waned in importance during the Sultanate. But, Muslim rule began here when Qutub-ud-din Aibak was crowned in Lahore in 1206 and thus became the first Muslim Sultan of the subcontinent.
It reached its full glory under Mughal rule from 1524 to 1752. It was Akbar's capital for the 14 years from 1584 to 1598. He built the massive Lahore Fort on the foundations of a previous fort and enclosed the city within a red brick wall boasting 12 gates. Jahangir and Shah Jahan extended the fort, built palaces and tombs, and laid out gardens. Jahangir loved the town and he and his wife Noor Jahan are buried at Shahdara. Shah Jahan was born in Lahore and added buildings. The last of the great Mughals, Aurangzeb (1658-1707), gave Lahore its most famous monument, the great Badshahi Masjid and the Alamgiri gateway to the fort.
Lahore is the second largest city in Pakistan. It has been the capital of Punjab for nearly a thousand years. Lahore is the cultural capital of Pakistan and has one of its best museums. It has a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. It is a fine place to watch the world rush by. The improbable mix of painted trucks, cars, bullock carts, buses, handcarts, scooters with whole families. A classical city, according to the words of Moghul Empress Noor Jahan.
I arrived in Lahore on January 19th and was greeted at the airport by my brother Rafiq, his wife Razia and my niece Ruma. While in Lahore I had myself checked for chest pains that I had been having. The angiogram showed two blocked arteries. An angioplasty was performed on January 30th to fix both arteries.
Now on to the fun stuff.
Shahid and Shahjehan
Nadeem, Shahid and Mannan
Nadeem and Mannan
at a chinese restaurant with Razia, Ruma and Rafiq
at Food Street
have to share the road with horse and donkey carts
fruit and juice vendor
is famous for its food
garlands made from real currency notes
for a camel ride in the park?
for a music party
in full smoke-filled swing
and fruits market
at the Fort Gate
Rafiq in front yard with friend
park during spring festival
A cute donkey
The Zamzama Canon made famous by Rudyard Kipling in "Kim"
Pavilion holding a quran with gold engravings
A view of the quran in the pavilion
The crowd waits in anticipation (and smokes pot)
The drumming starts, a lone devotee is dancing while another walks around
Pappu Sain is on the left
Meeting with old school friends : Rafiq, Sohail, Haroon, Tariq and I
Hazrat Syed Ali bin Usman Hajweri, popularly known as Data
Ganj Bakhsh ( Bestower of Spiritual Treasures ) belonged to a place called Hajwer in the town of Ghazni,
Afghanistan. He lived during the 11th century AD, and
was well versed in all the Islamic sciences such as Tafsir ( exegesis ) of
the Holy Qur'an, Hadith ( Traditions of the Prophet ), Fiqh ( Muslim Law )
and dogmatic theology ( Ilmu Kalam ).
The night before I left Lahore for Karachi and on to Istanbul, I invited some of my friends to dinner at a local hotel. It was a nice buffet dinner in the hotel garden, with music provided by a sitar player and a tabla drummer.
After the advent of Islam in sixth century AD a new style of construction came into being which was later known as Islamic Architecture. It has won significance and a powerful influence all over the world. In Asia we see many such buildings in Indo-Pak, Iran, Turkey, China, Arabian countries and Central Asian States.
In the Indo-Pak sub-continent region the Moghal period can be said as the golden era in which, apart from other important events, the art of construction and architecture reached its climax especially in the regime of Shah Jehan.
There are several forts, castles, palaces, gardens, tombs and mosques, which portray this art. In this context, Taj Mahal at Agra is an example of no match.
Below are links to some of the finest examples of Moghal architecture, all located in Lahore.