Walled City lahore Authority

Lahore Going Back To Its Old Ways

  • by Irfan Ahmed (Lahore, Pakistan)
  • Sunday, August 11, 2013
  • Inter Press Service

LAHORE, Pakistan, Aug 11 (IPS) – Zahid Husain, 25, is a salesman in the Pakistan city Lahore. He sits idly on the pavement of a clothes shop and plays a game on his cell phone, oblivious to the changes in the city all around him

The road to the shop is closed to motorised traffic. Structures are being demolished, and there is digging and construction all over the place. The shop which was busy with customers is half-closed and unlit. Husain switches the lights on only when someone arrives, to save on electricity.

But business is down in this historic part of the city only because it is being revived. The walled city as it is called because this was once the fortified centre, has been picked for rehabilitation and conservation under a multi-donor programme.

Many local people are not impressed. “I think they have excess funds which they want to spend on this area’s development,” Zahid tells IPS. He is not happy about the loss of customers.3

Tariq Ali, 35, from a street near Delhi Gate in Lahore hopes the development will free his locality of encroachments, uncontrolled commercialisation, filth dumps and overflowing drains.

“Above all we will preserve our heritage for ages to come,” he says – admitting he does not quite know what that heritage is.

Such ignorance is exactly what this project aims to address, Kamran Lashari, director-general of the Walled City Lahore Authority (WCLA), the government body executing the project tells IPS. “It is not just a project. We are going for overall urban regeneration where locals and tourists will have the feeling of going back into time.”

Facades of buildings in bazaars and adjacent streets are being redone, underground sewerage is being laid, electricity poles removed from streets, modern balconies and doors replaced with traditional ones, and streets paved with tiles like those used centuries ago.

There will be the traditional cultural festivals, pigeon-flying contests, wrestling bouts, cuisine, handicraft shops, and displays of the older lifestyle.

The ultimate goal of this ambitious project is to create a sense of pride and collective ownership of national heritage, Lashari says. People badly need this because they are known in the world for all the wrong reasons, he says.

The World Bank and the government of Punjab province have contributed 700 million Pakistani rupees (seven million dollars) each for the first phase of the project, to be completed in November this year. The Agha Khan Trust for Culture (AKTC) is providing technical assistance and consultancy. The trust promotes physical, social, cultural and economic revitalisation of people and places in the Muslim world.

All encroachments around historic monuments are being removed. Squatters were paid compensation at the rate of Rs 10,000 (100 dollars) per square foot to vacate properties.

The walled city is an area of 2.56 square kilometres and is home to historic monuments such as the Badshahi Mosque, the Lahore Fort, the Wazir Khan Mosque and the Shahi Hamam.

The old city has existed for many centuries. It saw a major development during the reign of Mughal emperor Jalaluddin Muhammad Akbar who made Lahore his headquarters in the years 1584 to 1598. “It was he who built and fortified the wall around this settlement,” Aijaz Anwar, conservationist and professor at the National College of Arts in Lahore tells IPS. “The project will revive the city of Akbar’s era.”

But residents do have reservations and need to be convinced, Rana Muhammad Azam from Qavi Engineers, the company hired to carry out the project tells IPS. Social mobilisers have been deployed to convince people about the importance of the project.

Residents will be given economic stakes in this prospective tourist site, Lashari says. Beyond that, what good it offers to a nation torn apart by terrorism and extremism will become obvious by the year-end, he says.


A Historical City (Lahore)

Lahore is the heart of Punjab and the historical city of Pakistan. It is in many ways a unique city. Lahore means differently to different people. It is the city of gardens the city of the colleges the city of the historical buildings and the city of cities.
A long time ago people came here and made it their permanent home. They brought with them new ideas new customs and new cultures which enriched its glorious traditions and made Lahore a precious jewel in this part of the world.
Lahore is situated on the left bank of the Ravi has two parts the city proper and the outside Lahore.
The city proper is a very ancient town. It was founded thousands of years ago by Lav one of the two sons of Raja Ram Chander. We call it walled city as well.
The city is surrounded by an old wall in which there are twelve gates. The streets are narrow and winding. The houses are lofty but most of them are not airy and well lightened. The bazaars are densely crowded. There are public parks round the city. Anarkali Bazar is the busiest part of the city.
The places worth seeing in it are the Fort the Minar-e-Pakistan Sunehri Masjid, Wazir Khan Masjid, The Iqbal Park and the Shahi Masjid. The tombs of Jehangir and Nur Jehan lie at Shahdara. The Shalamar Gardens are situated at a distance of about four miles from the city.
The civil station was laid out by the English. The Mall is its main road. On the Mall are situated the Museum, the University Buildings the General Post Office , the high court the Government House the Zoo and the Jinnah Gardens.
Lahore is the biggest railway junction in the Punjab. The railway station with its very big workshop and offices is worth a visit.
It is the capital of the Punjab. There are many offices where hundreds of men are employed.
It is the center of education. It is the seat of the Punjab University. It has many schools and colleges.
Its population is more than 8 million. People of all classes live here. In short Lahore is a great city.


Sethi for early implementation of Lahore Walled City Project

Salim Ahmed

Saturday, May 04, 2013 – Lahore—Punjab Chief Minister Najam Sethi has said that Lahore Walled City Project is of vital importance and there is a need for furthering this project in an effective manner. He said that Walled City is a historical and cultural heritage and all out measures should be taken for its restoration and conservation. He said that proper planning is necessary for implementation of Lahore Walled City Project for protecting historical heritage and revival of cultural activities. 

He said that steps should also be taken for checking construction of the new buildings for maintaining the cultural importance of the area. The Chief Minister directed that recommendations should be submitted to him in the next meeting for controlling commercialization of the Walled City. 

He was presiding over a high level meeting to review the pace of progress of Lahore Walled City Project at Chief Minister’s Secretariat, Friday. 

Provincial Minister for Health, Tourism and Archeology Mrs Salima Hashmi, Chairman Planning & Development, Senior Member Board of Review, Principal Secretary to CM, Secretary Information, Special Secretary Local Government, Director General Archeology, DirectorGeneral Lahore Development Authroity besides Yousaf Sallahuddin, Nayyar Ali Dada, Faqir Syed Saifuddin and concerned officers were present. Director General Lahore Walled City Project Kamran Lashari gave a briefing regarding the pace of the project. 

Addressing the meeting, Chief Minister Najam Sethi said that conservation and maintenance of the historical sites is a national responsibility and all out measures should be taken for this purpose. He said that national economy can be strengthened by promoting tourism. He said that conservation and renovation of historical sites is of utmost importance for promotion of tourist activities. He said that implementation of Lahore Walled City Project will result in accelerating tourist activities as well as generation of revenue. 

He said that there is a need for strict implementation of existing laws for maintaining the beauty of historical sites of the Walled City as well as promotion of cultural activities. He said that further legislation is also essential for effective implementation of Lahore Walled City Project and all stakeholders should be consulted for this purpose. He said that required funds will be provided for conservation and upkeep of the cultural heritage of the Walled City while Walled City Authority can also seek cooperation of international donors for this purpose. He said that Lahore Walled City Project will play an important role in the promotion of cultural and tourist activities besides implementation of the project will also raise the living standard of the people of the area. 

Director General Lahore Walled City Project Kamran Lashari while giving a briefing on the implementation of the project said that work is continuing on this vital project under differentpackages and the first package is in the final stages of completion. 

He said that under package-I, five historical places including Dehli Gate, Shahi Hamam, Wazir Khan Mosque and the Royal Passageway are being restored to their original condition. He said that Lahore Walled City Project has the cooperation of the World Bank as well as technical assistance of Agha Khan Trust for Culture. The participants of the meeting gave their proposals regarding the project.


The dynamics of land use in Lahore inner city: the case of Mochi Gate

    1. National College of Arts, raezdi@yahoo.co.uk


This paper discusses the dynamics of land use in the inner city of Lahore, based on a study of the Mochi Gate locality in particular. This includes a description of the evolution and transformation of the area over time and its development into a successful centre for wholesale, small-scale manufacturing and support services, much of which is based in informal enterprises. Principles of land use organization that lead to the successful commercial functioning of the area include strategic location, close physical proximity between “firms”, and a clustering of similar trades. Paradoxically, while the area is an important pillar in the city economy, it also suffers from symptoms typical of inner-city decay such as acute traffic congestion, dilapidated infrastructure, out-migration and a general deterioration of the built fabric. To date, attempts to address causes of decay have been fragmented and have failed to understand and incorporate key local actors, systems and processes. In so doing, this has also risked disrupting a major economic node in the city that provides livelihoods for a large low-income population. The paper argues that any attempt towards a successful upgrading of the area must be rooted in an understanding of these existing local “systems” of operation and organization.


Lahore an Architect’s dream
By Raza Bashir    

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A review of Lahore’s Architectural Heritage.

Lahore owes much of its’ cultural flavor to the architectural developments made in and around its’ original walled city by the lineage of Mughal rulers who came to power in this area in the early fifteenth century. The establishment and development of the city itself was an outgrowth of this same rule, and although much of the old grandeur has been lost, the magic of Lahore still resides in the charm of the buildings of the old city. It was Mughal architecture that led Lahore towards its golden period, and even today this architecture is the reason that Lahore is labeled as a cultural city. No work done today can match the scale or significance of Mughal architecture. Indeed, since the fall of the Mughal Empire, little has been built, save the official buildings that were initiated or refurbished by the British rulers in the late 1800’s, that represents anything of much architectural impact within Lahore. 
The reigns of Akbar, Jahangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb may be considered the golden period of aesthetic development in the history of Lahore. These were also the times during which Lahore expanded outwards in area and swelled in population. Under their rule the city resumed its’ status of a city of royal residence with gardens, tombs, mosques, and pavilions springing up in every direction. As a result the population increased and suburbs arose, until the city became, in the words of Abul Fazl “the grand resort of people of all nations,” and was celebrated for its fine buildings and luxuriant gardens. To this day almost all that is architecturally beautiful in Lahore is referred back to the period of the early Mughal Emperors. 
This paper will primarily present the contributions made by the Mughals towards the development of Lahore. The various architectural sites of the city of Lahore will be discussed while understanding how the lifestyle patterns during that era affected the layout of the buildings. It was essentially Islamic power that radically altered the course of the country’s history and the development of her culture. 
The first town of importance that benefited by the establishment of the Mughal monarchy in the Punjab was naturally Lahore. During the reigns of the early Mughal Emperors, justly regarded as the golden period of the history of Lahore, it became once more a place of royal residence. Due to the Mughals great aesthetic sense and a lively imagination, they proved to be the most enlightened patrons of literature and the fine arts that ever flourished in the East. Under them Lahore soon became the seat of learning. It became the resort of learned men, poets, authors, orators and men versed in theology and philosophy, who flocked to the Imperial Court from Bokhara, Samarkand, Mawarulnehr and other countries of Asia, noted in those days for the cultivation of literature and the arts of peace. Fine gardens were laid out, canals dug to improve the means of irrigation, spacious mosques built, caravanserais constructed, palaces, domes and minarets erected, and an impetus was given to the architecture of the country quite unsurpassed in any age. The chief architectural monuments that adorn Lahore at present time are to be traced back to the Mughal period, and to the same period are attributed the best productions of learning and literature in their several branches to which the Punjab may fairly lay a claim. 


Lahore, one of the ancient cities of the world, can be traced back as early as the times of the Rama, the hero of the famous epic the Ramayana. He had two sons, Loh and Kash, and it Loh who was the mythical founder of Lahore. Loh built a fort that was named Lohkot or Lahawar, and this in centuries that followed came to be known as Lahore. In 1959, when the Department of Archaeology embarked upon the digging of the Lahore Fort, and the excavations that were revealed were terracotta plaques, figurines and 50 ceramics of non-Muslim origin. These traces of Hindu tradition found in Lahore can well establish that there existed a city much before the advent of Islam in the sub-continent at a place we know as Lahore. However, the exact date of the foundation of Lahore is still vague and it was not until the Muslim period that Lahore’s history is known. 
The Muslim period of Lahore began in 1021 A.D. with the defeat of Trilochan Pal by Mahmood Ghaznavi. For about 165 years Lahore remained the provincial capital of the Ghaznavid empire and in 1186 A.D. fell into the hands of Shahab-ud-din Ghori. Since then Lahore had been under the rule of Turks, Khaljis, Tuglaks, Sayeds, Lodhis and Pathans for more than 300 years. When the Mughals took over Lahore enjoyed the status of state capital and it was in this short period that we find the glorious period of Lahore’s history. Unfortunately, this glorious age was repressed due to the influx of the Sikh in 1767 A.D. to 1846 A.D. Under Sikh rule the architectural monuments of the Muslim period were ruthlessly destroyed. Then came the British from 1849 to 1947, and they greatly improved the ruined state of Lahore that the Sikhs had left it in. Since then Lahore has begun to leap towards modernity while keeping harmony with its glorious heritage. 
Like all ancient cities, Lahore also has two faces, the old and the new. It is situated next to the river Ravi, which helped the city develop economically, demographically and culturally. Trade, food and communication, were all made possible due to the strategic location of the city. The old city is the reminiscent of the past glory of Lahore and the new city gives a prospectus of its bright and prosperous future. The city is built in the shape of a parallelogram and the area within the walls is about 461 acres. This walled city is slightly elevated hence protecting it from destruction and any outside invasion. It was Akbar who, during his stay in Lahore, built a brick wall around the city to protect it. Since the walls had decayed overtime, when Ranjit Singh came into power afterwards he rebuilt these walls and added a deep broad ditch around. This ditch was further filled with fine gardens, and encircled the city on every side except the north. Access to the city was possible through the thirteen gateways- 
On the north side are:- 
1.1 The Raushnai Gate, also known as the “gate of light.” This is the main entrance from the fort to the city and is between the royal mosque and the citadel. This was built so that the royalty could have easy access to the city. 
1.2. The Kashmiri Gate was named such because it faced the direction of Kashmir. 
1.3. The Masti Gate, also known as the “Masjidi gate” was next to the mosque of Mariam Makani. 
1.4. The Khizri Gate was named such because it was near the river and the ferry. Hence, it was named after Khizr Elias, who was the ‘discoverer of the water of immortality.’ 
On the east side are:- 
1.5. The Yakki Gate was named after a saint called Zaki, who died fighting the Moghuls while bravely defending his city. 
1.6. The Delhi Gate was called by this name because it faces the road leading to Delhi. The Moghul Emperors used this access to travel to Delhi, that was also their city of residence. 
1.7. The Akbari Gate was named after the Emperor Akbar, who rebuilt the town and citadel. This gate also leads to a market which the Emperor founded known as “Akbari Mandi.” 
On the south side are:- 
1.8. The Mochi Gate was named after Moti Ram, an officer of Akbar, who lived here at that time. 
1.9. The Shah Almi Gate was named after Mohomed Moazzam Shah Alam Bahadur Shah, the son of Aurangzeb. 
1.10. The Lahori Gate was named after the city of Lahore. The Lahore Market used to be around this gate and the quarter of the city first populated was around this gate. 
1.11. The Mori Gate was named such because it was the smallest gate and in the past was used for the sweeping of the city. 
On the west side are:- 
1.12. The Bhati Gate was named after the Bhatis, who were an ancient Rajput tribe. 
1.13. The Taxali Gate was so called after Tazal, or royal mint, that was in the vicinity of this gate. 
However, the walled city with its 13 gates and 30 feet high wall could not escape the onslaught of modernity. Most of the wall and some of its Gates today have ceased to exit. The walled city, with its old houses, narrow bazars, and dark alleys is shrinking with time. It is only within the old city that one comes across several shops of goldsmiths and metalware that are popular both in Pakistan and outside. Modern Lahore is situated among the ruins of the ancient capital. The British planned a garden all around the old city called the Circular garden of Lahore. Patches of this garden still exist in the form of “Zinda Dilaan-e-Lahore.” 
It is easier to imagine the size and extent of the old city of Lahore than to imagine its magnificence. Despite the suffering and destruction that Lahore endured during the 120 years previous to the inauguration of English rule, it was lead to immense restructuring and adornment when the Mughal dynasty gained control. Before, the Mughals there were no architectural edifices in Lahore. The city was really in the period of its prime under the rule of the Mughals. The Fort, the tomb of Jahangir, the Badshahi Mosque, the mosque of Wazir Khan, the Pearl Mosque, the Shalimar Garden, to name few, were the buildings that truly marked the city of Lahore during the Mughal period, and are still admired world wide despite a lack of preservation. 


The Mughal dynasty took control of the Delhi Sultanate, when the first emperor Zahir al-Din Muhammad Babur, a descendent of the Turkish house of Timur, defeated the last ruler of the Lodhi dynasty in a battle at Panipat. The Lodhis were one of the short-lived Islamic dynasties that had ruled over much of the Indian subcontinent before the Mughals took over. Among the other five dynasties that ruled over the sub-continent, it was the Mughal dynasty that made a substantial impact on the cultural, economic, and political developments. In the realm of architecture, they achieved master-builder status, as can be seen in the bulk of this paper. 
The Mughals ruled a population dominated by non-Muslims, mostly Hindus. Indigenous religions and traditions were tolerated and respected by the Mughal rulers. They were also incorporated into the arts, literature, music and architecture of the Mughal dynasty. During the 300-year rule of the Mughals, their attitudes towards indigenous cultures varied. With Akbar’s arrival, there was a fusion of Hindu and Muslim styles and they are depicted in the various architectural innovations that he undertook. 
Mughal architecture was the product of Indian, Islamic, Timurid and even European styles. The Mughal artists used these borrowed forms, in terms of symbolism and style, to fit in their own distinct style of architecture. According to Abul Fazl, the court chronicler, the Mughal forts and palaces were much more than imperial residences, they served as emblems of power and wealth, designed to dazzle the native rajas who attended their emperor’s courts. Mughal emperors often demolished earlier structures to make space for new ones. Although they were proud of their heritage, each sought to mould the court in their own manner, and give his own reign a unique character. 
Apart from the forts and palaces, the two other most important types of Mughal buildings were the mosques and tombs. Both were used to provide a place of worship for Muslims. The Koran, however, makes no prescriptions about the form or arrangement of the mosque, and any such building is not essential. A Muslim may pray anywhere as long as he/she is facing Mecca while doing so. But the form of the mosque has gained popularity due to tradition. Even in a typical Arab house, there is a separate place of prayer where the person praying is facing Mecca. Therefore, this aspect was incorporated in the Mughal architecture. Since this is an Islamic dynasty, the building of mosques in Lahore and the rest of the subcontinent served as a separate place for the Muslims to pray in. 
Tombs do not really fit in with the Islamic faith because in Islam a grave should be covered only by earth and bricks rather than be marked by some grand structure. However, as can be seen in the Mughal era, this Islamic law regarding graves has not been followed. Grand Islamic tombs had become popular at the time of the Mughals. These tombs commonly had entrances without doors, so that the interior was open to the outside air, and it had been suggested that this arrangement was devised to satisfy the law while evading its real meaning. Such attempts to reconcile artistic talent with religious tradition portray Islam as being devoid of artistic aspirations. The sultans and emperors who have ruled the Muslim world have generally been blessed with a far greater aesthetic sense than the Prophet (pbuh) and his immediate followers. The Prophet (pbuh) believed in a life of simplicity and would not have been impressed with a distinct architectural style that came to be associated with Islam and has become famous throughout the world. The Prophet (pbuh) once described architecture as “the most unprofitable thing that eats up the wealth of a believer.” 
The designer and architects responsible for the construction of the Mughal buildings were for the most part anonymous. This is because of the low social status awarded to such kind of work. Credit for the work was given to the patron rather than the architects or designers who actually carried out the bulk of the construction. Also, the designs were generally the product not of individuals but of groups working together. Only the names of the local officials who were appointed to manage the work force were recorded, the rest of the names were not listed. Therefore, we have no idea as to who was actually involved in the making of the Mughal buildings. The design process involved a hierarchy of craftsmen, with various skills and there was no clear-cut difference between the functions of a designer and a builder. The architectural blueprints of the Mughal period have not survived, partly because earlier they were not documented and preserved as they are today, and partly due to the fact that most of the details of designs were worked out on the site itself. Thus one of the problems the Mughal architecture faced was a lack of documentation. 
Another problem regarding Mughal architecture’s relation to the Islamic tradition concerns its style. Though the Mughals were foreign invaders of India, the architecture that they imported was not completely distinct from the existing style. Babur’s invasion of India had been prompted in part by the loss of his Central Asian homeland, which never returned to Mughal control. Thus the Mughals were entirely transplanted. They were severed from their cultural roots, whose influence slowly diminished and they had to rely on local Indian resources. This is the main reason that the first two emperors, Babur and Humayun, built very little. Due to a lack of opportunity and resources they had limited and less extravagant architectural contributions to add as compared with the other Mughal Emperors that followed them. Once the Mughal tradition gained influence under the reign of Akbar, the Mughal architecture gained considerable momentum and popularity. The Mughal emperors imported many ideas, sometimes architects, from neighboring parts of the Muslim world, such as Persia. But despite this import of ideas, they depended heavily on India’s indigenous craftsmen and builders. India had its own architectural tradition that had developed over the centuries with the temples and palaces of Buddhists and Hindus. This tradition differed from Islamic style, in a way that it relied on organic rather than the mathematical form. Islamic architecture was more based around geometric shapes and symmetry, whereas Indian tradition did not rely on such preciseness. 
The Mughals were of Timurid-Mongol stock. Their architecture became a synthesis of the styles and proportions of the Transoxanian (the land between the rivers, Syr Darya and Amu Darya, of Central Asia), Iranian, with the planning features and ornamental details were of Gujarat, Malwa and Rajasthan. The tomb of Humayun at Delhi, situated on the first of the preserved Mughal garden of the classical “Char Bagh” pattern, is also the first example of true Mughal splendor and monumental scale — in its integration of Timurid ideas and local traditions. Fatehpur Sikhri, the suburban fortified residence of the Akbari Court, is a successful amalgamation of pre-Islamic Hindu and Jain traditions. 
The best evidence that Hindu rulers also adopted the Mughal style is to be seen in the Khurasanian vault type in the temple of Govind Deva built by the Kachhawa Rajput, Man Singh. 
Despite the differences in religon, Muslims did adopt the Indian style in their mosques and tombs. Hence, Mughal architecture was not only influenced by Persian tradition; it was also inspired by the Hindu tradition. Mughal architecture therefore was a continuation of an established Indo-Islamic tradition, which had been initiated by Qutb-ud-din Aibak at the end of the 12th century. It had always depended on the contribution of Indian craftsmen. A fusion between Islamic and Hindu style is depicted largely in Mughal architecture. 


3.1. BABUR 
The emperor who started the establishment of the Mughal dynasty was Babur, who was a poet, scholar, soldier and statesman. His diary is one of the most valuable documents of Mughal India because, unlike the biographies of some of his successors, the emperor himself wrote it for his own purposes. Besides the diary, there survives little evidence of Babur’s achievements and especially of his building features. Therefore, his contributions would not play a major part for the purpose of this paper. Due to the fact that Babur preferred to camp in gardens rather than reside in any permanent constructed palace, he primarily focused on refurbishing already existing gardens or creating new ones. The creation of such gardens was not simply for personal pleasure; they were also used as campsites that served as rest places during travel. The fruits of the garden were grown for consumption during travel by Babur and his men. But such gardens had a greater significance. That is, the manipulation of natural untamed landscape into an ordered creation was for Babur a metaphor for his ability to govern. The main reason for the lack of any building construction was that Babur did not have the wealth needed, and it was during the reign of Akbar that such wealth was made visible and used to adorn the city of Lahore. 
The Timurid style was replicated with almost no variations during the reign of Babur in the three mosques that he built. Koch points out two important elements that were introduced for the first time into the sub-continent and which differentiate these buildings from earlier Islamic architecture. The Panipat mosque shows the decorative Timurid pseudo-structural arch-netted plaster relief work to the transition zones of the domes and in the fragmented Chahar (Char) Bagh at Agra, the Timurid-Persian design of a subdivided wall garden by raised walkways can be seen. 

Babur was succeeded by his son Humayun, who nearly ended the dynasty as soon as it had begun. The emperor was overthrown by Sher Shah Suri, but soon after he regained control and continued the Mughal rule. During the years that Humayun was in exile, Sher Shah Suri, a gifted administrator, brought about a feeling of confidence and stability within the country by laying roads, improving communications and reorganizing the revenue collection system. Lahore, however, had no place in his scheme. Kamran, Humayun’s younger brother, was the first to architecturally adorn Lahore, by building a palace with a garden extending from Naulakha to the river Ravi. 
No such definite distinctions can be found in the architecture of the period of Humayun that presents a rather mixed picture. While the Timurid style was still followed, local building traditions such as the stone facing and the decorative treatment of facades were revived and re-introduced. However, the lone preserved residential building of this period, Bayana, a modest stepped pavilion of red sandstone, is, according to Koch, a key building of Mughal palace architecture integrating Transoxanian and Indian pillar and beam traditions. 

3.3. AKBAR 
Akbar, son of Humayun, was the greatest of the Mughal rulers and in a sense he was the true founder of the Mughal Empire. He united the whole of northern India under Mughal rule, developed the empire’s bureaucracy and its systems of government, taxation and communication. He further brought independent sultanates under central control and subdued most of the Rajput states. It was he who built the fort in Agra and a distinct architectural style developed known as the ‘Akbari style’ of the 1570’s and the 80’s. It was a fusion of two main architectural traditions, namely the Islamic tradition and the Hindu tradition. His style depicted the spirit of cooperation inherent in Akbar’s approach to government. Akbar’s chronicler, Abul Fazl wrote admiringly of the period of Lahore’s florescence during the emperor’s time. He stated “During the present reign the fortifications and citadel have been strengthened with brick masonry, and, as it was on several occasions the seat of government, many splendid buildings have been erected and delightful gardens have lent it additional beauty. It is the resort of people of all countries whose manufactures present an astonishing display and it is beyond measure remarkable in populousness and extent.” (Abul Fazl, 1949, II/p.317) . Akbar’s era was known as the golden period of the Mughal Empire, and although Lahore continues to expand and develop, it would never attain the same importance as it did as Akbar’s capital. 
The liberal attitude of Akbar is reflected in his buildings and Mughal architecture attained its distinctive imperial character during his reign. Koch’s words best describe it: “Akbari architecture developed into a dramatic supra-regional synthesis characterized by extensive borrowing of features from earlier Timurid, Transoxanian, Indian and Persian styles. Stylistic clashing resulting from the amalgamation of such heterogeneous elements was mollified by the favorite building material, red sandstone, whose unifying hue carried an additional attraction in being the color reserved for imperial tents.” 

The period in which Jahangir ruled was one of surpassing cultural achievement. He inherited from Babur a love of gardens and adorned Lahore with formal gardens following the Persian style. Jahangir built the Shalimar Garden in Lahore in 1642. When Jahangir died in Kashmir, it was his wish that he should be buried in Lahore. He was buried in the garden of Nurjehan, next to his devoted wife. 
One of the exceptional features that distinguishes the architecture of the Jehangiri period from those of earlier times is the use of multiple minarets — to be first seen in Akbar’s mausoleum at Sikandra near Agra. Anarkali’s Tomb, is in Koch’s opinion, one of the most outstanding buildings of the entire Mughal period. After Jahangir introduced a garden in Kashmire, a new wave resulted in the famous Shalimar designed by Shah Jahan. 

Shah Jehan equaled the grandeur of the Akbar period by the additions made by him to the Agra Fort and the Fort at Lahore. The link to the building style of Bengal is in the beautiful Naulakha pavilion with a Bengali type roof. At the new fortress palace complex, the Lal Qila, in Shah Jahanabad (Delhi), Shah Jahani details reflect for the first time the naturalistic plant motifs. The craft of inlays with either precious stones (pietre dure) or with pieces of mirror in marble was soon mastered to perfection. The “Shah Jahani column” can truly claim international influence and came to be integrated in future buildings. All the knowledge, skill and aesthetics of the Mughals culminated in the wondrous Taj Mahal. 
Aurangazeb embarked on several architectural enterprises but these have been relatively little studied. The best of his religious buildings are the Moti Masjid in the Red Fort and the serene Badshahi Masjid at Lahore. 

There have been various architectural contributions made by the Moghuls during their reign. Unfortunately, only the most significant ones will be described in detail and the others will only be mentioned, due to the massive number of construction that had taken place during the Moghul time. 

4.1. THE FORT 
The construction of the Lahore Fort was inaugurated during the reign of the Mughal emperor Akbar. It took the form of the Delhi Fort, or red Fort, as well as the Agra Fort as its’ architectural inspiration and shares their elements but for its’ being smaller in structure. Although the early history of the Lahore Fort is obscure, its’ structural remains can be traced back to and followed through five distinct periods that have been established by excavations, these being the British, Sikh, Mughal, Ghaznavid and Hindu periods. 
The earliest remains that have been found to be an integral part of the Fort include a twelve-foot high mud brick wall. References over time suggest that during its’ five centuries of existence the structure has been subject to much war and reconstruction, having been destroyed and rebuilt approximately five times over. It was not until 1556 that Akbar demolished the mud structure once and for all and established a burnt brick fortress in its’ place. 
Prior to this reconstruction the fort had been rectangular in shape, twice as long as it was wide, and situated south of the Diwan-i-Am. To reinforce the building Akbar ordered the extension of this area northward by strengthening the low-lying area on a system of basements and fortified the larger area with the additions of a massive brick wall and semi-circular bastions. Presently, however, with the exception of the eastern wall, the fortification walls that were devised by Akbar have been entirely altered. These transformations, which included modifications, extensions and demolitions, were ordered by the Mughal princes themselves and the later Sikh and British rulers. 
The changes attributed to later rulers were extreme both in their transformation of the fort’s layout as well as in its’ ornamentation. The Sikh rulers were liable for much of the demolition of the Mughal edifices, robbing many of them of their marble and semi-precious stones. But the British occupation of the fort in 1846 wreaked even greater havoc upon the design and grandeur of its’ Mughal days. The British demolished the southern fortifications and replaced them with wide ceremonial steps and terraces in order to demilitarize the fort, stripping it of its’ protective function in their course. Subsequently, modern buildings mushroomed over the fort while elaborate edifices were brutalized with alterations and additions for conversion into barracks, hospitals, godowns and the like. The lawns facing the Diwan-i-Am became home to the barracks and a verandah was added to the south wing, which was turned into a hospital. The central court and tank were put to use as tennis courts. Similarly, the Diwan-i-Khas came to house churches while the Royal Hammam became a kitchen, and the Lal Burj a liquor bar. 
4.1.1. Masti Gate: 
The Masti or Masjidi Gate stands at the main entrance into the fort. Its’ name was derived through its’ location, as it faces the Maryam Zamani Masjid or mosque. A pair of semi-octagonal bastions equipped with battlements, loopholes and machicolations form its’ system of defense. It is speculated that a second gate on the west also existed which later came to be replaced by Aurangzeb’s Alamgir Gate. 
4.1.2. Jahangir’s Quadrangle: 
Initiated by Akbar, this quadrangle was completed by Jahangir in 1617-1618. Three of its’ sides have been built in the typical Akbari style, while the fourth style is Jahangir’s contribution. Traditionally, it is represented as his khwabgah (room of dreams) or sleeping room. The front of the quadrangle is a British reconstruction, but it is probably consistent with the original form of the Fort and serves to illustrate the simple and austere character of the buildings constructed during Jahangir’s reign. 

4.1.3. Maktab Khana (Clerk’s Room): 
The Maktab Khana was designed in accordance with the principles of the Persian brick building tradition and is situated in the Moti Masjid Courtyard. Even in its’ planning it follows the Persian model of cloistered courts. Simple pointed arches that form an arcade on four sides characterize this model, and each arch is punctuated in the center by a taller arch marking the ewan or entrance gateway. The name and function ascribed in the Maktab Khana, however, are subject to some controversy as, while a Persian inscription above its principle entrance names it the Daulat Khana-i- Jahangir, or the ‘residence of Jahangir’, the term Maktab Khana itself is a corruption of Makatib Khana, which indicates a “clerk’s room,” implying instead that this space served as an entrance gate where the muharirs (clerks) sat in order to record entry into the palace. The name therefore perverts the function of this chamber and thus dilutes the importance of the King’s personal rooms for posterity. 

4.1.4. Picture Wall: 
Jahangir’s love for nature was matched by his equal interest in the arts of painting and illustration. The picture wall stands testimony to the monarch’s aesthetic inclinations and was commenced by him in the 19th year of his reign, 1624-25. 

4.1.5. Khilwat Khana (Room of Solitude): 
Also known as the Ghusl Khana, this room was built by Shah Jahan in the year 1633. It is divided in two parts: the first being the front or southern portion of the room and the second the private residence of the Emperor as Mughal Emperors did not generally reside in the Harem proper, but in a separate court adjacent to it. The doorframes of this room were originally constructed in marble and remain so. There is also a water tank, which is 29 feet square and 4 feet deep. This part of the court is also connected with a number of basements, as a necessary security measure. A separate mosque was also built for this court in red sandstone and marble, meant especially for the ladies of the court, hence this residence of the Emperor was quite self-contained. 
Paien Bagh (Lower Garden): 
The fact that women had to be in purdah and reside in separate quarters from men is obviated by the presence of this garden. It was primarily built for the ladies of the Harem and was specifically designed with paved paths or walks for the ladies of the fort. In the center of the garden there is a big water basin, made of red sandstone, keeping with the overall style of the fort. 

4.1.6. Kala Burj (Black Pavilion): 
This burj, or summer pavilion, was built according to the red burj discussed earlier. The top level of this pavilion was an addition made by the Sikhs. 

4.1.7. Shah Burj Gate (King’s Pavilion Gate): 
This gate was completed during the reign of Shah Jahan in 1631-2. Used exclusively for royalty it served as the private entrance for the royal Mughal family. It’s location and design marks the stark difference between the treatment and position of the royal family and the common people. This gate leads directly to the Shah Burj (Shish Mahal), which lies in the Harem portion of the fort. The Shish Mahal is embellished with glazed tile mosaics in typified floral designs and forms a significant element of the Picture Wall. 

4.1.8. Hathi Paer (Elephant Path): 
Shah Jahan built this passage, starting from Hathi Pol Gate and ending at the ruined entrance of the outer courtyard of the Shish Mahal, in 1631-32. It is a staircase that constitutes fifty-eight low and broad steps, which are constructed of small country bricks, covered with lime plaster, and was built for the explicit purpose of transportation via the elephants that carried royalty to and from the palace. The western wall includes niches both in the lower and upper floors meant to accommodate the standing posts of the khwaja sara (eunuch) and the naqib (announcer) to announce the goings and comings of royalty. The upper gallery was home to the ghulam gardish (servant’s gallery), which was connected through a door with the Shish Mahal, and most likely served as a passage to the royal kitchens that lay to the south of the fort. 

4.1.9. Shah Burj (King’s Pavilion): 
Built by Shah Jahan, this pavilion was the residence of the Empress when she stayed at Lahore. The courtyard and several buildings that lie within it come closest to matching the conventional image of the royal Mughal harem in all its dazzling glory. The court itself takes its’ elements from traditional Mughal architecture and accordingly assumes the shape of an elegantly proportioned square. And the main hall of the pavilion (or the Shish Mahal) is decorated with gilt work and mosaic workmanship of convex glass. 

4.1.10. Diwan-I-am (Hall of Public Audience): 
During the first year of his reign, i.e. in 1628, the emperor Shah Jahan ordered the construction of the Diwan-i-Am. It was built in the shape of a hall of forty pillars, which replaced the awnings that had been erected in front of the jharokas during the regime of his father, whose original function had been to shelter the nobles. The work was commissioned to one Asaf Khan. Occupying a large rectangular dais, the hall stands in the center of the fort with a great open court. 

4.1.11. Alamgir Gate: 
This building was Aurangzeb’s only contribution to the fort. It probably began undergoing construction along with the Badshahi Masjid in 1674 for this gate faces the Badshahi Mosque and is framed by two semi-circular bastions, boldly fluted and ornamented with lotus petal designs at its’ base. And elegant domed towers surmount the side bastions while guldastas or vases flank the corners. The gateway verges towards the Huzuri Bagh by a ramp. It is forceful and gigantic in construction, expressing the martial temperament of its commissioner. 


Religion throughout history has influenced the fabric of Muslim society and we find its imprint on art and culture as well. The city of Lahore which has been the seat of learning could not escape the impact of Islam. This impact we find in several architectural monuments specifically the Mosques built during the supremacy of Muslims over this area. Some of these Mosques were built by women and courtiers for the purpose of spreading knowledge. The most famous Mosque built during the Moghul period has been the Badshahi Mosque. Others include the Masjid Sara-I-Shahjahani, built by Emperor Shah Jahan and situated next to Emperor Jahangir’s tomb; Taxali Gate Mosque; Mosque of Mullah Mohammad Saleh Kamboh, situated near the Mochi Gate; Sunehri Mosque, built during the last phase of Mughal rule; Masjid Sardar Jahan, the earliest mosque of Jahangir’s period and situated inside the Lahori Gate; and the Zenana Masjid in the Fort built near the Ladies Quadrangle and was meant exclusively for the ladies living nearby. 

Considered one of the last great monuments of the Mughal period, the mosque is probably the largest mosque on the Indian subcontinent, if Faisal Mosque in Islamabad is not considered, which has been built in contemporary times. Badshahi mosque is adjacent to the western wall of the Lahore Fort, and was commissioned by Aurangzeb and built in 1674 by Fidai Khan to house a number of relics of the Prophet. The architectural scheme is based upon that of the Jami Masjid of Shahjahanabad, Delhi, and uses similar materials–red sandstone decorated with white marble–that depart from the tile-work facing typical of Lahore architecture. The mosque stands in a walled enclosure with high minarets at each corner, a design that is similar to the Jami mosque. The whole structure is built upon a high plinth that raises it above the city and Fort. The entrance is from the east by way of a flight of steps. A set of minarets marks each corner of the mosque itself. The facade is arcaded, with a high central lawn. Three white marble double-domes, the central one slightly larger than the others, complete the composition. The interior is decorated with elaborate floral and cartouche motifs in painted plaster relief-work, as well as with white marble inlay. The gateway to the mosque is a two-storied structure with a high central ach. The flanking bays on each side have a pair of smaller arched niches placed vertically one above the other. At the corners of the square gateway are four minarets. The external surfaces are divided into panels and are sparingly carved. A pair of slender shafts are attached to the sides of the slightly projecting central bay and terminate above the roof with white marble orbs places in full blown lotuses. Between these shafts and above the central arch is an elaborate array of twelve merlons which carry above them an open arcade topped by eleven white marble miniature domes. Between this balustrade and each corner minaret is an airy kiosk with projecting square white marble domes. The four corner minarets have projecting square platforms surmounted by similar square kiosks. 
Inside the gateway is the vast courtyard of the mosque. It measures 530 feet square and is flanked all around by a wall of eighty cloisters. A change in level defines the two parts of the courtyard. The lower level is called fina, where funeral prayers may be offered, and this also contains the ablution tanks. The upper part is further divided into three areas, with the central area a step higher then the areas on either side. The original floor of the courtyard as well as the main prayer chamber was paved in small bricks laid on edge, making a pattern of prayer mats. The surface water is carried by an elaborate drainage system under the courtyard floor into the river, which flowed along the northern enclosure wall. 
Raised above the courtyard in the center of the west side is the main prayer chamber. This is about 275 feet in length and 85 feet deep. The surface of the red sandstone façade is treated in a similar fashion to the entrance gateway but with a more liberal use of white marble. The tall central arch rises past the general roof line and is framed in a border with a chain like geometric design in white marble: the spandrills are filled with a flowing white marble floral design in relief. This high vault is flanked by five smaller arched openings. The corner of the buildings is marked by four sturdy minarets with projecting platforms, surmounted by domed kiosks with projecting eaves. The parapet is formed by a horizontal row of merlons shaped liked broad leaves resembling serpent hoods. Directly behind the forecourt, which precedes the central arch, is the central square hall, while on either side stretch out long halls. On either side of the central hall are two wide wings. Over the middle bay of each wing and over the central hall are three high domes of white marble, which tower above the roof of the prayer chamber. All three are made in the shape of double domes. That is, there is an outer dome raised on cylindrical drums, constricted at the necks and crowned by inverted lotus like finials with gilded pinnacles. The rectangular bays between the domes roofed with domical vaults with concave margins are called qulamdani and also consist of central ribs. 


Since the beginning Lahore has been famous for its beautiful gardens and parks. Its ideal location on the banks of the Ravi provided an opportunity to the rulers and lovers of beauty to plan gardens to satisfy their aesthetic taste. During the Moghul period, most of the gardens were planned around mausoleums of rulers or saints or were laid by the royal courtiers. The gardens in some cases were used as farm houses or summer resorts. Many Emperors would camp in these gardens while on their visit to Lahore or when they were in transit. We are not certain whether these gardens were also used by the public at that time or not. Some of the gardens laid down during the Mughal period include-the Dilkusha garden, the Shalimar garden, the Chaubujri garden, the Naulakha garden and the Gulabi garden. 

4.3.1. Shalimar Garden: 
Three miles northeast of Lahore is the renowned and delightful garden of Shah Jahan, the Shalimar, or House of Joy, most appropriately called the Versailles of the Punjab. It is a magnificent example of Mughal grandeur, in the form of an oblong parallelogram, surrounded by a high wall of brick work, 1,200 paces in length and 800 in breadth, with three successive terraces, raised one level above the other by a height of 12 or 15 feet, the whole area of the garden covering 80 acres more or less. A canal intersects this beautiful garden and discharges itself in the middle terrace into a large marble basin; from this basin and from the canal rise 450 fountains, which shoot water that is subsequently received into marble tanks. The profuse discharge of water in this way serves to render the atmosphere deliciously cool and pleasant. Bara Dari: 
On the upper terrace is a substantial pillared marble kiosk, or arcaded pavilion (Bara Dari) open on alludes, and rendered delightful by a string of jets d eau in front, and some on the lower terraces, which play over a cistern crossed by narrow marble bridges in miniature. Cascade: 
In the center is a reservoir, bordered by an elaborate coping, and a cascade. Down this the water ripples into a pond below, where it falls into another reservoir, then it passes to the other side of the garden. The fountains, when playing, not only add to the picturesque view of the scene, but also have the effect of sensibly diminishing the heat. Pavilions and other buildings are scattered about in various places. The alcoves and summer houses are of marble and red stone, and tastefully designed. Fruit Trees: 
The garden is well stocked with magnificent fruit trees and flowering shrubs. There are beautiful groves of lemon and pomegranate trees. The avenues of oranges are laden with such an abundance of large fruit, in their season, that the branches seem ready to break under the weight. The fine tall mango trees are in flourishing condition, and yield delicious fruit, which is hawked for sale in the streets of Lahore. As aptly remarked by a recent traveler, “Outside all is glare and dust; within all is green foliage, white marble cool reservoir, and rippling cascade.” Garden Spectacle: 
The garden has splendid cupolas of red sand stone at the angles, from which a fine view of the surrounding country is obtained, especially to the southeast, in which direction are the village Baghbanpura and the old ruins. Foundation period: 
The gardens, or the royal pleasure grounds of Shalimar, were laid out in the sixth year of Shah Jahan’s reign, or in 1634 A.D., after the plan of the royal gardens in Kashmir, by orders of the Emperor, under the management of Khalilulla Khan. The canal, or Hasli, to irrigate the gardens was brought from Madhupur, at the expense of two lakhs of rupees. It was the combined work of Ali Mardan Khan, the great canal engineer, and Mulla Ala-ul-Mulk Cost: 
The cost of the gardens and the buildings attached to it was six lakhs rupees, and they were laid and constructed in one year, five months, and four days. Royal Bath Rooms: 
Towards the eastern side of the garden are the Royal Bath-Rooms. These consist of four arched chambers, with beautiful reservoirs, which can be heated by fire placed outside the rooms to the east. The chambers and reservoirs have been maintained in perfect preservation. It is said that several hundred mounds of fuel were required to warm the Baths, which are constructed after the Turkish fashion. 

The majestic edifices raised during the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan stand testimony to the Mughals’ love for art. These include, among many others, the Taj Mahal in Agra, the Jamia Masjid in Delhi and the Shalimar Gardens in Lahore. Another proud relic of this family is the Chauburji monument. It is a masterpiece of architectural dexterity, and shows a dominant Persian influence on sub-continental architecture. Its distinguishing features are the minarets, which expand from the top, not present anywhere in the sub-continent. Some, however, believe that there were domes upon these minarets, which collapsed with the passage of time. The view is not widely shared. 
Away from the hustle and bustle of city life, two miles south of the Lahore Fort, was built a walled garden in AD 1646. The monument of Chauburji was the gateway to princess Zaibun Nisa Makhfi’s garden. According to REM Wheeler’s book, 5000 Years of Pakistan, “The story goes that the garden was laid out under the supervision of the princess’ favorite female attendant, Mian Bai; that it thus became known as Mian Bai’s garden and was on that account given to Mian Bai by (her) royal mistress.” 
The kings and princes in those days used to travel with scores of attendants and troops. But they would hold themselves back with only a few servants at such gardens so that the troops might go ahead to prepare for their next encampment. Similarly, when the emperor would visit any city, the troops would be there in advance . 
The entire building exhibits a beautiful show of tiled floral panels. There is a great variety of colors, but blue is predominant which has a cooling effect during summer. 
The name Chauburji has been derived from the four octagonal minarets occupying the four corners of the monument. During a severe earthquake, the north-western minaret collapsed in 1843, and cracks appeared in the central arch. 
Chauburji was declared a protected monument under the Archaeological Act as revised in 1975. Though it has been repaired and somewhat protected, the signs of negligence are still present. The building is serving as a store-house. The rooms are locked. 
This was the period of building activity in Lahore. Major buildings of the Mughal period like the Shalimar Gardens, Wazir Khan’s mosque, Mai Lado’s mosque, and Dai Anga’s tomb and mosque were constructed during this period. The construction is typically Punjabi in character with an exaggerated use of bricks and glazed tiles. 

4.4. TOMBS 

Lahore is the city where mortal remains of the most romantic and artistic of all the Emperors of this sub continent exist. It is the city where the prettiest and most intelligent of all the Mughal queens, Nur Jahan lies in eternal sleep in a city which she loved the most. Here too lies the romantic legendary figure, Anarkali. Besides royalty there are a number of great people who have left an imprint on the pages of history and are now a proud heritage of Lahore. Among the administrators we can name Asif Jah, brother of Nur Jahan, and also a famous architect of his times, Ali Mardan Khan. Lahore is equally proud of religious leaders and saints. Their tombs are daily visited by thousands of their disciples and the living influence of their teachings is still being felt today. 

This has been regarded as the ‘finest ornament of Lahore’ and the ‘most magnificent edifice in India. It is a beautiful structure made of white marble and other precious stones. It was Jahangir’s wish to be buried in the garden next to his wife Nur Jahan, and accordingly this monument was built under his son, Shah Jahan’s supervision. A portion of the garden wall that surrounds the edifice has been washed away by the Ravi. Also, when the Sikhs took over after the Mughals, they stripped this structure of its stones. In 1889-90 the Government spent a sum of Rs. 12,500 on the restoration of this mausoleum 


The functional requirements of a given time period have always influenced the construction patterns in a city. One can notice this process of evolution in architecture in Lahore. There does not exist any monument of the pre-Islamic period in Lahore. The Fort is the only place that represents different phases in the development of Mughal architecture, that is one can see the fusion of Hindu and Islamic tradition in its structure. Monuments built by Akbar and Jahangir had some Hindu features like beams and brackets that they incorporated in their construction style. 
In modern Lahore, the traditions of architecture in Lahore have been changing. The dome, minaret, the arch, the intricate mirror work and the extravagant use of ornaments which were features of the Mughal style, have now gone out of fashion. Furthermore, the changing patterns of economy, industrialization and increase in population have contributed a great deal in revolutionizing the entire basis of architectural forms. Due to changing lifestyles and trends, there has been an ever increasing tendency to adopt Western and American forms of architecture. However, there is no parallel between the classical Mughal architecture and that of modern structures. Mughal architecture by far surpasses contemporary architectural designs. 
By an architectural point of view, therefore, Lahore is essentially a Mughal city, its’ golden period being by and large the period of Mughal rule. The Emperors added much to the city of Lahore making it a beautiful and cultured city. Today, no architectural work can be compared to the grand style of the Mughals. They have left an unprecedented mark that cannot be matched no matter how hard one tries. 
By looking at Lahore in the modern day, one gets a sense that there were far more buildings than have survived. This is apparent when one views the ruins of older buildings that are scattered around the city. The mass of debris which everywhere meets the eye is composed entirely of the remains of tombs and garden walls. And these remains still form a conspicuous feature of an otherwise growing Lahore. 
In the fort there were some good specimens of Akbari style of architecture, which have, unfortunately been nearly all razed to the ground. The Chamber of Akbar has been torn down and the smaller throne-room has been altered by putting in modern additions that makes it difficult to recognize as an antique building, or as a building constructed in an authentic Mughal style of architecture, at the very least. The Moti Masjid or Pearl Mosque was formerly the Chapelle Royale for the imperial harem, but now it is used as the Government treasury. Furthermore, the Fort is being used to hold functions such as balls, fashion shows, concerts, and especially for basant parties, with preservation work being done at a minimum. During Mughal rule it was unimaginable for the public to enter the fort and such functions were unthinkable. Nowadays, the structure is open to the public at occasions where the risk to the integrity and history of the building is too high. This shows how due to lack of cultural restoration in Lahore, the magnificence of the palace and other sites has been lost. 
Unless preservation and restoration work is not undertaken seriously and funds are not allocated towards this heritage, Lahore will lose the very structures that define it today and that have shaped its’ history down the centuries. Instead of opening these structures to the public in a careless manner, they should be organized into museums or exhibition halls, with adequate security measures introduced to ensure that such valuable property will not face further wear and tear. Finally, detailed formal documentation of the history of our cultural icons must be carried out. If there are to be no new major additions to the architectural life of Lahore, then let us at least hold on to those elaborations that have given Lahore its life. 



Conservation of the Urban Fabric
Walled City of Lahore, Pakistan

Zachary M. Kron


This case study on urban development in the province of Punjab focuses on the Pakistan Environmental Planning and Architectural Consultant’s efforts to create and implement an urban conservation plan for the walled city of Lahore in the early 1980’s. With a population of four million in 1992,1 this old quarter of Lahore is under tremendous pressure from commercial and industrial interests, which as yet have little regard for the historic nature of the city. In addition to these active menaces, the city is struggling to integrate new municipal services into its existent tissue without obscuring its visual character. Although few interventions have actually been achieved, several higher profile “pilot projects” have been carried out in an effort to raise public awareness of the conservation plan.


Lahore is the capital of the province of Punjab, the most fertile area of Pakistan and chief producer of agricultural products for the country. The city is generally arid, except for two months of hot, humid monsoons, and receives less than 20 inches of rain during the course of a year.

The earliest credible records of the city date its establishment to around 1050 AD, and show that its existence is due to placement along the major trade route through Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The city was regularly marred by invasion, pillage, and destruction (due to its lack of geographical defenses and general overexposure) until 1525 when it was sacked and then settled by the Mogul emperor Babur. Sixty years later it became the capital of the Mogul Empire under Akbar and in 1605 the fort and city walls were expanded to the present day dimensions. From the mid-18th century until British colonial times, there was a fairly lawless period in which most of the Mogul Palaces (havelis) were razed, marking a “decrease in social discipline towards the built environment that has continued unabattingly till today.”2Much of the walled fortification of the city was destroyed following the British annexation of the region in 1849, as both a defensive measure to allow the colonists to better control the populous, and as a commercial enterprise in resale of the brick for new projects. In 1864 many sections of the wall had been rebuilt. Major physical contributions of the British to the old city consisted of piped water and well systems established just outside the former walls. The building of the railroad and a station well outside of the old city set the stage for later expansion.3

Social and Economic
A new wave of destruction washed over the city in 1947 following the partition of British Colonial India into the Hindu majority nation of India and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The resulting inter-communal strife destroyed wide areas of the urban fabric, some of which was repaired by the 1952 Punjab Development of Damaged Areas Act. Many of the arriving Muslim families from India moved into the emigrating Hindu residences, although the lower land values of the old city further established the concentration of lower income groups in the city center, with wealthier families residing outside. In the 1950’s an organization called the Lahore Improvement Trust attempted to instate a plan for commercial development in the old city, but these efforts were largely without effect.4Between the early 1970’s and ’80’s, 29% of the old city population moved out.

The space left by emigrants from the old city has largely been filled by commercial interests, mostly small scale manufacturers and wholesalers, many of whom have national and international clients and do not serve the local community. The advantages for commercial interests are the readily available cheap labor force among the urban poor, as well as relative anonymity, which facilitates the evasion of most national and local taxation. Advantages for speculative developers lie in the absence of enforcement of building regulations, as well as in cheap plots. The resulting commercial encroachment demonstrates a pattern of abuse of building stock through inappropriate re-use of structures intended for small scale (cottage) industry and residential use, as well as destruction of older buildings replaced with quickly erected, lower quality structures.

To the northwest, in the city of Peshawar, and to the east, in Delhi, one can find buildings related in form and age to those in Lahore, although in Peshawar the residential construction is primarily of wood. Although Peshawar was controlled by the Moguls and populated with mosques and gardens as Lahore was during the 16th and 17th centuries, little of it remains to be seen. Peshawar also has it’s share of British construction, (including the renovated Mahabat Khan Mosque built under Shah Jehan but largely redone in 1898), and many of the existing residential buildings date from the late 19th century. Like Lahore, the small grain of the urban fabric left intact can be attributed to the growth of the city within a walled fortification.


Significance of the Walled City
The walled city of Lahore is the product of the cultural influences of at least three major empires in the subcontinent of India: the Mogul Empire, the British colonial presence, and the modern nation-state of Pakistan. As a result of its position along a major trade route, it has also been influenced by many other, less dominant cultures, such as Afghanistan and China. Unlike Peshawar, which has lost much of it’s larger scaled architectural past, and Islamabad, which can only boast Modern Monumental architecture of some merit, Lahore contains some of the best of all the empires which have touched it, as well as smaller scale vernacular architecture.

In addition to this object value, the walled city plays a central role in the daily functioning of Lahore. It remains a bustling center of commerce and represents the “living culture” of the city, an enduring continuation of and evolution from a much older way of life. As the city contains many heterogeneous physical attributes, the activities of the walled city include all aspects of urban life: residential, manufacturing, retail, educational, religious, and civic.


The Lahore Development Authority’s Conservation Plan for the Walled City of Lahore is a series of recommendations concerning the physical decay of historic structures in the city, the “visual clutter” of newer structures and infrastructure, and the encroachment of various unregulated elements on the city’s fabric. This program of conservation, headed by Pakistan Environmental Planning and Architectural Consultants Ltd. (PEPAC) is actually the expansion of a project begun in 1979, the “Lahore Urban Development and Traffic Study” (LUDTS). This study, undertaken by the Lahore Development Authority (LDA) and funded by the World Bank, identified four areas for improvement. “1. Urban planning activities, leading to the production of a structure plan to provide a framework for action program within Lahore; 2. Neighborhood upgrading and urban expansion projects, to provide substantial improvements in living conditions for lower income groups; 3. Improvement of traffic conditions in congested parts of the street system of central Lahore: and 4. Improvements to living conditions within the walled city by improving environmental sanitation and providing social support program.5

Part of LUDTS’ findings identified the precarious position of the physical fabric of the city. The report suggested (among other things) that any development and upgrading program that the city initiated should include measures “to protect national and regional cultural heritage,” and to that end it recommended the development of a conservation plan. The World Bank made the creation of a plan a condition of the first loans to be issued to Lahore.

The study identifies some 1,400 buildings within the city as having high architectural or historical value and presents a series of conservation proposals. These recommendations include both conservation steps for the buildings themselves, as well as social and economic programs to halt the causes of their degradation. In general the study suggested the following:
1. Strategic policies and actions to be taken outside the walled city.
2. Planning activities and studies for both the central area and the walled city.
3. Institutional development including the full utilization of existing resources reinforced with an active training program, and the application of the legislative resources that already exist.
4. Urban management and controls to include production of a “Manual for Conservation and Building Renewal” and improved maintenance practices.
5. Traffic improvement and management program.
6. Upgrading and enhancing the physical fabric and the urban environment through upgrading the building stock . . . and through upgrading urban services.
7. Redevelopment with concern for conformity with the scale, height, densities and building typologies traditionally characteristic of the walled city to be demonstrated through projects undertaken by public authorities on state land and through regulated private sector activity.
8. Conservation of individual listed special premises or elements.6


While the statement above outlines a general policy approach to the conservation effort, several pilot projects have been more specifically outlined and a handful have been implemented and funded by the World Bank through the Punjab Urban Development Project. The buildings are, in most cases, structures dating from early British colonial times, both residential and commercial, and more monumental structures from the Mogul Empire, although action has only been taken on government owned buildings.

One pilot project that has come directly out of this effort is the restoration of the Wazir Khan Hammam (bath house), built in 1638. The bath, which suffered mostly surface damage to the fresco work, is now being re-used as a tourist center with some facilities for computer education for women. While the structure itself was not in any particular risk of irreversible decay, this hamam is a particularly important site to the Development Authority because it is located on a popular entrance point for tourists coming to the city. For visitors it is the first logical stopping point on a walk that goes from the impressive Delhi Gate (Image 6) past the Wazir Khan Mosque and the Choona Mandi Haveli Complex to end at the Lahore Fort. This route is also well traveled by locals going to the wholesale cloth and dry goods markets. It seems that the choice of aiming the rather limited resources of the program at this project is an attempt to heighten the community interest in the conservation effort, rather than directly addressing sites with more desperate conservation needs.

Additionally, there are several proposals to deal with the conservation of areas surrounding historic monuments. Of particular concern is the area around the Mori Gate, which stands next to the well preserved UNESCO site of the Lahore Fort, and lies between the Fort and the Delhi Gate, immediately adjacent to the newly conserved and re-used Choona Mandi Haveli Complex. While the Fort itself is a vigorously monitored and controlled site, the area immediately surrounding it is “visually cluttered,” to say the least. One exits the Fort to be confronted by a mass of electrical cables, transformers, and half a dozen steel recycling operations.

PEPAC’s proposal involves the relocation of the steel traders (whom it claims are operating illegally) to a more suitable location and repopulating the area with a mixture of commercial and residential uses. The area itself does not contain artifacts of particular merit, but is amid a concentration of other historic elements.

In their statement of policy and issues, PEPAC refers to the exemplary conservation work done at the Choona Mandi Haveli Complex, and to its re-use as a degree college for women. While this is not a PEPAC project, it is identified as a model of the work they wish to see happening in the city, and claim that the project “came out of the conservation effort” that they are creating.7

While it is unclear from the literature who in fact has implemented the particular conservation of the HaveliComplex or what the connection is to the PEPAC effort, it is clear a particular region of the city has been identified as a primary site for conservation efforts. It seems sensible to concentrate on blocks of the city as specific focus areas for limited resources and as showpieces to use to solicit further funding, but it is curious that this is not stated as a strategy in the group’s policy statements.

In addition to these concentrated areas of restoration, the main gates to the city have been chosen as pilot projects, several of which have already undergone restoration work. In order to determine how the restored gates should appear, PEPAC searched for clues not only in their existing condition, but also in historical documentation of the gates from the pre-colonial period. In particular, a wealth of information was found in the numerous renderings by French and British explorers from the 17th century who made paintings, drawings and etchings of the sites. After identifying the site and determining the changes that are to occur in the area, the site was “vacated of encroachers,” who currently occupy the niches, hollows and shelters provided by the wall. Several of the gates have now been restored to their pre-colonial state, but the work has recently been halted due to the cessation of World Bank funding.


The example of the gates highlights several difficulties faced by PEPAC in the implementation of their conservation project. First, and perhaps most minor, is the fidelity to the historical record that the conservators wish to maintain. Although the accuracy of the sketches can be verified by different views supplied by different artists, it is not necessarily appropriate to restore the gates to the condition they were in during that particular era, especially at the expense of people who may have some claim to residency in portions of the site.

A more important criticism is that the definition of “encroacher” is inadequate. The Prime Minister has attempted to implement a policy to allot property rights to squatters as a way of instilling greater commitment in them to properly maintain the areas they occupy.8 However, PEPAC does not qualify the distinction between squatters, “encroachers,” and residents. Furthermore, 20 million rupees that have been earmarked by the Punjab Urban Redevelopment Project for residents to use for the improvement of their own property was not dispersed due to the inability of the organization to identify legal residents.9

With no clear definition of who is a resident it will continue to be impossible to make a generalized policy. The total absence of legal enforcement of property rights further undermines any sense of ownership. An example is the rapacious acts of the speculative developer who buys a building and then digs a second basement, which effectively collapses the neighboring buildings. The owner, without legal recourse that would provide any results, is left with no choice but to sell their ruined plot to the developer, who then erects a cheap, commercial building.10

This dilemma underscores a central conflict in the policy of conservation enacted by PEPAC. On the one hand is the attempt to instate a series of guidelines and regulations which the residents of the city must follow, and on the other hand is the attempt to encourage a sense of ownership, pride and respect among residents for the architecture. The first effectively removes or reduces the choices of the resident in determining the form of their surroundings and relies upon a policy of rule enforcement. The second relies upon the living culture of a place to perpetuate the existing physical culture, although allowing for the changing needs of the people. Unless policy is made concerning ownership and enforcement, these two approaches, which are not necessarily in conflict, will not act in accord, and will each remain ineffectual.

It is interesting to note that the areas where the PEPAC conservation effort has been most effective is in exclusively government owned properties: schools, municipal dispensaries, monuments and civic buildings, as well as the homes of police officials.11

In the case of the other projects that have been implemented, PEPAC may be criticized for prematurely starting restoration work before active degradation is stopped, or even slowed. The resurfacing of the Wazir Khan Hamam and work on the area between the Delhi and Mori Gate are a prime example of this, a fairly stable area is being conserved while nearby buildings are being razed for newer construction or crumbling through neglect. (Image 9) However, given the dependency of virtually the entire conservation effort on World Bank funding, it must be a priority for the group to create a visible, finished grouping of conserved buildings in order to solicit further funding.

This example of trying to raise consciousness before actually acting to stop degradation is appropriate for any conservation project undertaken in Lahore. From the inception of the current conservation plan, the impetus for preservation has come from outside the city walls and has been hindered by a discrepancy between what is said in meeting rooms and what happens in reality. In the absence of a fairly oppressive and well-funded preservation enforcement program, conservation in the walled city will not be effective without the support and active interest from the people who inhabit it.


Lahore Areas Of Interest

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Lahore is actually a single of Pakistan most fascinating cities as well as currently being 2nd only to Karachi in dimension. The city is historically the key town of Punjab and is often referred to for your reason that cultural hub of Pakistan, with very a number of intriguing points of interest to delight the informal visitor. Lahore may perhaps be ranked as the 2nd finest tourist destination in Pakistan. One particular can reach Lahore by plane, by car, by train or by bus. Going there by minibuses is one particular in the least pricey methods to accomplish Lahore although they could get quite crowded. Far better be ready for any small bit of squeezing-in need to you select this type of transportation.

The important thing attraction in Lahore could be the Walled Metropolis. This region, about one km lengthy is often a spot that no visitor for that town should really miss. Inside the Walled City are many points of interest, such as the Lahore Fort, the Badshahi Mosque as well as the Inner Metropolis. The Badshahi mosque employed to become the largest mosque in the world. Visitors will get in for cost-free, despite the fact that a donation of Rs ten to the shoekeeper sitting around the exit is expected. Guests can marvel at the intricate architectural variations with all the temples and shrines inside the inner city. These include things like the Imperial Baths too as the Asif Jah Haveli,while using the latter getting recently undergone restoration. One more extraordinary attraction inside the Walled Town will likely be the Minar-e Pakistan or even the Eiffel Tower of Pakistan.

Apart from cultural and historical attractions, one also can head to some from the city parks. A single together with the more well-known parks in Pakistan is Jallo Park which a big, drive-in park, a drive in zoo and also a man-made lake. Hiran Minar is surely an additional well-liked park that utilized to turn out to be the stomping grounds of previous Muslim princes and kings. For almost any taste of Lahore?evening existence you may come across quite a few spots to select from, amongst them Farmhouse, the Caviar Longue and Club Bhurban. Accommodations usually are not difficult to discover in Lahore, from upscale, 4 star hotels to a good deal much more low-cost lodgings right within the city.


COMMENT: Voices from inside Lahore’s Walled City —Ishtiaq Ahmed

Whereas the blessings of the dead are always a great asset it must be the goodness of the hardworking folks, some of whom we had the pleasure of meeting, that keeps our ancient city alive and kicking. Despite everything, Lahore is Lahore

There are many hyperboles Lahoris invoke when proudly talking about their great metropolis. Some of these are world famous or at least subcontinent-famous such as, ‘Lahore is Lahore’ or ‘One who has never seen Lahore has not been born’. People in many parts of Pakistan and also Amritsar, Chandigarh, Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and the rest of India and in faraway places such as London, New York, Vancouver and wherever else I go connect with me because they happen to belong to that city.

Here in Stockholm, we have been meeting regularly once a month in the evening since 1991 to talk to our heart’s fill just about anything, but since the majority of us have a Lahore connection we end up talking about it most of the time, recalling old cricket matches and kabaddi tournaments, Basant celebrations and famous wrestlers but also notorious badmashes (mafia dons). 

All this is part of diaspora sentimentality and I suppose immigrants can never do without their nostalgias and imaginary pasts. On the other hand, the homeland, or rather the hometown in case of Lahoris, which they long for changes and transforms as time passes by and things are never the same as when they left. The more removed they are in time from the present the greater the nostalgia, but also greater the disappointment on coming home and seeing familiar people gone and places they loved no longer there.

I recently spent several days in late December and early January in the ancient Walled City. I took with me the well-known Punjabi poet and writer Ahmad Salim. We went to Taxali Gate visiting the famous chamber of the late people’s poet of Punjab, Ustad Daman. In the room Ustadji used to receive eager visitors and meet old friends and political comrades is now the office of the Daman Academy. I recalled many meeting. We met the proletarian writer Qamar Yurish and talked to him about his life-long struggle to make the world a fairer place. We also met a young man, Natiq Hussain, who spent a whole afternoon with us while we searched for people who could tell us about the old Lahore.

We went inside Bhati Gate seeking the Chomala locality where Mohammad Rafi once lived and worked in his father’s shop. Many people gathered around us and the elders talked about the legendary singer whom they knew as a close friend when he was still a very young man struggling for a break. Bombay (Mumbai) gave him that break. It was really very moving to hear them speak with so much emotion and feeling; things I have not experienced for a long time living in the West. 

In the same area once lived AR Kardar who pioneered the Lahore film industry but then went and settled in Bombay. Other famous names associated with Bhati Gate are that of Allama Iqbal whose bethak (sitting room) we saw. Little further on once lived the actor Om Parkash. The house of Pran was not far from there. We also went across the Circular Road briefly to visit Mohni Road to look at the house of the veteran singer Shamshad Begum. The great short-story writer Krishan Chander also lived on Mohni Road. I intend to find out exactly where on my next visit. 

The visits to Lohari Gate, Mori Gate, Mochi Gate and what now remains of Shahalmi Gate were also very memorable. Everywhere people just assembled and began talking to us when they realised we wanted to learn more about the old Lahore, whose soul remains innocent and pure despite all the injuries to the body from the tyranny of time, the poverty of many of its inhabitants and gross neglect by the municipal and other authorities. I noticed that in almost every street and corner the locals had their bethaks (sitting places) and discussions took place everyday. I envied them that invaluable social bonding.

Inside Said Mittha Bazaar we first met Iftikhar Sahib who very kindly offered to show us around the old buildings in that area. He turned out to be an educated man who everyday went on a round of narrow and winding streets, holding his bike with one hand talking to people to find out if they needed any help writing an application or petition or some other such task. He did all this selflessly, without any charge. This was very clear from the way people blessed him for his devotion to their welfare. We met Azim Pehlwan, a famous weight-lifter who had won many gold and silver medals in national and international competitions. He took us home and we talked at length about old and present Lahore. Everywhere we went the people were fantastic, but they complained about the apathy and disdain with which a power-wielder treated ordinary citizens.

The grievances were put forth very eloquently by Haji Muhammad Shad, a poor but very proud young man who ran a tea-stall in Haveli Mian Khan, Rang Mahal. The glint in his eyes radiated immense intelligence and awareness. He told me he was 40 years old. He complained that poor people like him could not afford to pay the taxes and rates the government kept imposing on them. He remarked, “You ask me if I send my children to school, well I do but you know I can’t afford to feed them properly. The tap water we get is contaminated with filth from the leaking sewerage. It has a nauseating smell and drinking it gives us stomach diseases.” He complained bitterly that the elected nazims, mayors and councillors did nothing to alleviate their hardships. They were corrupt and worse than thugs. He wanted President Pervez Musharraf to come and see how people live in his locality and then say what he and his government had done for people like him.

There is a widespread belief among indigenous Lahoris that holy men and saints buried inside the Walled City and outside it guard Lahore from harm and evil. I believe that whereas the blessings of the dead are always a great asset it must be the goodness of the hardworking folks, some of whom we had the pleasure of meeting, that keeps our ancient city alive and kicking. Despite everything, Lahore is Lahore




I left Lahore towards the end of the first week of the state of emergency declared on Saturday 4 November 2007. My experience then was that the “Pakistani street” was still not quite rising. At that point – and the situation remains the same, over two weeks later – this was president-general Pervez Musharraf’s main concern: not fighting terrorism, but fighting democracy. My sense of things in Lahore saw this concern from the other side, as it were; as I wrote in a comment for the Guardian, it appeared to me that the geography of conflict and repression in Lahore was extremely specialised (see “Pakistan’s two worlds“, 7 November 2007). It involved only certain spaces and certain groups – lawyers, opposition members, and media; I called it “niche repression”.

And yet, these spaces and groups were all the western media focused on when they looked at Pakistan. This is understandable, on several levels; but it also means that the media was unable to address the big question (“will the street rise?”) because television coverage especially made it look as if the street hadrisen. But it hadn’t. My experience of the street in Lahore was of bustling shops and bazaars: no closed shops, no drawn shutters. Even today, there has been no massive demonstration in any major Pakistani city. There are many images of violence in the western media; but in this very act the critical political questions are avoided. The violence is real, even if highly targeted. It is a tragic part of the story. Every time a group – lawyers, students, opposition party activists – protests, there are arrests. But there are also diffuse millions of Pakistani citizens reluctant to join them, to rise on their own account.

A living history

I was in Lahore as the guest of a new organisation set up and directed by Attiq Uddin Ahmed called the Office for Conservation and Community Outreach – Lahore. That enabled me to become immersed in that other Lahore, a city where politics is wired into urban space itself.

Lahore is a historic city not just because of its Mughal legacy and extraordinaryarchitecture, but also because it has long been a political centre. Here are just ten episodes in Lahore’s political history, aspects of its urban, spatial life:

* Lahore’s Minto Park in the early 1930s was the site of the “Pakistan resolution“. This was the pledge to create a separate homeland for the Muslims of British India, which first surfaced at a massive congregation of the Muslim League’s leadership, including Jinnah. The site, post-resolution and post-1947, saw the construction of a slender tapering structure à la Eiffel Tower called the Minar-i-Pakistan. It has a great deal symbolism attached to it; to this day, the site is invoked and appropriated by political actors (of all persuasions) for “groundbreaking” pledges and fresh agendas

* Lahore is home to the grave of Allama Iqbal(a prominent Muslim poet, who was the first to propose the idea of a separate homeland for the Muslims). His grave is in the Hazuri Bagh (a public space) with the grand setting of the Lahore Fort and Badshahi mosque on two sides and Mughal walls along the other two

* Lahore in 1952 saw bloody rioting against a sect of Islam represented by the Ahmadiyya, whom orthodox Muslims refer to as “heretics” and therefore outside the faith. As a result of the rioting, martial law was declared in the city of Lahore – Pakistan’s first flavour of this form of rule

* Lahore has a long tradition of political activism, from revolutionary poets of the independence era such asFaiz Ahmed Faiz and Habib Jalib (both sons of Lahore) to figures of the student-protest era of the 1960s who protested about the Vietnam war and martial law such as Tariq Ali

* Lahore in the 1970s saw bloody protests when “the street rose” against the popularly elected government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (who rigged the 1976 elections even though he would have won). Lahore’s fabric felt the strains of shop shutdowns accompanied with the traders and lawyers marching in the streets, often employing violence

* In the early 1980s, Lahore saw the emergence of a grouping by the name of the Women’s Action Forum (WAF) in reaction to the “black laws” (against minorities and women). The WAF paid the costs of its activism; its members were tear-gassed, beaten up and put behind bars, but that didn’t crush their spirit

* In April 1986, Lahore saw the unprecedented gathering of more than a million people to welcome Benazir Bhutto when she returned from exile to lead her party into elections, which were eventually held in November 1988

* Lahore has long been the power-base of Pakistan’s federation. Punjabis are the largest group among Pakistan’s population and are inordinately represented in the bureaucracy and army in relation to Pakistan’s other ethnicities

* Before partition, Lahore was a bastion of political activity in the Punjab as well. Gandhi, Nehru and Jinnah (and other leaders) came to Lahore to conduct meetings, mobilise the influential Punjabis and benefit from the location of the undivided Punjab which put Lahore smack in the centre of Punjab. Many of the sites where Nehru and Gandhi held meetings have been conveniently forgotten as part of the “selective amnesia” project carried out by the state’s actors; one such example is the now-decrepit Bradlaugh Hall.

* Lahore is much cherished and invoked by the Lahori diaspora in India. Many of them are people who migrated at the time of partition, leaving abandoned the mansions, havelis and streets that until then were populated by Lahore’s Hindus and Sikhs. For example, the narrow street we drove in behind the Sir Ganga Ram Trust Building, where stood townhouses once built for the industrial workers.

What is happening today? Most recently, Lahore’s Indo-Saracenic-stylehigh-court building saw the first full-scale protest in Pakistan against the sacking of the supreme-court’s chief justice (Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry) by Pervez Musharraf on 9 March 2007. But there has been little follow-up. Has Musharraf with his niche repression succeeded in depoliticising even Lahore?


Water blues in Lahore By Zulqernain Tahir



Ten-year-old Ali, who lives inside the Walled City, does not go to school as he helps his father sell fruits in different areas of the city. However, before going to work, he –– along with his elder brother, Rahim –– have to get up early in the morning to fetch water from a nearby tube well.

Ali’s family is one of several of Bhati Gate area, which has to depend on a nearby tube well for daily water consumption as they have erratic water supply in their area. Most of the time the water supply remains suspended, sometimes for a week or so. Therefore, Ali and Rahim, try to reach the tube well a bit earlier than their neighbours to avoid long queues and bring sufficient amount of water.

Similar scenes can be witnessed in several areas of the city such as Shahdara, Misri Shah, Badami Bagh, Shad Bagh, Tajpura, Gujjarpura and Bilal Ganj, where there is no proper water supply system.

“The City District Government of Lahore (CDGL) has planned to install 35 tube wells in the areas where water supply is not regular,” says Tariq Zaman, District Environment Officer. He further adds that the commercial centres in such areas have illegal suction pumps, which results in water scarcity in the vicinity.

The supply of contaminated water is the other major problem in several localities of Lahore. Last year, at least eight people, including children of the Ravi Road neighbourhood, lost their lives after consuming contaminated water.

Nafees and Jaffer of UC 67 complain that despite the government’s claim of replacing water supply lines of the area, supply of contaminated water continues. “Our claim can be verified by getting a water sample tested from a recognised laboratory,” they say and add that none of the residents of the area drink water without boiling it first. They demand the government machinery, which had responded swiftly to the tragedy, to visit the area to check whether the problem has been completely eliminated or not.

It is pertinent to mention that the CDGL’s health department and the Institute of Public Health’s bacteriology department had confirmed that the samples of drinking water collected from the Ravi Road areas were contaminated with sewerage water. They reported that the water pipes laid some two to four decades ago have apparently broken down from different places and sewerage enters into the lines.

According to some reports, besides Lahore, over 64 per cent of water samples collected by the Punjab Environment Protection Department (EPD) from half of the districts of Punjab some time ago, have also been found to be contaminated.

The EPD had launched a sub-soil water survey in districts including Lahore, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Gujrat, Faisalabad, Jhangh, Sargodha, Rawalpindi, Sheikhupura, Kasur, Sahiwal, Multan, Bahawalpur and D.G.Khan. Some 20 samples from each district were collected. Following the results, EPD recommended the health department to conduct a thorough study in these districts to figure out the number of people who have been affected by drinking contaminated water.

The department suggested that the water supply agencies should take necessary measures to provide clean drinking water to the consumers and a ban should be imposed on the industries, which are spilling huge quantities of polluted water.

It was also recommended that all Tehsil Municipal Administrations (TMAs) should prepare an action plan for effective drainage and clean water supply at municipal and Tehsil levels. Ironically, none of its suggestions have been implemented so far.

Tariq Zaman holds broken and rusty water supply lines responsible for supply of contaminated water to the people. “Unless the water pipes are replaced, the problem will persist.” Moreover, people don’t replace dilapidated water pipes inside their houses nor do they bother to clean their water tanks, he adds.

The Water and Sanitation Agency reportedly provides 80 gallons of water to each consumer of the city per day. A huge quantity of water is being wasted by watering plants, lawns, and streets and this practice must be stopped to avoid shortage of water in the coming months.



Getty Foundation
The J.Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that features the Getty Conservation Institute, the Getty Foundation, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Getty Research Institute. The J.Paul Getty Trust and Getty programmes serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Centre in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Malibu.

UNESCO Islamabad applied for the Getty Foundation Architectural Conservation and Planning Grant, to carry out baseline surveys and identify conservation needs at the Shalamar Gardens. Funds from Getty Foundation came around the same time as Emergency Assistance from WHC in early 2005. The dual source of funding provided considerable support to initiate a systematic process of conservation at the Shalamar Gardens, based on scientific studies and evidence.
Historical background
Shalamar Gardens, a marvel of Mughal garden architecture, is one of the greatest gardens in the world, representing of the Islamic concept of Paradise. The site was inscribed on the World Heritage List, along with Lahore Fort in 1981, for the following outstanding universal values or criteria. The two sites:
i) Represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;
ii) Exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design; and 
iii) Bear a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or to a civilization which is living or which has disappeared.

The three-terraced Shalamar Gardens built in 1642, is a grand manifestation of the ingenuity and craftsmanship of a group of architects, hydrologists, horticulturists, engineers and mastercraftsmen during the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan. Cleverly sited on a naturally terraced terrain, the Gardens run approximately five kilometers north-east of the walled city of Lahore and are enclosed within a high perimeter wall.

The importance and significance of the Shalamar Gardens have been acknowledged by its inclusion, jointly with the Lahore Fort, on UNESCO World Heritage List. It was however, inscribed without a management plan. Today, negative impacts from environmental degradation, visitor usage, ill-advised interventions and the passage of time are increasing without appropriate response.

In 1999, the unique hydraulic system of the gardens was demolished in an attempt to widen the Grand Trunk road, where the Shalamar Gardens is now situated. Following this unfortunate incident the Shalamar Gardens, along with Lahore Fort were placed on the list of World Heritage in Danger.
The overall objective of the baseline study on Shalamar Gardens was to prepare a conservation plan for the Gardens in line with the findings and recommendations of the experts involved in the project.

The project team adopted a vision statement for Shalamar Gardens stating: “Shalamar Bagh (Garden) should be treated as a single design entity consisting of stepped garden terraces linked by water features and alignments, built elements and linkages. The conservation and safeguarding of the historic resource should be central to all discussion relating to the garden. The methodologies adopted should aim at presentation of the essence and reality of a Mughal garden and infusion of a new dynamism – developing a sense of historicity and continuity from the past to the future”. The vision enabled the team to move way beyond the stated objective and develop a Master Plan to provide a holistic framework for the implementation of conservation and management actions for relevant stakeholders.
Cooperation from stakeholders
During the project period, a wide range of stakeholders were consulted through a series of meetings, on-site interviews and discussions and continuing communications. The consultations continued as the project progressed, in order to ensure that the needs and interests of all parties were adequately represented.

UNESCO Islamabad received unrestrained cooperation from the Federal and Provincial Ministries of Culture, Government of Pakistan, during the execution of the project. As the management of the Lahore World Heritage sites (both Shalamar Gardens and Lahore Fort) has been handed over to the Punjab Government since January 2005, UNESCO Islamabad has been working closely with the provincial Ministry of Culture and Department of Archaeology and Museum. In consultation with the Government of Punjab, UNESCO Islamabad has developed a conservation plan for the Shalamar Gardens. During an informal meeting with stakeholders, it was agreed that the Government of Punjab would undertake the conservation of some structures adhering to the recommendations given in the Master Plan. UNESCO Islamabad would apply to Getty Foundation for ‘implementation grants’ whereby, the Royal Bath (Shahi Hamam), the Eastern and the Western Gateways would be conserved.
General state of conservation and management
As described in the Report of the Joint ICOMOS-UNESCO Reactive Monitoring Mission to the Fort and the Shalamar Gardens World Heritage Site in Lahore, Pakistan (29 November – 03 December 2005):

The conservation and management of the Shalamar Garden has four key components – management of the gardens and hydraulic system, conservation and management of different structures within the Garden, conservation of the boundary walls and visitor management. In the absence of any management plan for the site, it was difficult to comprehend the current management process for the Shalamar Garden. From the discussions with the government officials responsible for taking care of the site, it was understood that the entire management system for the site works on an ad-hoc basis. 

A general lack of care is evident in the condition of the garden and the hydraulic system. The pavilions and other structures are also not well maintained. The beautiful marble cascades are not regularly cleaned and now they have almost permanent stain marks on it. Because the stains had sufficient time to get hardened, the subsequent cleaning took more efforts. The mission team has learned that to remove the stains, the authority used sand during brushing. A close inspection revealed that this method is already damaging the delicate marble surface.

Like in Lahore Fort, neglect of buildings not belonging to Mughal period is also noticeable in Shalamar Garden. The so-called Moorcroft Building, situated right next to the summer hall, was constructed during the Sikh period. However, this structure is now near collapse due to lack of maintenance and care.
Property boundry and buffer zone
After the hydraulic works, the boundary wall is the least protected part of the garden. Again, an effect of long-term neglect is clearly evident on the appearance of the wall. There is also the problem of rising damp due to increased elevation of the areas around the garden. The frescos and beautiful coloured stonework on the outer surface of the wall has no protection. Most of the terracotta hydraulic system along the wall is destroyed and rubbish is being dumped on the side of the wall. The mission team also witnessed a boy climbing up the wall to get inside the garden. In Hadi Saliba’s report, a detailed outline proposal complete with sketches was provided to solve the rising damp problem by creating a perimeter drain around the site. The report also identified the buildings to be removed to reduce the impact of encroachment on the eastern and northern side of the garden. The mission team was informed by the officials from the Punjab Directorate of Archaeology that they are currently working on the implementation of the proposals from the report. However, no specific timeframe was provided.

Other structures needing immediate attention
The Naqqar Khana
The Naqqar Khana pavilion, which faces the Khawab Gah (queen’s pavilion) across the upper terrace (Farah Baksh), is thought to have been originally used for military displays involving music incorporating kettle drums. The enclosure behind it was originally a separate historic garden, which has been purchased by the Government of Pakistan, lies outside the World Heritage Site boundary and has a its own entrance opening onto the Grand Trunk Road. The gardens also contain an open pavilion with an arched-back roof (arz bogi) originally derived from the design of bamboo structures in Bengal.The Naqqar Khana enclosure is in a run-down condition and has no current beneficial use. The Naqqar Khana pavilion itself has been in a derelict and partly collapsed condition, now partly rectified. The pavilion with the arz bogi roof has serious cracks in the masonry which require stitching.

Hydraulics system located at the southern periphery
The hydraulics system consists of several chambers built in brick masonry, which carried the original water supply and filtration tanks. The building received excessive damage due to the widening of the Grand Trunk Road. The remaining structure has suffered further damage due to its exposed condition.

Northern perimeter wall (with fragments of original fresco)
The brick masonry perimeter walls with a length of over 5,700′ and a height of 17′, are at risk. The northern perimeter wall is particularly vulnerable due to pilferage, graffiti, vandalism and weathering.

Eastern and Western gateways
These brick masonry gateways with lofty iwan portals, rising to a height of 30’0″ have been adversely damaged through lack of care, vagaries of weather and vandalism. The damage to brick masonry and tile mosaic has occurred due to its exposed condition and lack of maintenance. Funds are required for the restoration of brick work, repairs to the extant tile mosaic, sealing of water seepage from the roof and ground level.

Shahi Hammam (Royal Bath)
The Hammam is among the rare examples of its type and has been in a state of neglect for a long time. The brick masonry single storey structure covers an area over 3,500 sq. ft consists of single storey chambers. It is in a highly damaged state. Funds are needed to carry out major works consisting of consolidation, repair and conservation to brick masonry, remains of fresco painting, providing water tightness in joints, roof and at ground level etc.
Project implementation
During the planning phase, the Getty Grants enabled UNESCO and its implementing partners to undertake the following:

  • Topographical survey of the Shalamar Gardens
  • Graphic and photographic documentation
  • Studies in various disciplines to identify conservation needs and priorities
  • Master Plan developed for the conservation and preservation of the Shalamar Gardens
Master Plan 2006-2011, Shalamar Gardens
The project team adopted a theoretical approach while contributing to the design of the Shalamar Gardens Master Plan. The recommendations were based on the principle stated in the Burra Charter (Article 2.2) that the single most important aim of conservation is to retain the cultural significance or authenticity of a place, the “aesthetic, historic, scientific, social or spiritual value for past, present or future generations”.

The Master Plan also takes into consideration the pivotal importance of research and detailed documentation to the conservation process: “Decisions regarding the type and extent of intervention carried out as part of a conservation plan should only be taken after extensive research, expert discussion and weighing of conservation options”. (HAP, 4.1.6)

“No restoration work and, above all, no reconstruction work on an historic garden shall be undertaken without thorough prior research to ensure that such work is scientifically executed and which will involve everything from excavation to the assembling of records relating to the garden in question and to similar gardens”. (Florence Charter, Article 15)


In accordance with the Burra Charter, Article 3.1, the project team adhered to the principle of sustainability, emphasizing that all programmes and action plans addressing the protection and maintenance of the Shalamar Gardens must be sustainable.

Following regular consultations and meetings, the team agreed on the following approach:

  • An assessment of which level/s of conservation are appropriate should be carried out before taking and decision
  • The assessment should be based on authentic information and full documentation.
This can be supported/assisted by following international standards and guidelines of conservation

All decisions should include reference to these standards and should be made after full discussion between the custodians of the site, UNESCO and the project Management Team

All decisions to be publicized for public comment

The Master Plan developed within the framework of the Getty-funded project, is based on available reports and documents, ICOMOS Management Guidelines for World Cultural Heritage Sites (1993), and international best practice, supported by detailed studies carried out by national experts on the following: Historical survey of interventions to the plan and design of the site and its landscape and built elements;

Hydraulic studies of the waterworks, both Mughal and later additions and modification, including collation and analysis of all available data from geophysical remote sensing excavation;

Architectural studies of built features: condition assessments, history of interventions and baseline survey documentation;

Inventory and mapping of all existing planting within the garden; noting the distinction between contemporary planting, British period and evidence of possible Mughal period remnant species;

Assessment of internal infrastructure conditions and issues, including access, waste removal, lighting, electricity, drainage etc. ; and recommendations for action;

Assessment of conditions in the surrounding environment or buffer zone of the site, including encroachments, vehicular traffic, drainage, waste collection etc. and recommendations for action;

Assessment of monitoring and management regimens at the site and recommendations for improved systems;

Assessment of current visitation patterns and statistics and recommendations for interpretation and presentation of the site to the public.

These reports are based on extensive research, fieldwork, interviews and professional experience. Each expert was commissioned to carry out the following tasks:
An assessment of existing conditions and situation analysis;

Recommendations for prioritized action to address the identified issues;

Integrated plans for implementation of the recommendations;

Identification of any additional specialist studies needed to enable implementation of the Master Plan.

The Master Plan consists of a series of integrated action plans developed from experts’ input and designed to address various issues. These actions constitute the key processes of cultural resource management at the Shalamar Gardens, which aim to achieve the vision set out for the future of the World Heritage site in both short and longer term.

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