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Historical Sites - Punjab
FORTS OF PUNJAB
Lahore is the city of Punjab province and is home to some wonderful monuments. The most famous of them all are the Royal Fort and Shahi Qila that dates back to 1556 AD. The Fort was built by the Mughals Akbar and houses some fine buildings that include DiwaneAam, Moti Masjid, Khwahbag-e-Jahangir, Diwan-e-Khas. The Sheesh Mahal/the Palace of Mirrors is something that you should not miss on your visit to the Royal Fort. Lahore Fort is also a world heritage place.
Derawar Fort is the oldest and biggest Fort in the desert that is part of the forts established to protect the central Asian trade route to the Indian subcontinent. The old Fort existed more than 6000 years ago, but the present Fort was re-built in the 18-th century with baked stones brought from Uch Sharif 40-miles away. The circumference of Fort covers 1.5-km with 40-bastions.
Rohtas Fort Symbol of Grandeur
Located on the famous Grand Trunk Road about 10 km from Dina (near Jehlum) are the ruins of grand Derawar Fort, built by Sher Shah Suri during 1642-145 AD. The Fort shows a powerful display of masonry with several attractive sites, including the old idea of Baolis – water sources. A stay to the Fort gives an insight into the pages of history with its treasons, struggles, and successes. Rohtas Fort has been included in the World Heritage places list.
FAMOUS HISTORICAL MOSQUES
The Imperial or Badshahi Mosque is placed in front of Alamgiri Gate of Lahore Fort and is one of the world’s biggest mosques. Built by Mughal ruler Aurangzeb Alamgir, the last of the great Mughals, the mosque presents a fine combination of white marble and red sandstone. This mosque can provide about one hundred thousand in a record time of 2 and-1.5 years. Its construction was finished by 1674 AD.
It has a beautiful gate-way, which measures 20.34 meters in height, and a courtyard that measures 161 x 160 meters and is said to be the most significant mosque courtyard in the world for outdoor prayers. The marble domes cover seven prayer rooms. Four lofty towers stand at the four corners of the mosque, each with an outer circumference of 20 meters, soaring up to 55.
Golden Mosque or Sunehri Masjid
Golden Mosque is located in the Kashmiri Bazaar of old Lahore. It was built in 1753 AD. It is remarkably impressive with three golden towers. The mosque is elevated on a higher quality, surrounded by old city markets. The mosque glitters in the light as if it is a golden miniature site to bow before the Almighty Allah because of its color.
Established during Shah Jahan’s reign in the 17th century, Moti Masjid or Pearl Mosque is located inside Lahore Fort beyond the conference hall. It was built for the exclusive use of royal women. It is carved from marble, having the glow of pearls.
Wazir Khan’s Mosque
Wazir Khan’s Mosque is in the old-city, 310 meters from Delhi darwaza Lahore. Built-in 1634 by Hakim Ali-ud-din, popularly known as Wazir Khan, who was governor of the area during Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s period. The mosque is justifiably called “the building ornament of Lahore” for its rich display of bright frescos and tile decoration, which adorn both the building’s inside and outside.
Near Derawar Fort in the Cholistan Desert, it is elegantly worth visiting Derawar Mosque, which is more than 100-years old and is built with white marble rock. The Derawar mosque is a thing of excellence and said to be a copy of the Moti Masjid of Red Fort Delhi.
About 210 km southwest of Bahawalpur is the amazing BHONG MOSQUE, one of Pakistan’s most decorated, ostentatious mosques. Conceived, designed, and financed by a local landowner, this grand mosque (completed in 51 years) reflects popular local style integrated with stylistic elements used from regional Islamic architectural styles.
RENOWNED TOMBS & SHRINES
Allama Iqbal’s Tomb
Outside the Badshahi Mosque, near its tracks, lies the Tomb of Allama Muhammad Iqbal (1877-1938-AD), the poet-philosopher of Pakistan. The tomb is a blend of Afghan and Moorish design of architecture and is constructed of red sandstone, which was brought from Rajasthan. The stone is in marble gifted by the Afghanistan state.
The grave of the fourth Mughal Emperor, Jehangir, lies three-miles north-west of Lahore across the River Ravi. Built-in 1637-AD, the tomb has a symmetrical and beautiful structure laid in the center of his queen Noor Jahan’s garden. The outside entrance to the grave opens out into a court-yard, which was used as a caravan Serai during Mughal times. The limestone grave is approached from four corridors leading from the garden.
Noor Jehan’s Tomb
The Empress Nur Jehan, Light of the World, was the only ruler whose name appeared on the money of the Mughal empirior. She was buried in 1645-AD at Shahdara (Lahore) outside Jehangir’s grave across the railway track.
Named after the popular Anarkali Bazaar and the legendary character of Anarkali, this monument is located in the Civil Secretariat premises of Lahore. Anarkali is said to have an interest in Mughal Emperor Jahangir, who built her impressive tomb. It was used as the first Christian Church by the British after their arrival in the region. The octagonal tomb now houses an archives Museum about the Punjab region.
Situated 55 km west of Bahawalpur, it is one of the oldest towns. It’s famous for its magnificent ruins and tombs ornamented with a blue mosaic and other decorations. Among these tombs, the 15th-century octagonal tomb of Bibi Jawindi is the best known building. It is supposed to have been the most and best cultural hub during the 13th-century.
SCENIC GARDENS FROM PAST
Three miles distance east from Lahore are the famous Shalimar Gardens laid out by the Mughal emperor Shah Jehan in 1642-AD. The Gardens are built out in typical Mughal style and are surrounded by high walls with watch-towers at the four sides. Covering an place of about 45 acres, the garden has three terraces and more than 410 fountains. It is also a world heritage site.
Bagh e Safa
Located near Kallar Kahaar Lake, Bagh e Safa is the oldest Mughal Garden in present-day Pakistan. Built by the first Mughal Emperor Babur from Kabul to Dehli, the garden also houses Takht e Babri from where the emperor addressed his army. The park is famous for loquats, peacocks, and water springs.
Located amid River Ravi, Kamran’s Garden is the earliest Mughal garden in Lahore, built in 1540 AD by Mirza Kamran, son of Emperor Babur. Created initially across River Ravi at the outskirts of Lahore, the park is now an island in River Ravi and is accessible by boats.