Point of Interest

Lahore Fort

Pakistan / Asia

Lahore Fort is a citadel in the northern part of the walled city and became a UNESCO world heritage site in 1981. It is built over an area of 20 hectares. It is an ancient site, inhabited for millennia. An early mud fort was built here in the 11th century, during the reign of Mahmud of Ghazni (971-1030), but was destroyed in 1241. Sultan Balban (died 1287) built a replacement in 1267 but it was destroyed in 1398. Mubarak Shah Sayyid, who ruled from 1421 to 1434, built another one which was occupied by Pashtun Sultans until 1526. The foundations of the present fort were laid in 1566 during the reign of Emperor Akbar (1542-1605), who made Lahore his capital. He gave it a syncretic architectural style with both Islamic and Hindu motifs. In the phase of Shah Jahan (1592-1666), luxurious marble was laid, with Persian floral designs, and the last great Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb (1618-1707) built the colossal Alamgiri Gate, through which it is entered, in 1674. At the end of the Mughal Empire, the fort became the residence of Emperor Ranjit Singh (1780-1839), who founded the Sikh Empire. When the British annexed Punjab in 1849, they took it over. The fort is divided into two areas, the administrative, and then a more private residential part. The Queen was entertained to a feast here on her 1997 state visit, following which there was a spectacular firework display

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