The walled city of Lahore (Old Lahore or Anderon Shehr) constitutes the section of Lahore which was once covered by city wall during the Mughal era. The original building of Lahore may have taken place 4000 years ago. The greatest impact on the walled city of Lahore’s architecture came with the invasion of Mughal leaders like Akbar, Jahangir and Shahjahan. They established the Mughal reputation as some of the foremost royal architects in world history. The walled city of Lahore displayed their artistic talents.

Lahore eminence largely began after 1584 when the Emperor Akbar ordered a palace to be built which is now called the Lahore Fort after shifting his capital to Lahore from Fatehpur Sikri (Agra)

THE IDENTITY OF LAHORE: WALLED CITY LAHORE

By Noor Ul Huda

The walled city of Lahore (Old Lahore or Anderon Shehr) constitutes the section of Lahore which was once covered by city wall during the Mughal era. The original building of Lahore may have taken place 4000 years ago. The greatest impact on the walled city of Lahore’s architecture came with the invasion of Mughal leaders like Akbar, Jahangir and Shahjahan. They established the Mughal reputation as some of the foremost royal architects in world history. The walled city of Lahore displayed their artistic talents.

Lahore eminence largely began after 1584 when the Emperor Akbar ordered a palace to be built which is now called the Lahore Fort after shifting his capital to Lahore from Fatehpur Sikri (Agra)

THE IDENTITY OF LAHORE WALLED CITY LAHORE 1

Akbar also ordered to rebuilt the city walls. Emperor Jahangir along with his wife Noor Jahan buried in Shahdara Bagh (just outside the walled city. Most of the construction in walled area took place in Emperor Shah Jahan reign who was also born in Lahore in 1627. These constructions include Shalimar Gardens, Wazir Khan mosque and Shahi Hammam. Aurangzaib in his reign built the largest Mughal monument in Lahore the iconic Badshahi mosque

THE IDENTITY OF LAHORE WALLED CITY LAHORE 2

After the Mughal rule, the city was under Sikh control. Buildings built in walled city at that time including Gurdwara Dera Sahib, Gurdwara Janam Asthan Guru Ram Das , Haveli of Nau Nikhal Singh and Huzuri Bagh Baradari.

During British reign all the gates of Lahore sealed shut except the Roshnai gate to enhance security.

Walled city of Lahore had 13 gates (12 gates basically and 1 Mori) today only 6 gates survive. Here is a brief description

1-BHATTI GATE

Bhatti gate provides an entrance through the western wall of the old city. The Data Darbar of Sufi saint Ali Hajweri takes place just outside the Bhatti Gate.

Bhatti Gate

2-DELHI GATE

Dahlia gate once contained the main and only road that led from Lahore to Delhi, had been built during the Mughal era. The Gate was damaged during independence then renovated and returned to its former glory.

Delhi Gate

3-KASHMIRI GATE

Kashmiri gate so named because it faces the direction of Kashmir. It also has a shopping area called Kashmiri bazaar and girls’ college (chuna mandi) just inside the gate. That girl’s college built upon an old Haveli of Shah, provides a beautiful example of Mughal architecture.

Kashmiri Gate

4-LOHARI GATE

Lohari gate standing close by the Bhatti gate. Like many other gates, had been built to keep invading forces out. Although shops and stalls surround it, glimmers of great architectural work may be seen. In Urdu, “loha” means iron, the gate received the name Lohari because many lohars (blacksmiths) workshops operated just outside the gate. But now many flower shops are present outside the gate.

Lohari Gate

5-ROSHNAI GATE

Roshnai gate also called “Gate of Lights “stands between the Lahore Fort and the Badshahi mosque. As the gate served as one of the main entrances into the city, Omerahs, courtiers, royal Servants constantly visited it. In evening, officials lit up the gate as its name shows lights. It is the only gate to have restored in its original condition. It has also been referred to as the “Gate of Splendor’’

Roshnai Gate

6-SHERANWALA GATE

Sheranwala gate was built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh also called it “Gate of the Lions “. After its completion, Singh placed two lions in cages at the gate as a symbolic gesture to warn any invader.

There are some gates which lost their appearance but people still called these places by their gate name. These include

Sheranwala Gate

7-AKBARI GATE

Akbari gate named after the great Mughal emperor Akbar. Close to this gate, Akbar also founded the market which called after him as “Akbari mandi”.

8-MASJADI GATE

Just behind the Lahore Fort, Masjadi gate is located wholesale shoe sellers who sell both traditional and western style shoes dominated this area. Located further down the street stands one of the city’s oldest mosque of Mariyam Zamani who was the mother of Jahangir emperor. The gate named so because of this mosque but then the named distorted to Masti gate. Now it is called Masti gate

9-TIXALI GATE

It was built during Mughal reign. Shops sale a variety of local cuisine at the gate. One of the best Sri Pai sold here. Many popular sweet shops are located here.

10-YAKKI GATE

This gate named after saint “Zakki” who die while defending the city against the Mughal invaders from the north. Over time the name Zakki distorted to Yakki.

11-SHAHALMI GATE

The gate named after one of the sons of Mughal emperor Aurangzaib Shahalam I. During independence, the gate burnt so today only its name survives. One of the Lahore’s biggest commercial market “Shahalam Market” exists near the site of the gate.

12-MOCHI GATE

It is located at the entrance to Mochi Bagh and bazaar. Mochi gate also burnt during Mughal period.” Mochi” means cobbler which indicates that bazaar had been the market for shoes and repair shoe shops. Alternatively, the gate had been named after “Moti” a guard during the Mughal era who guarded and looked after the gate all his life. Later name Moti distorted to Mochi. Today the bazaar around the Mochi gate has renowned for its dry fruits. Mochi gate serves the entrance of Mochi Bagh where many renowned Pakistani leaders of past and present have delivered speeches.

13-MORI GATE

It is located between Lohari gate and Bhatti gate. It is the smallest gate in the walled city. Waste and garbage from the city passed through the gate daily. Mori gate never had been considered an official gate but residents of Lahore call it the 13th gate. Fish market located outside the gate.

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