Category Archives: Lahore

My Eternal City

Lahore, Lahore aye.
By Pran Nevile

My Eternal City

No city in the subcontinent can boast of a more stirring or more turbulent history, or a stronger vitality, than Lahore—a city ruled by Hindu kings, Mughal emperors, Sikh monarchs, British sovereigns. Scholars, historians, and travelers passing through Lahore were enchanted by its majesty and grandeur. In the heyday of its glory as the capital of the Mughals, the city rose from semi-obscurity to eminence. It became the city of historical monuments and gardens. Lahore finds mention in John Milton’s classic, Paradise Lost. Thomas Moore in his celebrated Lalla Rookh describes the glittering life and pageantry of the palaces, domes, and gilded minarets of Lahore. Rudyard Kipling, the Nobel laureate who was raised in Lahore, immortalized the city in his writings.

The British rulers took active steps to safeguard and preserve old monuments and buildings of national interest and historical value. I remember that many new residential areas were developed in different parts of the city: Krishan Nagar, Sant Nagar, Ram Nagar, Ram Gullies, Krishna Gullies, Gowalmandi, Gandhi Square, Nisbet Road, Mozang and Quila Gujjar Singh. The most novel experiment was the construction of a modern township, Model Town, about six miles from the center, with spacious bungalow-type houses owned by the upper middle class of all communities. Continue reading

THE MAGIC OF HARIDAS LAHORI!

Malik Omaid

BURIED FOR FORTY DAYS; WONDERFUL PERFORMANCES OF THE INDIAN FAKIRS.

Haridas

Originally published in the London Telegraph, August 22, 1880

We are not told whether the Seven Sleepers who retired to a cave in Ephesus during the reign of the Christian-killing Emperor Decius, and only woke up 155 years afterward, when Theodosins II was on the throne, made any special preparation, but probably they did not. Perhaps it was not necessary. Those were stirring times for members of the new faith, and they had little opportunity to grow obese.

But, as a rule, to fast successfully it is said to be necessary for a man to abstain beforehand, and reduce himself more carefully to the required condition by a long course of preparation. Pre-eminent at this art of suspending animation—for an art it becomes—are the Easterns, and most wonderful stories are told of the natives of India, which, whether they powers are due to narcotics or any other process, seem to open up—if true—a wide field of medical study.

Once of the Indian stories, not easily accessible, but of considerable interest on account of the known veracity of the witnesses, will probably be read with interest at the present time, and is inserted here. The author of it was one Hon. Capt. Osborn, and the notes made of his statement, here subjoined, come from an almost unique copy printed from private circulation. Continue reading

Image

Photo of the Day: A Hindu Temple in Sanda

Hindu Temple

The Photo was taken by @ShirazHassan

Eid Mubarak Lahore!

To all the readers and friends of Lahore Nama, Eid Mubarak.
May this Eid bring peace, prosperity and happiness to all of you and above all Pakistan.
Here is some photos of Rainy Eid in Lahore from Social Media.

Lahore Eid

Rainy day Lahore #Badshahimosque Photo by Jahangeer Arain #Instagram

Lahore Eid2

Eid prayer in rain at Badshahi Mosque Lahore, Pakistan Photo by Inzamam #Instagram

Lahore Eid3

Maria Memon says “Spotted in Model Town Lahore : Spare a thought for all these wardens/ police jawans who didn’t get a day off on Eid. “

WRIT PETITION FILED IN LAHORE HIGH COURT TO RESTORE JAIN MANDIR IN LAHORE AND OTHER MINORITY WORSHIPING PLACES THROUGHOUT PAKISTAN

On   20th May 2014 a Writ Petn   SYYED MOHUMMED JAWAID IQBAL JAFREE OF SLARPORE  versus STATE through CHIEF SECRETARY , GOVT OF PUNJAB AND OTHERS (INCLUDING PUBLIC AT LARGE) was filed at Lahore High Court   .. Writ Petition 13953 of 2014.
It was Preliminarily heard by MR JUSTICE Mansoor Ali Shah.
HE ORDERED THAT NOTICES ISSUE TO RESPONDENTS , AND THE cHIEF secretary (HIMSELF NOT A JOINT SECRETARY OR SECTIONN OFFICER) HEAR JAFREE PERSONALLY ON 26TH MAY Monday AND PASS A SPEAKING ORDER WITHIN ONE MONTH.. THE WRIT WOULD BE HEARD FURTHER ON 26TH June.
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The Writ also asks that national hero Shaheed BHAGHHAT SINGH be honoured with highest national honour NISHANE PAKISTAN and Post Office ordered to issue commemorative stamps, even though he is Sikh.
The Writ by Syyed Iqbal Jafree extensively quotes Constn and the Holy Quran; that places of minority worshipfulness are cultural heritage which should not be discriominated against or maligned.
I copy of the Writ has been mailed to Shri  Mahendra Kumar Mast in Chandigarh.
There is much apathy re minorities in india and Pakistan. They must now  wake up and strive for progress and change and prlogressivity orientation.
I did receive a phone calls from some Jain Trust in Bombay moments before I appeared before Lahore High Court Justice Mansoor ali shah re this matter.
But no further call.
All expenses of this Writ were borne by THE SHAHZADI MUMTAZ JAHAN TRUST. If any Indian organization or individual wants to take part in  this Litigation they must sent POWER OF ATTY to Jafree (who charges no fees) , but it must be legalized by Pakistan High Commission OR by some Pak Embassy elsewhere.
Next Court hearing is 26th June.
Regards
BARRISTER SYYED MOHUMMED JAWAID IQBAL JAFREE OF SLARPORE AND SUMMA-SATTTTTA, Senior Advoc Sup Ct of Pakistan , PC
MA LLM PhD HonLLD FRSA Paris Biennale Laureate.
——————-
LHC WRIT   ———–OF 2014; Jafree versus State (Religion)  RE FREEDOM OF RELIGION, FILED 19TH MAY 2014
BISSMILLAW :: URGENT FOR  TUESDAY, the 20th MAY 2014  (OFFICE NOT TO S V P  WASTE  TIME)

IN THE HONOURABLE LAHORE HIGH COURT, LAHORE

(Public Interest) Farze Kaffaya Application              ……….         WP _______________/2014

BARRISTER SYYED MOHUMMED JAWAID IQBAL JAFREE OF SLARPORE, BRIGHTON, PACIFIC PALISADES and SUMMA-SATTTTTA (“JAFREE”),( (General Counsel: THE SHAZADI MUMTAZ JAHAN TRIUST ( A WAKF ) + GEOFFREY+KHITRAN, (PUBLIC INTEREST LAW FIRM))) , 11 RIGHTEOUS CALIPH OMER (RA) PLAZA, ONE MOZANG ROAD,  VICINITY OF THE SACRED JAIN MANDIR . LAHORE-54000, PAKISTAN. …………………                                                                   Writ PETITIONER / INFORMANT/  AND  APPLICANT.

Versus

(1) THE STATE, through THE CHIEF SECERETARY, GOVT. OF PUNJOB, LAHORE, PAKISTAN;  (2) THE FEDERATION through THE CABINET SECRETARY, GOVT. OF PAKISTAN, ISLAMABAD-44000;  (3) THE SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF RELIGION, GOVT. OF PUNJOB, CIVIL SECTT, LAHORE-54000; (4) THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL, PAKISTAN POST OFFICES, GOVT. OF PAKISTAN, ISLAMABAD-44000;  (5) AAAAWWWWWAAA -AAAMMMMMMNNAAAAASSSS  (Public- at- Large) Properly (as Proper Party):        RESPONDENTS.

VERIFIED , SOLEMN AND VERILY -SUCCINCT  POST-NEW NATIONAL JUDICIAL POLICY IMPLEMENTATION  MERITORIOUS  APPLICATION FOR ORDERS AND DIRECTIONS AND  DECLARATORY JUDGMENT ++ HONEST-TO-GOODNESS HOLISTIC AND GENEROUSLY-THOUGHTFUL  JUDICIAL RELIEF/ REVIEW  PLUS  JUSTICE-WITH-LOVE (ADDL BILL EHSAWN) CONCERNING FRUCTIFICATION OF  FREEDOM OF RELIGION OF VULNERABLE / WORTHY MINORITIES  ((( ( E.G., THAT JAIN AND HINDU MANDIRS/ TEMPLES AND  THE SIKH  GURDAWARAS  IN  THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF PAKISTAN BE RESTORED, DECENTLY KEPT UP  AND NOT ALLOWED TO BE ABUSED BY GOONS  (AND SCURRILOUS  EXCUSES NOT MINTED) + THAT ‘MARTYR BHAGHAT SINGH’ – – OUR  NATIONAL HERO FROM LYALLPUR (a.  k. a. FAISALABAD)  BE AWARDED NISHANE PAKISTAN (RETROSPECTIVELY) ++  AND THE  PAKISTAN POST OFFICE   ISSUE COMMEMORATIVE POSTAGE  STAMPS REVERENTIALLY   HONOURING AND   CELEBRATING HIS OUTSTANDING STATUS + AUSPICIOUS  MEMORY )))  AND CONSCIENCE PURSUANT TO CONSTITUTIONAL  ARTICLES 199, 194, 187-190, 2A to 10A, 19, 23, 25, 30-40, 227 (AND PENUMBRAS THEREOF)  AND PER ORDER 27A (NOT answer-ing letters  or not addressing grievances may please  be boldly declared to be unconstitutional and against salient  principles of good governance, such practices  must be unequivocally, at long last,  banned/forbidden ) , SECTION 151, 94 CPC,  READ WITH ARTICLE 164 of PAKISTAN LAW OF EVIDENCE (QANUN-E SHAHADAT), AND SECTION 42  of the SPECIFIC RELIEF ACT ++ OTHER  LAWS , (DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL) OF PAKISTAN. EXEMPLARY INDEMNITY COSTS BE generously AND EXEMPLARILY AWARDED AS ROLE MODEL because conduct and hideous maladministration (in fact machinations and misconduct) have been disgraceful  as well as disgusting. Smug Atty.Gen+ Advs.Gen. have not taken any remedial action because they are (not  Ramday) Patronage and Pelf-Begets no’’merit  illicit appointees.

Typed and conscientiously Filed  by Barrister SyyedMohummed Jawaid Iqbal Jafree without charging any fees or expense, emailpihrights@gmail,.com+ phone 0345 426 6785 or after 3 pm Gulberg Public Interest Law Offices PIHR/G+ 0092 42 3578 5025). Filing costs fearlessly  contributed by The SMJ Trust (a Wakf). {{Time spent on preparing this Writ 24 Hours.}}.

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LHC WP———–2014, JAFREE versus STATE (JAIN)  RELIGION FILED ON 19th MAY 2014, Part 2

               Respectfully Represents Your Petitioner in Performing Farze Kaffaya and as personally  Aggrieved and Affected  Party               T  H  A  T:

1.  PARTIES:  Applicant Jafree (an affected party as vakeel and mussawere and scholar of cultural heritage)  is a denizen of Pakistan, a Muslim (and direct descendant from Holy Prophet Mohummed, S A W,  (“The Highest Jihad is Speaking Up before Powers That Be!!”)  as well as Caliph Imam Ali K A W); he is distantly also  related to The Righteous Caliph Omer RA who said ‘an acceptor of wrong is worse than the wrongdoer’. Furthermore,  has been a lawyer/barrister/ vakil + mussawere of/f and  in Pakistan and abroad for over 55 calendar years with the grace of God treating advocacy as a noble calling, and calling a spade a shovel. As an artist and aesthete (he visits architectural / interfaith / cultural heritage of nation/s; more so in his nuclear neighborhood). He is the one and the only Paris Biennial Laureate , left  in the Asia-Pacific-Africa Triangle.  Obtaining justice in Pakistan had become, pre-NNJP,  practically quite  uphill since circa 1985.  (B) Respondents and other parties are well described (which took over SIX hours to type ought) and addresses for Service of Process are given on page 1.  Supreme Court of Pakistan has lately  repeatedly directed (and even its obiter dicta must be obeyed as a matter of Rule of Law and Access to Justyice) that minorities’ rights cannot be violated. And no one is above the law. Albert Einstein declared : IF I WERE TO REMAIN SILENT, I’D BE GUILTY OF COMPLICITY.  (C)  Let’s practice what we were preached and what we have been preaching (tolerance towards other faiths and religions). Vakil means facilitator of Justice-with-love (i.e.. Addl Bill Ehsawwn).  Islam gave the world concepts of Due Process of Law (Bill Haaq) and Rajoo (Writs Error Coram Nobis and Vobis) and Equal Protection of Law for one and all without discrimination or Segregation, Make-Believe or Double Standards. (D)  In stead,  our Establishment (in all wings of Government of Pakistan) greedily got intofor the sake of  race  Plots, Peccadilloes, Pelf, Patronage, Progeny-Peddling, peacocking  Promotions , Protocol pursuits, Pettiness Pandering, Plentiful  Plots ,  and Perverting Procedure, Poly-Plotting, P’Ring,  paralegal Piri-mureedii, Preposterous Propaganda, Pestering Pomposity, et al.

2. (A)CONTINUING CAUSES OF ACTION: Today, we are accurately  being chided by the civilized societies of the global village  as nothing but a  Failed, Rogue and Dangerous, Terrorism-Oriented  State. ‘Buy the People’; ‘Far The People’ and ‘Off the Peapull’, in practice. ©  In Gujranwala opening butchers’ shops in a Jain Temples takes the caKKKe. Architectural and cultural heritage of Pakistan is being dismantled, distorted and maligned.  This is forbidden by religion and by our Constitution.  Jafree sent thousands of complaints to various authorities since 1985. No reply. Arrogance and double standards permeate. Jafree learned (verbally)  that few years ago Chief Minister of Punjob Mian Shabaaz SharrReef allocated some Rs 20 Lakhs for repairing The Jain Temple, but the public  moneys were corruptly usurped and squandered by the staff.  (B)  Our Holy Prophet ( s a w)  and Jafree’s most venerable  ancestor Prophet Mohummed (P b u h) and the Holy Quran state that there is no compulsion in religion and Prophet Mohummed (P b u h) used to routinely  allow followers of other religions/ faiths to perform their religious duties in the Mosque, because all  temples/ churches/ pagodas/ temples/ mandirs and synagogues are all places of God All Mighty not anyone’s personal or personnel or professional property, Realty® or reality.  The Jains are peace-loving and non-violent hardworking  people. Also parsees, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Sikhs  (please, do recall Holy-man MahaGuru Nanak Dev Jii enthusiastically   performed two hajjs by foot, but he righteously  became significantly  disappointed/ irritated by our moolah-oriented  mulLAWS). Furthermore,  Jews or The Others ( discrete Minorities) who in/voluntarily  left Pakistan due to political exploitation or intolerance (by our socalled Elite nouveau riche segment) have committed no wrong against Pakistan. Quaide Azam Mohummed Ali Jinnah must be turning in his grave. (C)  Jain Mandir near Jafree Law Offices has been grossly violated, debilitated and politically-sponsored  LAND mAFIA and Sir Nawazzz SharrrrReef (BA HonGCMG, previously also claiming to be MA+ LLB)  aficionados have opened up garbage and other commercial and untenable  shops there. Similar and other  Jain Mandirs in other parts of Pakistan have been and are continuingly being  desecrated and violated (See the  Documentation in the accompanying Documentation). Similarly churches, pagodas, other places of non-Moslem worships have been commercially exploited and are being  wrongfully and maliciously being constantly and continually desecrated which is intolerable as  crying shame and constitutional wrongs (OUTRAGES).  In  other civilized countries such matters are vigorously  litigated by law Officers, here the  ‘’’ Ganges flows upside down’’’ and in reverse, and far worse.

GROUNDS  : The  pernicious misconduct, obstinacy  and callous maladministration of Respondents 1 to 4 and their subordinates and colluding  colleagues are  illegal, unconstitutional,  mala fide and disastrous,  militate against    good governance , common weal and public interest (see page 1). Attorney General and all Advocates Generals have failed to respond affirmatively or to provide any relief whatsoever to date in spite of countless requests. They don’t seem to be interested in  common good or good governance, but pine for  personnel promotions and personal loyalty to their nouveau riche, greed and territory/TURF control and constitutes blindly following the current  ‘fiendish-ing’   Overlards. That goes beyond Just Expectations, Margin of Appreciation, Doctrine of Subsidiarity as well as all tenets of Good Governance and  Proportionality. It makes no sense whatever  and in fact is disgraceful and beyond redemption and suc h callousness is bringing bad name to Pakistan as well as Islam. This must now be nipped if Pakistan is to survive. Discrete and vulnerable minorities asre suffering immeasurable and incalculable harm is being catered and being done. All affirmative equities weigh in favour of providing actual substantive relief.

T H E R E F O R E

(i) Relief humbly  requested above (also see Overleaf)  be granted (on standing and other aspects,  please See   MALICK versus MALICK [1925] 52AC 145 (Privy Council upholding Nagpur High Court judgment; Objective Resolution is the  grundnorm: PLD 1990 K 342)) generously, inter alia,   by virtue of  a DeclARATION PRELIMINARY AND PERPETUAL. The Honourable Court declare the rights, responsibilities and duties of the Parties (this is the current mode of providing holistic  relief – – without beating about the bushes or Bushes and Barrick Hussein Osamas (Obama so written in Kenya) in all Common Law an d other civilized jurisdictions). (ii)  Respondents be commanded to protect the Jain Mandirs and other places of worship of discrete and vulnerable minorities (belonging to Islamic or any other faith).  (iii) The Jain Mandir, near Geoffrey and Khitran Law Offices close to Old Anarkali and Lytton (Janazgah) Roads in Lahore  be suitably  repaired and restored; (iv)  and the Jain Mandirs in  Gujranwala be ordered  vacated most expeditiously  and appropriately  restored. More so the CRUEL AND UNUSUAL “PUNISHMENT” (FOR PURPOSES COMMERCIAL AND dispensing  POLITICAL ARROGANCE, Might is Righteousness) Butcher Shops opened in Gujranwala  Jain and/or Hindu Mandirs/Temples  be closed and destroyed and Jains be allowed to visit these mandirs and perform their rituals,  ceremonies and  carry out traditional cleansing operations. (v)  A Jain pandit or Temple-keeping person be allowed to reside in each province of Pakistan to look after their mandirs and temples. No shops, other operatrions should remain IN  THESE and other places of worship.  (vi) And respondents’ worsening inefficiency and  habit, under colour of law and otherwise,  of not answering letters (violates inter alia  Sections 23,24,27 of the General Clauses Act, and p. 578, Volume  VI, Muariffe Quran published by the University of the Punjob)) be declared to be unconstitutional and against public interest and common good.  (vii) Court Proceedings be ordered  officially tape-recorded. (viii)  Further, other and additional Relief be granted. (ix) All places of minority worship and other sacred places of offering  prayers  should be restored gradually and looked after. (x)  The Honourable  Court unequivocally declare the religious rights of Minorities of all religions and declare Sectarianism, blasphemous  or prejudicial practices as illegal and reprehensible , to wit: subject to severest  sanctions and actual  punishment for  Contempt, obstruction of justice, sabotaging of the Constitution and other penal proceedings and sternest  penalties and exactions. (xi) to me your faith, to me my faith (God in Holy Quran, 109:6)+Let there be no compulsion in religion, Quran 2:256 + Surely the noblest amongst you is the most knowledgable, Holy Quran 49:13. + So vie with one another in  good works (Quran, 5:48) + God does not like harsh accusations except by the wronged, Quran 4:148-149.  (xii) (a)  Always go too far .. for that is where you will find the truth:  Albert Camus.(b)  Truth shall make you free (Saint John)

Jafree, most humbly,  offers to prove up all of the above per Pakistan Law of Evidence Order (Qanune Shahadat) which includes innovative  telltale Article 164 as part of the law of the land.

  • Before concluding Applicant humbly but responsibly  reminds the  Honourable Court that our Holy Prophet, peace be upon him,  calibrated : The ink of a scholar is worthier than the blood of many-splendoured martyrs.
  • Great and Righteous Caliph (then concurrently  the Chief Justice of the biggest Empire of that time on the face of the Good Earth) HaZrat Umer RA warned : EVEN IF   A DOG ROAMS  HUNGRY ALONG THE banks of  RIVER EUPHRATES,  I WILL BE HELD STRICTLY  accountable and fully  RESPONSIBLE. HE STRONGLY and sternly   CONDEMNED HYPOCRISY AS THE LEAST FORGIVABLE OF SINS. THAT SQUARELY  APPLIES, MUTATIS MUTANDIS,  TO THE BANKS OF  our own  DOMESTIC  RAVI… NOW – –  what a shame – –  THAT  HALF OF THE COUNTRY’S  INNOCENT DENIZENS  ARE GOING WITHOUT PROPER MEALS A DAy .
  • MashawLAW :  Our Judges of the superior judiciary  are the highest paid in tax free overall terms  ( their remunerations inluding  multifaceted perks and privileges of all kinds  worth taxfree many  Millions a month besides salary + retirement benefits and new plump positions and prestige after Retirement)  in the history of mankind. Besides and beyond that  it is their inherent and innate  duty AND RESPONSIBILITY   to  actually and fearlessly provide nothing less than COMPLEAT AND HOLISTIC  justice across the board to one and all .Moreover,   HONESTLY all residents, denizens and citizens of Pakistan must  respect REAL  merit and GENUINE  tacqva.
  • There exists  no reprieve, forgivance,  immunity or impunity for In Justice = injustice. No one is above the law except God. We, all of us in the Legal Calling , ought ethically and conscientiously   serve as example makers, as upfront  role models and guide the world by setting examples. We cannot walk with our heads high by operating as functional ostriches. The religion of our massive majority demands sacrifices and speaking up, giraffe like performance without fear or favour .. to do Right with all kind of people. This was not being done pre-NNJP.

Oral arguments will, inshawLAW,  be made which the court which  is requested and most  welcome to officially Tape record the proceedings. Incidentally work stoppages/ closures and Hartalls are illegal and anti-Islamic as obstruction of access to  justice and sabotaging of the  Constitution. A wrong is a wrong is a wrong by any other name or nomenclature. It must not be acquiesced in or encouraged as a public relations device of running with the turtle and  haunting with the greyhounds. It is dreadful and disastrous. We have to turn the page and make a paradigm shift from newfound and past practices.

Respectfully Submitted:

AGGRIEVED PETITIONER/ APPLICANT SIMULTANEOUSLY  GENUINELY-PERFORMING FARZE KAFFAYA  AS AN OFFICER OF THE COURT AND AS NONSTATE ACTOR (PER ARTS. 2A-7, 9, 10  OF THE CONSTITUTION)       THROUGH

PRO BONO PUBLICO    COUNSEL    ::   BARRISTER SYYED MOHUMMED JAWAID IQBAL JAFREE OF SLARPORE AND SUMMA-SATTTTTTA’      ASC PC     1382    “A WORLD CLASS PUBLIC INTEREST Lawyer” per Honorable Lahore High Court…

CERTIFICATE OF COUNSEL :

All administrative or other remedies have been explored and exhausted  over last  5 years. No other  relief is available or proficient and efficacious. The CVourts must take the bull by the horn. This is first writ on the subject per instructions. Counsel’s  discounted fee as Indemnity Costs is U S  $786.92 only  per hour. Income tax is voluntarily and promptly  paid by this Ethical counsel within 48 hours of receipt of any fees or Indemnity Costs. Fees are not banked abroad. SO HELP ME GODAS PAKISTAN IS DROWNING IN indigenously-manufactured  ‘IN’ INJUSTICE (“In” is fashionable, currently trendy). The world ridicules and mocks us with  lamentable derision and distrust. Extremis malis .. extrema remedia!! I thank God that am not one of those (totally power crazy- in actuality  pygmies) who share  or can claim any sanctimony or  ‘credit’ or plots for any part in that dismal  outcome. I have faithfully practiced law as a noble calling against oddest hurdles  by not making speeches or begging patronage and  plots and favours for pogeny/ partners but by means and virtue of  (to borrow an apropos   Urdu expression) “cutting the stomach of my own nuclear family”. Abuse of merit in our God-fearing  Country has reached mega-proportions which invite the wrath and qehr of God All Mighty;  and nation’s traitors are  roaming scott free,  are being seen on the scene by proliferating companions (since the Bhutto days and nights)  modern day jajuz ‘n majooz maligning/ victimizing  the  innocent country,  decent/ virtuous  countrymen and worsening our conscience under stress for the sake of  their naked lust for power,  shameless turf control, perverse territory-snatching (previously plots in every town with false affidavits and 11 ft tall clout touting  and worsening perversion of power)  and furthering  murderous, hate-filled  bad Faith.

 
 

‘Vande Maataram’ from Lahore

Banday Matram from Lahore

Lahore-Rain and birds

Lahore today

Lahore today2

Photos by Sumair Mustansar Tarar

The famed Purani Anarkali

 

A classic painting of Purani Anarkali, Lahore

A classic painting of
Purani Anarkali, Lahore

Jahangir’s Tomb, Lahore

The tomb of Emperor Jahangir who ruled India 1605-1027, is another jewel in the crown of Mughal architecture. The tomb is situated in Lahore, in Noor Jahan’s old pleasure garden known as Dilkusha Garden. The mausoleum is located at Shahdara on the banks of the Ravi, three miles northwest of the city. in the centre of which stands the magnificent sepulcher of Jahangir, considered by some to be the “finest ornament of Lahore,” and the “most magnificent edifice in the subcontinent after the Taj and the Qutub.”
The combination of red Sikri stone and white marble, an arrangement echoing Humayun’s tomb in Delhi, and a rare treat for Lahore not least for its intricate inlay, is impressive in its finesse and sophistication. Where the external expression is restrained in its dignified simplicity, internally decorative surfaces present you the best of tile mosaic and fresco that made Lahore famous in the whole of the Mughal Empire.
Following are some photos of the tomb “tweeted” by our twitter handle @lahorenama

 

Note: Info credit “ualberta” website, Photos credit “Kasim Osmani”.

Lahore Festivities, Spring and Basant

Spring in Lahore arrives with colorful flowers, joyful traditions, dance, music and what not. And once upon a time there were kites, or better yet the kites used to rule all of the above. They were the main identity of spring.
Just a decade back all of the above said things were prevalent in Lahore. Dance, concerts, and the famous Basant were trademarks of Lahore but as we grew more religious we came to the conclusion that all of these are very harmful. Signboards of “Smoking kills” was replaced by “kites kill” and the much loved music, concerts and dance were always “unethical”. These were spared earlier because of “killer Basant” but eventually we have advanced our celebrations. We have made our festivities more kosher. Apparently, they now only exist in Models floating in Lahore canal.
The intention of this blog was to cheerfully introduce the colorful models and flowers that lighten up the Lahore canal and Mall road celebrating spring. But as I think about it, I cannot digest the irony that our government has taken these smiles, dance and festivities from the living and carved them on the hard board Models!
We willfully lost our heritage and here we are celebrating it on Lahore canal with meaningless floats!

 

Colorful Models lighten up in the Lahore canal as Part of Jashan-e-Baharan festival

Colorful Models lighten up in the Lahore canal as Part of Jashan-e-Baharan festival

Models of various monuments in Pakistan afloat in the Lahore canal for the Jashan-e-Baharan celebrations

Models of various monuments in Pakistan afloat in the Lahore canal for the Jashan-e-Baharan celebrations

 

Models of various animals afloat in the Lahore canal for the Jashan-e-Baharan celebrations

Models of various animals afloat in the Lahore canal for the Jashan-e-Baharan celebrations

 

A model depicting a man and his monkey float in the Lahore canal for the Jashan-e-Baharan celebrations

A model depicting a man and his monkey float in the Lahore canal for the Jashan-e-Baharan celebrations

People observe models erected as part of the Jashan-e-Baharan celebrations

People observe models erected as part of the Jashan-e-Baharan celebrations

Models dot Lahore's canal as part of the Jashan-e-baharan celebrations

Models dot Lahore’s canal as part of the Jashan-e-baharan celebrations

Motorist ride past colorful light and models set up for the Jashan-e-Baharan celebrations

Motorist ride past colorful light and models set up for the Jashan-e-Baharan celebrations

Giant coloful models of peacock dot the canal road as part the Jashan-e-Baharan celebrations

Giant coloful models of peacock dot the canal road as part the Jashan-e-Baharan celebrations

Models of various monuments in Pakistan afloat in the Lahore canal for the Jashan-e-Baharan celebrations

Models of various monuments in Pakistan afloat in the Lahore canal for the Jashan-e-Baharan celebrations

Illuminated lamps dot  the Lahore canal for the Jashan-e-Baharan celebrations

Illuminated lamps dot the Lahore canal for the Jashan-e-Baharan celebrations

Models of women look over a sea of illuminated lillies in the Lahore canal for the Jashan-e-Baharan celebrations

Models of women look over a sea of illuminated lillies in the Lahore canal for the Jashan-e-Baharan celebrations

Trees along Lahore canal are illuminated as part of the Jashan-e-Baharan celebrations

Trees along Lahore canal are illuminated as part of the Jashan-e-Baharan celebrations

Photos and captions are taken from the Etribune.

Walking Through History | The Walled City of Lahore

Saira A Nizami

The Old City, or the Walled City of Lahore is in the northwestern part of Lahore, Punjab. The visitor is given access to the city by 13 gates, few of them being Bhati Gate, Lahori Gate and Roshnai Gate.

As he visits the Walled City, Razi Rumi shares these rich moments and his thoughts while walking through streets of Lahore:

FortMughal architecture: Lahore Fort’s beautiful wall with original frescoes. Has survived amid history’s atrocities and government’s negligence.

Faqir Khana Museum

Lahore’s heritage: Inside the Faqir Khana Museum, Bhatti Gate. Some of the carpets are from the Emperor Shah Jahan’s era.

Haveli Naunehal Singh

Imagine living in a room with such amazing frescos – A hidden corner of Haveli Naunehal Singh, walled city of Lahore.

Balcony

Wouldn’t you love to have balcony like this? Spotted in walled city Lahore.

Little Girl in Hijab

Met this young girl in walled city Lahore last week.

Wall

Unfortunate graffiti on one of the 17th century walls of Lahore fort. However there is a guy out there who loves US.

Twinkle School

Twinkle Scholar (private) school has great advertising. Also shows what is valued as success.

School in walled city

Clever combination of modern and traditional education: Madrassa Safeena-tul Quran.

Spices

Ready for artwork? Look again, these are walled city Lahore’s colorful spices

Victoria School

A majestic structure that survives the vagaries of time .With those breathtaking frescos — Haveli Nonehal Singh, Lahore

Victoria School2

A hidden jewel in the densely populated walled city of #Lahore. Haveli Nonehal Singh, Victoria School since 150 years.

GraveStone

When I was procuring old plates, saw this too. The guy got the sign made and only 22 years later had to leave Lahore.

Colonial Plate

A spode plate – India Tree- found in the rubble of Lahore‘s colonial past.

Building with the inscription

The half-burnt building in Shah Alam Market tells the story of a bank that was never meant to be

From the foundation stone to the very inch of the complete structure – every building encompasses a journey. But some stories always remain untold like the story of Gobind Ram and Hindustan Commercial Bank. Sixty years since the partition of India and the building with the inscription ‘Gobind Ram Kahan’ and ‘Hindustan Commercial Bank Established 1805′ still remains amidst the hustle bustle of vendors, gold and crockery traders of Rang Mahal in the walled city.

Badar Munir Butt of AL-Sadiq Jewellers was four years old in 1947. Though he faintly remembers the partition violence he has heard stories about Gobind Ram and the building. His shop is adjacent to the half burnt building. According to him, Gobind Ram owned a shop at the ground floor of the present building. Trader of achaar, chatni and sharbat, Gobind Ram’s sharbat was very famous in this area. Supposedly, one of the richest men in this area he was well-respected too. And, with money comes influence. When he, with his family, left Lahore for India he had put the money and jewellery in the basement of this same building. Some years after the partition he came here with Army officials from both India and Pakistan and took away all the jewellery and money that they had kept safe in the basement. To the neighbours’ dismay, the loads of gold and money kept lying there all those years without them knowing about it.

According to an elderly man who owns a shop in the basement of the building.and also one of the oldest residents of the area, Gobind Ram’s sharbat was “famous and if one bought it for one takka, one would reach Amritsar but the sharbat wouldn’t finish.”

All the gates of Lahore survived the violence of partition except the Shah Alam Gate which was destroyed along with other buildings in this area. From Shah Alam to Rang Mahal, this was the sole building that survived and that only because it was a new building. Some myths follow the existence of a trench in the basement that goes to the Lahore Fort.

The branch of Hindustan Commercial Bank for which the new building was made never saw the light of the day. Established in 1805 one branch of the bank was supposed to be opened here in Lahore and Gobind Ram was among the partners.

Majeed Sheikh, a renowned historian, informed that The Hindustan Commercial Bank Lahore was to be one of the five branches of the bank that was established in 1805 and whose first branch was opened in Amritsar. The bank opened in Bengal on January 2, 1809. Two branches were to be opened in Lahore, one here in the walled city and the other in Neela Gumbad. “After 1965 war with India the building was declared enemy property.”

During the partition the present area of Rang Mahal, Suha Bazaar and the adjoining area was a Hindu majority area. A Baowli, a reminiscence of the Sikh history in Lahore, was also situated in this area. The Baowli was destroyed during the partition violence. But some Sikhs visit it even today to remember the long forgotten ghosts. Dr Khan, the Chief Minister of One Unit, got the Baowli renovated during his government. Haveli Mian Khan, also located here, now has almost hundred small houses in its premises. Settlement Department gave the houses on claim while some were built.

Kashmiri Bazaar was the hub of trade in pre-partition days. There was a press and several famous shops in this locality. Being a Hindu majority area the trade and business of this area was also controlled by Hindus. Now the building is encircled by garment shops, gold market and crockery.

This article was originally posted here written by Sarah Sikander.

Image

Lahore Canal

Lahore Canal

Beautiful View of Lahore Canal

Photo by Saad Ahmad Qasmi

The long road to ecological justice

We are posting this article by Ahmad Rafay Alam originally published in daily Dawn. In this article, Alam critically evaluates judicial proceedings with respect to the Lahore Canal Road project. The writer urges the government not to squander the heritage of the city for the “.. Canal Heritage Park is part of the Lahori psyche, as much as the Walled City, the Shalimar Gardens or halva puri. Civil Society must understand that as long as the city grows, pressures to sacrifice our heritage must be forever guarded against. The battle is and will remain ongoing…”  

LahoreCANALBefore parting with this judgment, we would like to acknowledge the admirable spirit demonstrated by petitioners’ organization, by those individuals, architects, urban planners, academics and students for protection of city’s ecological and environmental horizons. During hearing of this case, the Court was touched by the rainbow of idealism, of intellect, of architectural ability, of urban development and mental health expertise of graces and youthful exuberance… As long as this spirit is alive, we are sanguine, the authorities and the leadership would continue to be guided by the values of sustainable human and urban development.

— Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani, in SMC No. 25 of 2009

Following the September 2011 decision of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in Lahore Canal Road widening case (SMC No. 25 of 2009), the Government of Punjab wasted no time in cutting down trees to widen the road along the green belt for a stretch of the Lahore Canal. Many could be forgiven in thinking there was little other in the judgment of the Court, but they would be wrong. The widening of a limited stretch of road along the Lahore Canal was only one of 10 directions the Court had given. The first was that the entire length of the Lahore Canal and its green belt “shall be treated as a Heritage Urban Park forthwith and declared so by an Act to be passed by the Assembly…”The Punjab Assembly’s Standing Committee on Housing, Urban Development and Public Health Engineering held hearings in December 2012 where representatives of the Lahore Conservation Society, Lahore Bachao Tehreek and WWF-Pakistan provided input to the draft legislation prepared by the Government of Punjab. Although the law was being prepared in pursuance of the Court’s judgment, there were reservations against the draft, which allowed the Government of Punjab carte blanche, especially on the controversial issue of more infrastructure development along the Canal. Despite these reservations, the Lahore Canal Heritage Park Act, 2013 was passed on 14 January 2013, making it the first urban and heritage park legislation in Pakistan (other parks are protected by notification). It is also a major success for civil society in Lahore and Pakistan. How often can a civil society movement anywhere lay claim to have traversed the full spectrum of activism: from protest and advocacy to legislation and policy?

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The preamble to the Act provides “Whereas the Lahore canal and the green belts on both sides of the canal is a public trust and is part of the heritage of the city of Lahore; therefore, it is expedient to make provisions for the maintenance of a salubrious environment and conservation of the Lahore Canal as a heritage park; to preserve the flora and fauna of this heritage park; and to provide for ancillary matters.” The maintenance of the Heritage Park has been made the responsibility of the Parks and Horticulture Authority and an Advisory Committee established to advise the PHA on upkeep and maintenance.

The Act prohibits the construction on infrastructure, felling or damage of or to trees, pollution of water, hunting and use of firearms in the Heritage Park, but allows the PHA to give permission to any of these prohibited acts provided a list of criterion are met.

The Advisory Committee comprises nominees of government departments and civil society. The membership of the Advisory Committee was designed to ensure continuing civil society participation in decisions that would affect the Lahore Canal. However, by allowing the PHA the power to override the decisions of the Advisory Committee, the Act fails to properly value this participation.

The Advisory Committee has so far met thrice and has proposed rules of procedure for itself, has directed the delineation of the boundaries of the Heritage Park and is planning a tree master plan for the park. Once its rules of procedure are set, the Advisory Committee will be in a position to undertake initiatives in the Heritage Park.

canal-road

What has been surprising was the request, recently made at the 3rd meeting of the Advisory Committee, to consider a proposal for additional road-widening and three U-turns along the Canal. The Committee was told such an initiative would improve traffic congestion. However, I have my doubts. If the road widening of last year now requires another Rs. 400 million of infrastructure to “reduce traffic congestion” and Lahore still does not have a traffic or urban Master Plan, then there is grave risk that an ad-hoc initiative will be at the cost of legally protected heritage.

Civil Society must understand that the growth and development of Lahore will forever remain ongoing. What is important is that we give back to the city something that our children and their children can hold as heritage. The Canal Heritage Park is part of the Lahori psyche, as much as the Walled City, the Shalimar Gardens or halva puri. Civil Society must understand that as long as the city grows, pressures to sacrifice our heritage must be forever guarded against. The battle is and will remain ongoing.

The writer is a partner at Saleem, Alam & Company, and member of the Lahore Canal Heritage Park Committee

Pakistan’s Identity Battle Plays Out in Lahore

Bhagat_jpg_1225585g

The battle for Pakistan’s identity is playing out in Lahore’s streets and – oddly, on its thoroughfares and intersections. On 23rd March, this year, a group of civil society representatives gathered at Lahore’s Shadman Chowk to commemorate the 82nd death anniversary of Bhagat Singh, a Sikh freedom fighter renowned for his revolutionary struggle as part of the independence movement, and who became stuff of legend when he was hanged by the British in 1931 after a brief but eventful insurrection against colonial rule. The gathering, however, was disrupted by members of a religious group which was holding a protest aimed at denouncing the idea of renaming the chowk after Bhagat Singh, simultaneously.

The chowk and the adjacent area used to be Lahore’s central jail during the British Raj, and Bhagat Singh is believed to have been hanged at the site of what is now Shadman Chowk.

Late last year, a group of Lahoris made progress in getting local officials to rename a busy traffic circle for Bhagat Singh, a Sikh revolutionary who. They see it as a chance to honor a local hero who they feel transcends the ethnic and sectarian tensions gripping the country today — and also as an important test of the boundaries of inclusiveness here.

But in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, questions of religious identity also become issues of patriotism, and the effort has raised alarm bells among conservatives and Islamists. The circle was named in 2010 for Chaudhry Rehmat Ali, a Muslim student who coined the name Pakistan in the 1930s, and there was an outcry at the news that it might be renamed for a non-Muslim.

“If a few people decide one day that the name has to be changed, why should the voice of the majority be ignored?” asked Zahid Butt, the head of a neighborhood business association here and a leader of the effort to block the renaming.

The fight over the traffic circle — which, when they are pressed, locals usually just call Shadman Circle, after the surrounding neighborhood — has become a showcase battle in a wider ideological war over nomenclature and identity here and in other Pakistani cities.

Although many of Lahore’s prominent buildings are named for non-Muslims, there has been a growing effort to “Islamize” the city’s architecture and landmarks, critics of the trend say. In that light, the effort to rename the circle for Mr. Singh becomes a cultural counteroffensive.

“Since the ’80s, the days of the dictator Gen. Zia ul-Haq, there has been an effort that everything should be Islamized — like the Mall should be called M. A. Jinnah Road,” said Taimur Rahman, a musician and academic from Lahore, referring to one of the city’s central roads and to the country’s founder. “They do not want to acknowledge that other people, from different religions, also lived here in the past.”

A recent nationwide surge in deadly attacks against religious minorities, particularly against Ahmadi and Hazara Shiites, has again put a debate over tolerance on the national agenda. Though most Sikhs fled Pakistan soon after the partition from India in 1947, the fight over whether to honor a member of that minority publicly bears closely on the headlines for many.

A push to honor Mr. Singh has been going on here for years. But it was not until the annual remembrance of his birth in September that things came to a head. A candlelight demonstration to support renaming the traffic circle had an effect, and a senior district official agreed to start the process. As part of it, he asked the public to come forward with any objections. The complaints started pouring in.

Traders of Shadman Market, the local trade group led by Mr. Butt, threatened a strike. Chillingly, warnings against the move were issued by leaders of the Islamic aid group Jamaat-ud-Dawa, largely believed to be a front for the militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. Clerics voiced their opposition during Friday Prayer.

The issue quickly became a case for the city’s High Court, which said it would deliberate on a petition, initiated by Mr. Butt and a coalition of religious conservatives, to block the name change. That was in November, and the case still awaits a hearing date. The provincial government has remained in tiptoe mode ever since. “It is a very delicate matter,” said Ajaz Anwar, an art historian and painter who is the vice chairman of a civic committee that is managing the renaming process.

Mr. Anwar said some committee members had proposed a compromise: renaming the circle after Habib Jalib, a widely popular postindependence poet. That move has been rejected out of hand by pro-Singh campaigners.

Mr. Rahman and other advocates for renaming the circle paint it as a test of resistance to intolerance and extremism, and they consider the government and much of Lahore society to have failed it.

“The government’s defense in the court has been very halfhearted,” said Yasser Latif Hamdani, a lawyer representing the activists. “The government lawyer did not even present his case during earlier court proceedings.”

The controversy threatens to become violent. On March 23, the anniversary of Mr. Singh’s death, police officers had to break up a heated exchange between opposing groups at the circle.

Mr. Rahman and the other supporters have vowed to continue fighting, saying it has become a war over who gets to own Pakistan’s history.

“There is a complete historical amnesia and black hole regarding the independence struggle from the British,” Mr. Rahman said, adding of the Islamists, “They want all memories to evaporate.”

 {Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/31/world/asia/plan-to-rename-traffic-circle-provokes-outcry-in-lahore-pakistan.html?ref=global-home&_r=1&}

Lahore, how I love thee

By  ET:

I may not have seen the whole world yet,

But I have seen a lot of it.

Sure, I left my heart in Paris,

Yes I lost my self,

Wandering the sloping streets of San Francisco

True, my mind found solace at the top of Mont Blanc

Yet, my soul will always belong to Lahore

The city that still captivates me, like no other

Maybe I’m biased; maybe it is nostalgia,

But when I am in Lahore, my soul is alive,

The whole city pulsates with unabashed life

The sounds of New York,

The lights of Hollywood,

Even the grandiose of Las Vegas,

Nothing,

Nothing compares to this city of my childhood,

The city where my soul sings,

The air in Lahore,

Smells like a thousand rainbows of my childhood.

So what,

If that scent now has traces of gunfire in it?

The sunrise in Lahore,

Has colours like no other,

So what,

If those colours are now tainted with innocent blood?

The sound of a dozen Azans at once still leave me spellbound.

Even though I now hear,

Echoing with Allah-u-Akbar,

The wails of mothers who lost their sons

Yet, my soul refuses to let go,

It pulls me back to this city,

Again and again. And again.

This bloodied and broken;

Impossibly majestic city of mine;

Lahore.

You are home to my soul, may you survive and thrive.

For my soul will forever, belong to you.

Lahore Architechture

Akbari Serai (built 1640s)

Akbari SeraiThe so-called Akbari Serai is an 470 by 365 meter courtyard situated between Jahangir’s Tomb to the east and Asaf Khan’s tomb to the west. Although commonly referred to as a Serai, or caravan market, the courtyard was intended both as a staging area for official visits to the tomb and as a place of residence for the huffaz (caretakers) who worked at the mausoleums. The 180 hujra, or cells, around the courtyard were used as living areas and storage spaces for luggage, weapons, and other gear carried by visitors to the tombs. Its function and general design is similar to the jilaukhana (literally, ‘front of the house’) found at the Taj Mahal built by Jahangir’s son, Shah Jehan.

The most impressive feature of the courtyard is the gateway on its east side leading to Jahangir’s mausoleum. Opposite the gateway is a small mosque. The north and south ends of the courtyard are punctuated with gateways providing access to the whole ensemble.

Asaf Khan Tomb (built 1642)

Photo 2Asaf Khan was the brother of Nur Jahan, foremost of Emperor Jahangir’s twenty wives. He was also the father of Mumtaz Mahal, wife of Emperor Shah Jahan and the woman for whom the Taj Mahal was built.

Asaf Khan’s clan rose to power as his sister gained entry into Jahangir’s court. Jahangir had long been addicted to opium and alcohol, and as his addiction worsened he relied more and more on his close aides for day to day governing of the empire. Asif Khan’s sister, Nur Jahan, used the opportunity to take power for herself. In 1625 she used her influence to obtain the governorship of Lahore for her brother, Asaf Khan. He held the position for a mere two years before Emperor Jahangir died in 1627. In the struggle for succession that followed, Asaf Khan broke ranks with his sister and sided with his son in law, the future Shah Jahan, in his bid for succession. When Shah Jahan emerged victorious Nur Jahan was placed under comfortable house arrest and lived out the remainder of her days as a poetess and sponsor of the arts.

Asaf Khan was placed in command of an army attacking Bijapur in 1632 but he failed to take the city. Shah Jahan retained him in the court but he never reached the heights of power that he had previously enjoyed. He died in June 1642 while fighting the forces of the rebel Raja Jagat Singh Pathania. He was accorded high honors in the placement of his tomb just a few hundred meters to the west of Emperor Jahangir’s own tomb.

Octagonal tombs were never used for emperors but they were commonly employed for burial of high-ranking noblemen such as Asaf Khan. The bulbous dome that crowns the tomb is an innovation of Shah Jahan’s era that was used to great effect at other sites such as the Taj Mahal.

Ali Mardan Khan Tomb (built 1657)

Ali Mardan Khan TombAli Mardan Khan was a high official in the Mughal Empire under Shah Jahan. Born into a Kurdish family, he served as governor of Kandahar under Persia’s Safavid dynasty, becoming a close confidant of Shah Abbas. After the Shah’s death in 1629, he became fearful for his life as the Shah’s successor Shah Safi (Sam Mirza) purged courtiers that had been loyal to his grandfather. In 1637, Ali Mardan Khan offered to surrender Kandahar to the Mughal Empire in exchange for his safety. Shah Jahan agreed to the offer, probably with some enthusiam as Kandahar had been under the control of the Mughals during the reign of Jahangir, Shah Jahan’s father.

As a Mughal officer, Ali Mardan Khan provided guidance on canal instruction, especially in regard to the Shah Nahar canal of Shalimar Gardens. When he died in 1657, he was buried adjacent to his mother in the tomb prepared for her next to the canal at Mughalpura. Originally, the tomb sat amidst a large garden, but today only the large gateway survives.

As the tomb sits within the confines of a modern-day rail yard, the authorities have built a kilometer long passageway from the street to the tomb in an effort to prevent visitors from trespassing on the rail yard grounds.

Badshahi Mosque (built 1672-74)

Badshahi MosqueBadshahi mosque is one of the few significant architectural monuments built during Emperor Aurangzeb’s long rule from 1658 to 1707. It is presently the fifth largest mosque in the world and was indisputably the largest mosque in the world from 1673 to 1986 when the Faisal Mosque was constructed in Islamabad. Although it was built late in the Mughal era in a period of relative decline, its beauty, elegance, and scale epitomize Mughal cultural achievement like no other monument in Lahore.

Construction of the mosque began in 1671 under the direction of Muzaffar Hussain (Fida’i Khan Koka), Aurangzeb’s brother-in-law and the governor of Lahore. It was originally planned as a reliquary to safeguard a strand of the Prophet’s hair. Its grand scale is influenced by the Jama Mosque of Delhi which had been built by Aurangzeb’s father Shah Jahan. The plan of Badshahi mosque is essentially a square measuring 170 meters on each side. Since the north end of the mosque was built along the edge of the Ravi river, it was not possible to install a north gate like the one used in the Jama Mosque, and a south gate was also not constructed in order to maintain the overall symmetry. Within the courtyard, the prayer hall features four minarets that echo in minature the four minarets at each corner of the mosque’s perimeter.

The prominence of the mosque in the imperial vision was such that it was constructed just a few hundred meters to the west of Lahore Fort. A special gate facing the mosque was added to the fort and designated the Alamgiri gate. The space in between–the future Hazuri Bagh garden–was used as a parade ground where Aurangzeb would review his troops and courtiers. The Hazuri Bagh appears to be at a lower level than the mosque since the latter was built on a six meter plinth to help prevent flooding.

The mosque did not fare well during the rule of Ranjit Singh, the Maharaja of the Sikh Empire. When Ranjit Singh took control of Lahore in 1799 the mosque’s courtyard was used as a stable and the hujras (cells) around the perimeter were occupied by his soldiers. Ranjit Singh himself used the adjacent Hazuri Bagh as his official royal court. When William Moorcroft of England visited Lahore in 1820, he recorded that the mosque as being used as an exercise ground for the Sipahi infantry. Twenty years later, a moderate earthquake struck lahore and collapsed the delicate marble turrets at the tops of each minaret. The open turrets were used as gun emplacements a year later when Ranjit Singh’s son, Sher Singh, occupied the mosque to bombard Lahore Fort during the Sikh civil war.

After the British took control of Lahore in 1846 they continued to use Badshahi Mosque as a military garrison. It was not until 1852 that the British established the Badshahi Mosque Authority to oversee the restoration of the mosque so that it could be returned to Muslims as a place of worship. Although repairs were carried out, it was not until 1939 that extensive repairs began under the oversight of architect Nawab Zen Yar Jang Bahadur. The repairs continued until 1960 and were completed at a cost of 4.8 million rupees.

Buddu Tomb (built mid 17th-century)

Buddu TombTraditionally, this tomb is attributed to Buddu, a brick manufacturer during the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan (r. 1628-58). However, it may in fact be the tomb of the wife of Khan-i-dauran Bahadur Nusrat Jang, a high-ranking nobleman in the court of Shah Jahan. The domed tomb likely once stood amidst a garden, but all traces of landscaping have vanished.

Chauburji Gate (built 1646)

Photo 1The Chauburji gate is the only remnant of a large garden that has all but disappeared. It now stands alone in a grassy roundabout at the intersection of Multan Road and Bhawalpur Road. There is considerable uncertainty regarding who constructed it. An inscription on the monument gives the date 1056 AH (1646) and attributes it to “Sahib-e-Zebinda Begam-e-Dauran”. According to the 19th century historian Syad Muhammad Latif, the full inscription reads:

“This garden, in the pattern of the garden of paradise, has been founded…

(the second line has been effaced)

The garden has been bestowed on Mian Bai

By the bounty of Zebinda Begam, the lady of the age”.

Latif believed that Mian Bai was the favorite female attendent of Zebina Begam. He recounts a story from the Shah Jahan-nama that the garden was laid out on the orders of Zebina Begam with direct supervision delegated to a Mian Bai. As the princess approached the garden as it neared completion, she heard people saying that the princess was on her way to visit Mian Bai’s garden. Seeing that the garden was already being described as “Mian Bai’s garden”, the princess resolved to make a gift of it to Mian Bai. When she reached the garden, Mian Bai came forward and prayed for the princess’s long life. Zebina Begam took this as a positive omen and immediately bequeathed the garden to Mian Bai.

Regardless of the story’s truth, Latif may not be correct in assuming that the “Zebinda Begam” inscribed on the Chauburji refers to Zeb-un-Nisa, the daughter of Emperor Aurangzeb. Zeb-un-Nisa was born in 1637, so it is unlikely that she was given command of sufficient resources to construct a garden at the age of eight. A better candidate is Zeb-un-Nisa’s aunt, Jahan Ara Begam, one of Shah Jahan’s daughters.

The very word “Chauburji”, meaning “Four Towers” in Urdu, is likely a modern term for what would have been merely a monumental gateway to the vast garden at the site in the Mughal era. Due to flooding and neglect, the garden may not have long survived its completion. By the 19th century the monument was somewhat dilapidated, having lost its northwest tower to an earthquake in 1846. In the 1960s the Department of Archaeology supervised the reconstruction of the destroyed tower and also restored the surviving parts of the monument.

Cypress Tomb (Sarvwala Maqbara) (built mid-18th century)

Photo 3The so-called ‘Cypress Tomb’ (Sarvwala Maqbara) is located about 200 meters north of Dai Anga’s tomb. Its name derives from the cypress tree ornamentation on the upper portion of the tomb–four on each side–surrounded with flowering plants. The tomb is elevated about 5 meters off the ground to shield the grave from direct sight, and is only accessable using a ladder. The tomb holds the body of Sharfun Nisa Begum, the sister of Nawab Zakaria Khan. It was originally surrounded by a garden–perhaps one abutting Dai Anga’s tomb, but no evidence remains of its former boundaries or dimensions.

Dai Anga Mosque (built 1635)

Dai Anga served as Shah Jahan’s wet nurse and remained an influential force in the dynasty until her death in 1672. She is responsible for several monuments in Lahore that still survive, including her tomb near the Gulabi Bagh garden gate. Her mosque, seen here, was constructed in 1635. Although a relatively small structure, it is notable for its refined use of decoration and its stately three-bay facade. It remains in an excellent state of preservation since Dai Anga took care to donate a substantial waqf (endowment) to ensure its maintenance after her death. However, in spite of this, it was briefly converted into the residence of Henry Cope, a newspaper editor, during the rule of the British. It was restored to its original function in 1903 and has served as an active mosque ever since.

Dai Anga Tomb (built 1671)

Dai Anga’s tomb is located at the site of Bulabi Bagh, an earlier garden of which the only the gateway, Gulabi Bagh, survives. The tomb was built for Dai Anga, the wet nurse of Shah Jahan and the wife of Murad Khan, a magistrate of Bikaner under Emperor Jahangir. The tomb is rectangular in plan with eight perimeter rooms and a central chamber, surmounted by a low dome on a tall base. The space inside is empty, as the actual tomb of Dai Anga lies below in a subterranean chamber. Interior decoration includes inscriptions from the Q’uran. The exterior of the tomb was originally covered with mosaics, but in the manner of many tombs in Lahore, most of these have been worn or stripped away over the centuries. However, the tomb does retain its original four chattris (kiosks) at each of its corners, which contribute a certain lightness to the otherwise weighty structure.

Gulabi Bagh Gateway (built 1655)

The Gulabi Bagh Gateway is the last remnant of a pleasure garden built by the Persian noble Mirza Sultan Baig in 1655. In its heyday the garden measured 250 gaz on a side (according to the scholar Ebba Koch, 1 gaz is likely equal to 0.81 or 0.82 meters). The site could not have functioned as a garden for long, as it was converted in 1671 into a tomb for Dai Anga with her mausoleum occupying the center of the property. Gradually over the centuries the garden was encroached upon by urban development so that the only remaining portion of the garden is the narrow yard running from Gulabi Bagh to Dai Anga’s Mausoleum.

Hazrat Mian Mir Tomb (built 1630s)

Photo 2Mian Mir (c. 1550 – August 11, 1635) was a Sufi saint of the Qadiri order of Sufism. He rose to prominence as the spiritual advisor to prince Dara Shikoh, the eldest son and heir-apparent to Shah Jahan. Upon his death in 1635, Dara Shikoh delivered his funeral oration. The tomb remains popular with Muslims as well as Sikhs to the present day.

Hazuri Bagh Garden (built 1813)

Photo 2The Hazuri Bagh garden was built in 1813 by Maharajah Ranjit Singh to commemorate the capture of the Koh-i-Noor diamond from Shah Shujah of Afghanistan. The garden is bound on the east side by the Lahore Fort and to the west by Badshahi Mosque. This originally served as the Serai of Aurangzeb, a forecourt to the Badshahi Mosque where the Mughal ruler would approach and enter the mosque with great pomp and ceremony. By enclosing the north end with a gate and the south end with the Roshnai gate, Ranjit Singh’s architects were able to create a walled space adequately sized for a a commemorative garden.

The major monument in the garden is the baradari at its center. It is primarily constructed of marble stripped from numerous Mughal monuments in Lahore, many of which remain standing despite the removal of their marble cladding. Ranjit Singh used the pavilion as a place to hold court, and the mirrored ceiling in the central chamber is a testament to this function.

Old photographs of the baradari establish that it once supported a second level which collapsed in July 1932. There are presently no plans to reconstruct it.

Jahangir’s Tomb (built 1627-37)

Photo 19The tomb of Jahangir is located in Shahdara, a suburb of Lahore to the northwest of the city. The area had been a favorite spot of Jahangir and his wife Nur Jahan when they resided in Lahore, and the area was commonly used as a point of departure for travels to and from Kashmir and Lahore. When Jahangir died in 1627 he may have initially been buried in Shahdara in one of its many gardens. His son, Shah Jahan, ordered that a mausoleum befitting an Emperor be built as a permanent memorial.

Construction of the mausoleum lasted 10 years, from 1627 to 37, and was probably funded by the imperial treasury (though there is some evidence that Jahangir’s wife, Nur Jahan, may have financed the construction). It occupies a vast quadrangle measuring 600 gaz (approximately 500 meters) to a side and is subdivided into four chahar baghs (four-part gardens). A fountain occupies the center of each of the chahar baghs and the avenues in between, creating a ring of 8 fountains around the central tomb. Water for the fountains was supplied by wells outside of the garden and raised into channels atop of the walls using water wheels that are no longer extant. From there, the water flowed through terra cotta pipes and into the fountains, whereupon the water cascaded into shallow channels running throughout the garden.

The mausoleum itself is square in plan and exactly 100 gaz to a side. Except for the four corner minarets the layout is entirely horizontal with a flat roof covering the whole of the structure. It is likely that this derived from the example set by Jahangir’s grandfather, Babur, who preferred burial in a tomb open to the sky in keeping with Sunni Islam precident. Both Jahangir and Shah Jahan would have been familiar with Babur’s tomb garden in Kabul in which Babur’s wishes were carried out–a screen was erected around the grave site but the cenotaph was not roofed over. At Jahangir’s tomb, a compromise of sorts was arrived at by raising a roof over the cenotaph but not constructing any monumental embellishments such as domes. This design was apparently not very popular as it was replicated only once for the tomb of Nur Jahan, Jahangir’s wife, at her tomb garden also in Shahdara. Shah Jahan himself was buried in the Taj Mahal, a monument renowned for its use of domes as architectural elements.

At the center of the mausoleum is an octagonal tomb chamber about 8 meters in diameter. It is connected to the outside of the tomb by four hallways facing the four cardinal directions. The cenotaph at the center is carved from a single slab of white marble and decorated with pietra dura inlays of the 99 attributes of God. At its foot is an inscription in Persian recording that “This is the illuminated grave of His Majesty, the Asylum of Pardon, Nooruddin Muhammad Jahangir Padshah 1037 AH”.

The establishment of Jahangir’s tomb at Shahdara profoundly affected the character of the suburb. Whereas previously the area has been used as a place of relaxation, during Shah Jahan’s time the suburb was transformed into a monument to the Mughal’s imperial rule. This was only strengthened by the construction of a jilau khana (forecourt) to the west of the tomb and the subsequent construction of a tomb to Jahangir’s chief minister Asaf Khan to the west. The ensemble reached its peak when Nur Jahan herself was laid to rest in a tomb slightly to the southwest of the other tombs.

Today, the tomb of Jahangir holds special significance for Pakistanis as it is the only Mughal tomb located in present-day Pakistan. Its image appears on the 1,000 rupee banknote and it remains one of Lahore’s most popular attractions.

Kamran’s Baradari (built 1520s or mid 17th-century)

Photo 5Kamran’s Baradari is the ostensibly the earliest known Mughal monument in Lahore, said to have been built by Prince Kamran in the 1520s. However, the pavilion more likely dates to the reign of Shah Jahan (1627-58) as certain architectural features such as the use of cusped arches were not employed until Shah Jahan’s reign. The attribution of the structure to Prince Kamran likely derived from local oral traditions which were picked up by Latif when he collected material for his comprehensive book on Lahore’s architectural heritage in 1892.

The baradari originally stood at the edge of the Ravi river, but over time the course of the river changed and the site became an island. Sometime over the course of the centuries the river flooded, taking half the baradari along with it. As Mughal buildings are generally symmetrical, it was possible for historians to infer the design of the lost portion and it was rebuilt in 1989 at a cost of 19.6 million rupees (about $1 million USD at the time). Unfortunately, the restoration extended to the remaining half and resulted in the total effacement of its surface decoration including the few fragments of original decoration to have survived. Of the gardens, very few traces survived in the late 20th century and a new garden based partially on Mughal motifs was built to the west of the Baradari.

Khan-e-Jahan Bahadur Kokaltash Tomb (built ~1697)

Photo 4Khan-e-Jahan Bahadur Zafar Jhan Kokaltash was a high-ranking officer during the reign of Emperor Aurangzeb Alamigir. He served as subahdar (governor) of the Panjab from April 11th, 1691, but was dismissed from office in 1693. He died four years later on November 23, 1697, and was presumably interred here shortly thereafter.

His octagonal tomb is composed primarily of cut brick work without any use of red sandstone, in contrast to many other buildings of that period. The current appearance of the tomb is much denuded: the numerous holes in the façade and dome attest to marblework that was stripped away as late as the 19th century. Despite this, traces of the tomb’s original elegance are still evidenced in the beautifully carved stucco muqarnas (stalactite squinches) that embellish the tops of the outer alcoves. The design overall is similar to Ali Mardan Khan’s tomb, which is located just a few kilometers to the north.

Overall, the tomb is in a poor state of preservation. At some point in the past, most of the east façade collapsed. Fortunately, the dome was spared, but it is now supported by a brick pillar of modern design. The muqarnas at the tops of the alcoves are substantially damaged, revealing the underlying brickwork. Significant restoration is urgently needed to avoid further dilapidation.

Khwaja Mehmud Tomb (built mid 17th-century)

Photo 6Khwaja Mehmud (also known as Hazrat Eishan) was a Sufi religious leader from Bukhara who moved to Lahore during the reign of Shah Jahan. He was a contemporary with Hazrat Mian Mir and was also noted as a great scholar and physician.

Kos Minar (built early 17th century and earlier)

Photo 4The Kos Minar (Mile Pillars) are a series of milepost markers built during the reigns of Sher Shah Suri and later Mughal emperors. They were originally spaced roughly every three kilometers over major highway routes, particularly the Grand Trunk Road which connected Peshawar in the west to Bengal in the east (a span of over 3,000 kilometers). As the Kos Minars are utilitarian in design, they were not regarded as architecturally significant. Most of them have been torn down, dismantled for their bricks, or otherwise demolished. Only a handful remain in the Lahore area, including the Kos Minar shown here.

Lahore Fort (originally 11th century, current form from 16th century onward)

The fort at Lahore is the result of many centuries’ work. According to the Pakistani historian Wali Ullah Khan, the earliest reference to the fort comes in a history of Lahur (Lahore) compiled by Al-Biruni, which refers to a fort constructed in the early 11th century. He further notes that Munshi Sujan Rae Bhandari, author of the Khulasatut Tawarikh in 1695-96 A.D., records that Malik Ayaz, a favorite of Sultan Mahmud, built a masonry fort at Lahore and repopulated the city. Khan believes it is the same fort that was damaged by the Mongols in 1241 and again in 1398 by a detachment of Timur’s army, then rebuilt again in 1421 by Sayyid, son of Khizr Khan.

The early history of the fort is subject to debate, but it is known for certain that the fort was extensively upgraded during the reign of Emperor Akbar (mid-16th century). Sometime before 1566, the mud-brick fort was demolished and replaced with burnt bricks. The exact date is not known for certain since the records first refer to a fort at Lahore in connection with the rebellion of Muhammad Hakim in 1566.

The fort was greatly expanded during the reigns of Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangzeb. During the period of Sikh occupation, Ranjit Singh added several pavilions on the upper ramparts. Modifications to the fort were even made during the British colonial period beginning in 1846, but consisted mainly of converting older buildings into hospitals, barracks, and other colonial functions. Perhaps worst of all, portions of the gardens were converted into tennis courts, but abuses such as this have been corrected as preservationists have slowly restored portions of the fort to its pre-1846 appearance.

Mai Dai Tomb (likely built mid-18th century)

Photo 1The so-called “Mai Dai” tomb is located in an alley off the beaten path in the Kot Khwaja Saeed neighborhood of Lahore. In urdu, “Mai” and “Dai” are words that both mean “Respected Lady” and are polite titles used to refer to women. This oral tradition suggests the tomb is associated with a woman, but there is no definitive knowledge of who was buried here. It bears a strong resemblence to the nearby ‘Cypress Tomb’, which was built by a pious widow who wished to elevate her grave out of site of the public eye.

Unfortunately, the tomb is not a protected monument and it is currently occupied as part of a house.

Maryam Zamani Mosque (built 1614)

The Maryam Zamani Mosque is named after Queen Maryam Zamani, the wife of Emperor Akbar. It is the earliest surviving Mughal mosque in Lahore and is the first to exhibit the five-bay facade that would become typical of nearly all future mosques built by the Mughals. It is a comparatively small structure, measuring just 50 meters east-west and 50 meters north-south. Often called Begum Shahi Masjid, the mosque stands just opposite the Masjidi Gate of the Lahore fort.

Mian Khan Tomb (built 1670s)

Photo 1This is the tomb of Nawab Mian Khan, the son of Nawab Saadullah Khan who served as Prime Minister during the reign of Shah Jahan. It is built in the form of a baradari (literally, ‘twelve doors’) with a tripartite facade on four sides.

Nadira Begum Tomb (built 17th century)

Photo 1Nadira Begum was the wife of Dara Shikoh, the eldest son of Shah Jahan and heir-apparent to his throne. In 1657 a power struggle broke out between Dara Shikoh and his three brothers over succession to the throne after Shah Jahan fell ill. Initially, fate seemed to favor Dara Shikoh. He prevailed in battle against his brother Shah Shuja and gained signifiant support from his father, who recovered enough to assist Dara Shikoh in his bid for power. However, father and son could not overcome the combined strength of his two other brothers, Aurangzeb and Murad.

Dara Shikoh and his wife attempted to flee to the west and south, but they were betrayed by Malik Jiwan, a Baluch cheiftain, who turned them over to Aurangzeb’s army in June, 1659. Nadira died several months later prior to the assassination of her husband on August 30, 1659.

The tomb stands on a raised platform at the center of what used to be a vast water tank. The tank was dismantled during the British period.

Nau Nihal Singh Haveli (built mid-19th century)

Photo 1The word “Haveli” is used to refer to mansions in India and Pakistan. The word is derived from the Persian word “hawli”, meaning “an enclosed place”. Havelis typically were built by wealthy aristocrats to house themselves and their extended families, and were often constructed several stories high with one or more courtyards in the interior.

The haveli of Nau Nihal Singh is perhaps the grandest of the surviving havelis in Lahore. It is rectangular in plan and comprises two levels wrapped around a central courtyard. A tower at the northwest corner rises two additional stories and provides a panoramic view of Lahore from its roof. As the west side of the building includes the main entrance from the street, the tower is architecturally integrated with the first and second levels to present an eye-catching facade repleat with projecting fenestration and colorful surface detail.

The patron of the haveli, Nau Nihal Singh, reined as Maharaja of the Punjab for a mere month in October and early November, 1840. He had gained control of the Sikh Empire when his father, Kharak Singh, died from the effects of poisoning on November 5, 1840. The following day, when Nau Nihal was returning from his father’s funeral, a building collapsed onto the path his entourage was travelling. Nau Nihal sustained minor head injuries and was knocked unconscious. His courtiers pulled him into a tent to ostensibly treat his injuries, but when the tent was opened some time later it was discovered that Nau Nihal was dead–his head having been smashed in. It is not known even today if this resulted from the initial accident or if assassins took advantage of the situation to remove Nau Nihal from power.

Nawankot Monuments (built 1646)

Photo 1The so-called Nawankot Monuments are the remains of the eastern wall of the tomb garden of Zeb-un-Nisa, comprising two corner turrets and the eastern gate. This relationship is difficult to distinguish in the crowded district, as the monuments are hemmed in on all sides by contemporary houses and roads. In the Mughal era, the three Nawankot monuments were linked together by a brick wall forming the eastern edge of the garden, and were in turn linked to two turrets that deliniated a square area of greenery with Zeb-un-Nisa’s tomb at the center. No trace of the western turrets and walls survive and the gardens have disappeared under urban sprawl. The Nawankot monuments themselves are in considerable danger from the effects of neglect, urban encroachment, vandalism and environmental stress.

The eastern gate is the most impressive of the monuments. It is a two story structure measuring 11.1 meters east-west and 13.0 meters north-south. It was once almost entirely covered by kashikari (enameled mosaic work) but large areas have worn away.

Nur Jahan Tomb (built 1640s)

Photo 4Nur Jahan was the daughter of I’timad-ud-Daula, Jahangir’s prime minister. Meaning “Light of the World”, she was born in 1577 to Persian parents and was given the name Mehr-un-Nisaa. At the age of 17 she married Sher Afghan, a Mughal courtier. The marriage lasted thirteen years and resulted in the birth of one daughter, the only child Mehr-un-Nisaa was to ever have. After her husbands’s death in 1607, Mehr-un-Nisaa entered Emperor Jahangir’s harem as a lady-in-waiting to one of his stepmothers. She remained in the harem for four years until Jahangir happened to notice her during the Nowruz spring festival in March 1611. Infatuated by her beauty, he immediately proposed to her. She wedded in May of that year, becoming Jahangir’s twentieth wife.

Jahangir’s attention to matters of state was seriously compromised by his addiction to opium and alcohol. As he aged, he relied more and more on his close advisers to manage the empire’s administration. Mehr-un-Nisaa–now known as Nur Jahan–used this as an opportunity to take power for herself and for many years became the de-facto ruler behind the throne. In an unusual step, Jahangir even allowed her to have coinage minted in her name–traditionally a prerogative of the emperor alone.

In 1626 the emperor was captured by rebels while on his way to Kashmir. Although Nur Jahan was able to secure his release, he died on October 28, 1627. In the struggle for succession that followed, Nur Jahan’s own brother Asaf Khan sided against her and allied with his son-in-law Khurrum who was angling for the throne. Khurrum succeeded and became the next Mughal Emperor with the reign name Shah Jahan. Nur Jahan lost favor and was confined to house arrest, but was not stripped of her finances. Throughout the remainder of her life she engaged in artisic activities, including composing Persian poems under the pen name Makhfi. Her greatest legacy, however, was the construction of the I’timad-ud-Daulah Tomb in honor of her father, which ranks second only to the Taj Mahal as the finest example of Mughal architecture in the subcontinent. She also oversaw the construction of her own tomb and was interred there when she died in 1645 at age 68.

Nur Jahan’s tomb is stylistically similar to Jahangir’s tomb, but is about half the size and lacks corner minarets. The tomb suffered substantial damage in the 19th century when its marble decoration was plundered for use in other monuments. The destruction extended even to the sarcophagus, which is no longer extant. The present cenotaph at the center of the tomb is a modern restoration. More recently, over-zealous rehabilitation of the tomb has resulted in the loss of some of the remaining fragments of original ornamentation.

Prince Pervez Tomb (built early 16th century)

Photo 1Traditionally, this tomb is attributed to Prince Pervez, one of the sons of Emperor Jahangir. The historian Latif, who actively documented architectural sites in Lahore in the late 1800s, holds a different view, writing:

‘In the time of Shah Jahan, a market flourished at this place, which was called Parewzabad. The spot is still known by the old inhabitants as Perwezabad.

The dome is known as the Maqbara of Prince Parwez, second son of Jahangir, and both Chishti and Mufti Ghulam Sarwar ascribe it to that prince. But Parwez died of delirium tremens in 1036 A.H. (1626 AD) in Burhanpur (Deccan). The Emperor heard this news at Cabul [Kabul], on his deliverance from captivity through the unwearied exertions of his faithful wife Nur Jahan, and Shah Jahan became the most probable heir to the Crown.

I think it probable, judging from the fact that the place is still called Parwezabad, that this is the burial-place of Parwez’s two sons who, we are informed, were murdered at Lahore along with the other Princes of royal blood, by order of Shah Jahan, on his ascession to the throne, ‘their bodies being buried in a garden at Lahore’.

In any case, the tomb is in a deplorable state of conservation. This is all the more unfortunate as its octagonal plan suggests that a high-ranking nobleman or member of the royal family was buried here. Originally, the tomb likely stood at the center of a large garden with gateways on four sides (similar to the layout of Asaf Khan’s tomb tomb and landscape ensemble). No traces of the gates or gardens survive and modern housing has encroached nearly to the edge of the tomb itself. The remaining portion of the tomb stands denuded of much of its surface decoration which likely included marble cladding and bas reliefs. The marble sarcophagus it once housed was removed in the 19th century or earlier and replaced with a crude brick replica.

Sunehri Masjid (Golden Mosque) (built 1749)

Photo 3The Sunehri Masjid is a relative latecomer to Lahore’s traditional cityscape, having been built in 1753 during the waning years of the Mughal empire by Nawab Bhikari Khan, the Deputy of Lahore during the tenure of Governor Mir Mu’in al-Mulk Mir Munoo. It stands on a small plot of land where one street diverges into two. When Nawab Bhikari Khan acquired the property, it was a vacant parcel of land at the chowk (square) of Kashmiri Bazaar. He was required to obtain a special fatwa from Muslim scholars to construct the mosque, as the local authorities has been concerned that the construction of a building in the square would interrupt the flow of traffic.

The pre-eminent architectural historian Kamil Khan Mumtaz is highly critical of the design, writing:

“On close inspection the corruption of Mughal forms is revealed in every detail. The bulbous Mughal domes are now exaggerated into the form of grotesque vegetables capped with slender drooping leaves. The merlons have become naga hoods, and the column stalks growing out of cabbages that blossom into life-like lotuses.”

Shahi Hammam Bathhouse (built 1634)

Shahi Hammam BathhouseThe Shahi Hammam bathhouse, also known as Hammam Wazir Khan, is the only remaining bathhouse of its type in Lahore. During the Mughal era, hammams (public baths) were introduced based on Persian models and flourished for a time, though their popularity never reached the level maintained in Persia as public baths were not an established cultural institution in the Punjab. Today, the Shahi Hammam is no longer in use and has been converted into a tourist information center.

The hammam was first established in 1634 by Sheikh Ilmuddin Ansari who built it just inside the Delhi Gate along the path to Wazir Khan mosque, under construction at the time. It contained separate facilities for men and women to bathe and also included amenities such as a reception chamber and a small prayer room. In keeping with Persian precident, virtually the entire hammam was illuminated from above with small openings on the roof which also aided ventilation by allowing hot air to flow out from the facility. Since the walls had relatively few windows, merchants were able to set up shops directly abutting the hammam. Although the hammam is no longer in operation, the merchant shops have remained open and even today make it difficult to discern the facades of the hammam.

The interior of the hammam is mostly intact and preserves frescos dating from the Mughal era. Unfortunately, the actual bathing facilities were filled in and tiled over in the mid 1990s when the building was briefly converted to another purpose by its private owners. In recent years the site has been acquired by the Tourist Information Center of Lahore and is being conserved. About 75% of the interior area is now open to the public.

SHALAMAR GARDENS (BUILT 1633-42)

Photo 2BACKGROUND

Lahore is often described as the “city of gardens”. Although deserving of this title, few of its historic gardens survive to the present day and even fewer are preserved in something close to their original state. Shalamar is a grand exception to this trend. Comprising nearly forty acres on three broad terraces, its majesty brings to life the Mughal genius for landscape architecture like no other monument in Lahore.

Prior to Shalamar, the Mughal emperors had been no strangers to garden building. Babur, the founder of the dynasty, had constructed a number of gardens during and after his invasion of the Indian subcontinent. Judging by his memoirs, he held a consumate interest in cataloging and describing the flora and fauna of the Indian landscape, and his gardens often incorporated varieties of native plants. Despite this, Babur never felt at home in the arid climate of Hindustan, preferring the cool weather of the Afghan mountains which had been his boyhood home. When he died, Babur left instructions to be interred in an earth covered grave in present-day Kabul rather than in a garden tomb on the subcontinent.

As Babur’s successors assembled a larger and more diverse empire, the gardens they founded served multiple purposes. In a practical sense, they provided an environment where the imperial court could camp in relative comfort as the emperor and his entourage traveled from site to site. At the end of a long day’s journey, imperial gardens along the Grand Trunk Road and other roads would have been a welcome refuge from the overwhelmingly arid landscape of North India. In a political sense, such gardens also served as landmarks of imperial conquest. Mughal gardens were easily distinguishable from earlier varieties in north India as they were both grander in scale than prior gardens and placed a great emphasis on axis, symmetry, and balance. Such char bagh gardens (literally, “four gardens”) referenced the paradise gardens described in the Q’uran and Persian models to the west. Both were like nothing India had seen before, and their presence testified to the Mughal’s dominion over the landscape.

The origins of Shalamar Garden are directly attributable to another garden of the same name built by Jahangir in Kashmir. The Kashmir area had long been of interest to the Mughals, and Babur himself had attempted to visit the area in 1554 but had been unable to do so due to the political situation. In 1586 the area was finally conquered by Akbar and its capital Srinagar taken in 1589. Akbar was immediately struck by the beauty of Kashmir. Geographically, it comprised a 150 kilometer long valley with stunning views of the Himalayas. Its climate was moderated by the Pir Panjal mountain range, which served as a buffer against the monsoon climate to the south. Down the middle of the valley flowed the Jhelum river which was amply watered by seasonal snowfall in the surrounding mountains. In the midst of this verdant landscape, Akbar established a number of gardens which may have included the Garden of Breezes (Nasim Bagh) along the western edge of Dal Lake. He may also have constructed floating gardens on boats which he used when travelling along the Jhelum river.

Akbar’s son, Jahangir, built the first Shalamar garden in the Kashmiri landscape. He selected the site in 1620 and involved his son, the future Shah Jehan, in a project to dam up a stream used to irrigate the garden. One can imagine that this experience left a deep impression on the future Shah, as he continued to build gardens throughout his lifetime that were generally similar in design to the Shalamar of Kashmir.

Here, Shah Jehan witnessed the construction of a garden that rivalled any built previously by the Mughals. The garden took advantage of the spectacular backdrop of the Himalaya mountains, which provided water year-round and views of snow-capped peaks that persisted into the warmer months. The garden was laid out on three broad terraces on the gently sloping landscape, and the change in elevation allowed fountains to be built with sufficient water pressure to produce stunning hydraulic effects. Several magnificent marble pavilions studded the garden and provided places to contemplate the landscape or engage in the business of the court.

Kashmir may have been an eartly paradise, but it was not suitable as a permanent capital for the Mughal empire. Fatehpur-Sikri had held this role, but was replaced in the 1590s by Lahore in present-day Pakistan. The climate of Lahore is nothing like Kashmir. Although it is irrigated by a river–the Ravi–the climate is much hotter than Kashmir and the landscape is almost unrelentingly flat. Akbar and Jahangir had done their best to build gardens here on a grand scale (for example, the Shahdara garden), but any hydraulic effects were constrained by the absence of water pressure that could only be achieved, in absence of machine power, by a change in elevation.

Establishment of the Garden

Sometime in the 1620s or 1630s, a large flood swept through Lahore and exposed a low bluff at the edge of the Ravi river. Although the bluff averaged only a few meters higher than the surrounding floodplain, it presented the best opportunity in the Lahore area to create a garden in the Kashmiri variety. The site was relatively remote–about a day’s ride to the east of Lahore fort–but it was chosen as the site of the future Shalamar garden by Kalil Ullah Khan, an imperial nobleman who had been ordered by Shah Jahan to find an appropriate site for a garden. At this point, in 1641, the narrative of the site becomes entangled with the life of Ali Mardan Khan, the former governor of Kandahar who had surrendered the city to the Mughals in exchange for riches and safe conduct. Ali Mardan Khan claimed to have expertise in the construction of qanats (underground canals) and Shah Jahan tasked him with constructing a canal from Rajpur, at the foot of the Himalayas, all the way to Lahore. Such a canal would span over 160 kilometers and provide ample water to encourage settlement in the Punjab northeast of Lahore (a relatively underpopulated area at the time). The terminus of the canal would reach the upper terrace of Shalamar garden and its remaining water would provide sufficient flow to animate hundreds of fountains.

Shalamar garden did not fare well in the years after Shah Jahan’s death. Architectural patronage as a whole declined during the reign of Shah Jahan’s successor Aurangzeb, who gave little to Lahore apart from the spectacular Badshahi Mosque which survives to the present day. After Aurangzeb, Lahore’s fortunes declined in tandem with the greater Mughal Empire. By the early 1800s, the gardens were looted of much of their marble decoration. Many of the present structures are largely reconstructions in plaster and brick.

Sher Singh Baradari (1840s)

Photo 5Maharaja Sher Singh (December 1807 – September 16, 1843) ruled the Sikh Empire from 1841 until his death. He was the the son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the founder of the Sikh Empire, and his Queen Rani Mehtab Kaur. His reign–brought to a brief end through treachery–produced few lasting architectural vestiges in Lahore apart from this baradari.

Neglected for many decades, the baradari was nearly destroyed in 1992 when mobs set it afire in misdirected retaliation for the destruction of the Babri Mosque in India in 1992. Currently, the baradari is threatened by ongoing construction and waste refuse from the Solid Waste Management Company which operates in the vicinity.

Immediately to the west of the Baradari are the ruins of several samadhi where domed enclosures onced housed the ashes of Sher Singh and his son.

Wazir Khan Baradari (built 1635)

Photo 3This baradari (literally, 12-door pavilion) originally served as the centerpiece of the Nakhlia Garden built by Wazir Khan, a benefactor of numerous buildings throughout Lahore including the mosque and hammam (bath house) which bear his name. It is among the finest of such monuments in the city, having been incorporated into the grounds of the Punjab Public Library as early as 1860, where it serves as a reading room. During the 19th and early 20th centuries it also served as a museum and as the Settlement and Telegraph Office under the British.

Wazir Khan Mosque (built 1634)

Wazir Khan mosque was built in 1634 by Shaikh Ilm-ud-din Ansari, Viceroy of Punjab under Shah Jahan. Ansari hailed from humble origins in the town of Chiniot in the Jhang district of the Punjab. He studied medicine under Hakim Dawi and was hired by the Mughal court as the personal physician of Prince Kuram, the future Shah Jehan. The young prince was so taken with Ansari’s competence that he awarded him with the title Wazir Khan in 1620. Wazir is a title meaning “Minister” in Urdu.

Wazir Khan acquired a large tract of land in Lahore bounded by the Delhi Gate to the east and the Lahore Fort to the west. He founded the mosque that now bears his name on the site of the tomb of Syed Muhammed Ishaq (also known as Miran Badshah), a saint who had migrated from Iran in the 13th century. Wazir Khan also established a bathhouse (Shahi Hammam) and other commercial establishments along the road to the mosque whose income was intended to ensure maintenance of the mosque into perpetuity. Although the bathhouse did not provide as much income as intended, the bazaar to the east of the mosque was quite successful and remains a flourishing market even to the present day.

The mosque’s distinguishing architectural feature is the use of minarets at each of its four corners–the first time such a design was employed in Lahore. The prayer hall follows the one-aisle five-bay motif that was first established in Lahore a generation earlier at the Maryam Zamani Mosque, which was later to find its full expression in the Badshahi Mosque built by Emperor Aurangzeb a half century later. Much of the mosque is constructed of cut and dressed brick decorated with glazed tile mosaics.

A curious feature of the mosque is the incorporation of 22 shops into its ground plan. Situated on either side of the entrance hall, these shops form a bazaar with a brick-paved passage in between. This commercial area extends east beyond the mosque into the Chowk Wazir Khan (Wazir Khan Square) which remains a vibrant commerical district to the present day.

Zeb-un-Nisa Tomb (built late 17th century)

Zeb-un-Nisa, meaning “most beautiful of all women”, was a daughter of Emperor Aurangzeb who lived from 1637 to 1702. She gained renowned for her Sufi faith and passionate interest in poetry. However, it is not known if this in fact her tomb. Some sources indicate that she died in Delhi and is buried outside the Kabuli gate. If this is true, another candidate for the tomb’s occupant is Mian Bai Fakhrunnisa (Pride of Women), a favored female attendent of Zeb-un-Nisa who was given the Chauburji garden by her patron.

 

 

 

 

 

Kamini Kaushal: Lahore is home

By  Ishtiaq Ahmed:


In spite of her 85 years, Kamini Kaushal was exceptionally eloquent as she shared her phenomenal down-the-memory-lane fund of stories about Lahore.


As I continue probing the Lahore-Bombay film industry linkage, the pre-partition Lahore legend grows larger and more fascinating. “It was the city of cycles; everywhere you could see people on cycles, we girls went around on cycles”, recalled the famous Lahore-born Indian film industry actress, Kamini Kaushal (born Uma Kashyap on January 16, 1927) when I spoke to her on the phone from Stockholm on Wednesday, July 4, 2012. I spoke to another Lahorite, Shyama as well. This week, we look at Kamini Kaushal’s roots in Lahore. I must acknowledge with gratitude the kind help of Ajay Deshpande who arranged the interviews for me.The interview with Kamini Kaushal alternated between Lahore Punjabi and that very familiar English accent that many generations acquired who went to one of the English-medium schools and colleges in pre-partition Lahore and well into the early decades afterwards and perhaps, still do.

Kamini Kaushal made her debut Neecha Nagar (1946) directed by the old Ravian and elder brother of Dev Anand, Chetan Anand. It was the very first Indian film based on social realism to gain international recognition. It shared the best film award, the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film, at the first Cannes Film Festival in 1946. Thereafter followed memorable hits like Ziddi (1948) with Dev Anand; Aag with Raj Kapoor and four with the thespian Dilip Kumar: Shaheed (1948), Nadiya Ke Paar (1949), Shabnam (1949) and Arzoo (1950). She was awarded the 1956 Filmfare award for best actress in Biraj Babu. In the 1960s, Kamini Kaushal began to play character roles and that stint continued till 2003. She has continued to appear in television serials up until now. She also became famous as an author of children’s books.

In spite of her 85 years, Kamini Kaushal was exceptionally eloquent as she shared her phenomenal down-the-memory-lane fund of stories about Lahore. Her love for Lahore came out forcefully, yet most gentling, when she said “Lahore is home, will always be. It always remains with me as a constant companion wherever I am. Often times, I wander away in my thoughts to Lahore because so many of the finest memories are associated with that petite city. My father was a professor of botany at the Government College, Lahore. We lived at Chauburji. I studied at the Lady Mc Clagan Girls’ High School, which was not far from where we lived and later at the Kinnaird College from where I did my BA honours in English Literature”, she told me.
Kamini Kaushal has visited Lahore thrice after India was divided in mid-August 1947. About her longing for Lahore, she said, “Since Lahore was always in my thoughts, my mother and brother told me to visit Lahore, and in 1962, I got the first chance to return to my roots. I went to our house. The new residents were our old neighbours who used to live across the road, and whom we knew very well. They met me with great kindness and emotions. They had known my father and respected him, as he was a famous academician of Lahore. In those days, people had great respect for educators and doctors. Society was so much more humane. We never thought in terms of Hindu or Muslim. I was amazed that the sculptures, pictures and many furniture items that we had left behind were exactly in the same place after all those years. I had a very close friend, Jamila, who lived close to our home in Chauburji. She had moved to Karachi. Jamila was contacted and she immediately came to Lahore and we met again. It was a very moving reunion.”
About her second and third visits — Kamini Kaushal could not ascertain the exact years — but on both occasions, it had to do with celebrations at Government College, Lahore and her alma mater, Kinnaird College. She told me that Mian Nawaz Sharif, a Ravian, was in power when she visited Government College. She said, “We went to my father’s office. All his things he had left behind were still there including the inkpot. After a while, they left me alone so that I could feel for myself the old atmosphere. It was amazing really. It almost felt he was somewhere in the room and would come back any time. As a child, I used to visit him and then played around in the corridors, and also went swimming. It was truly spiritual. I felt he would walk in any time.
During the Kinnaird College celebrations, many former students from India also came. It was a very emotional reunion as many of us had lost contact. Before partition, there were a few Muslim girls at the Kinnaird College. However, some of them who used to study with us were also there. It was truly a very important event in my life.
My daughter went to Lahore in 2004 to attend the famous cricket match. She was also keen to see our house since she was born there. Alas, by that time, it had been demolished and instead, a shopping mall had popped up. Our house is no more but home, Lahore, is still there and will always be.”
I called Kamini Kaushal twice later to ascertain the years of her second and third visit to Lahore, but she could not remember exactly. She believed the second trip was to Government College and the third to Kinnaird College. My own hunch is that it was the other way round. She invited me to visit her next time I came to India.

‘I belong to Ranjha’ – the syncreticism of Lahore’s Shah Hussain

Raza Rumi

I am cross posting my piece here.

Lahore, the ancient city of Loh, the age-old halt for invaders, is also the home to eclectic Sufis. Men and women who shed conventions and discovered newer planes of spirituality found a home in this city. The merging of centuries’ old Indus valley bastion – the Punjab and its primordial language – with core strands of Islamic Sufism was a unique moment in South Asia’s cultural evolution. And, no one can better represent the composite soul of Lahore than its poet and Sufi master Shah Hussain, whose identity has forever fused with his Hindu disciple Madhu Lal. Those who seek Lahore’s Mela Chiraghaan or Festival of Lights still frequent the 16th century shrine of Madhu Lal Hussain.

Shah Hussain’s father, Shaykh Usman, was a loom weaver, and his grandfather Kaljas Rai (Kalsarai) was a convert to Islam who gained the confidence of the state during the reign of Emperor Firoz Shah Tughlaq. Shah Hussain Lahori was born in 1538 AD near Taxali Gate, Lahore. His early religious education was followed by induction into the Qadiriya order by Hazrat Bahlul Daryavi at a very young age. As a devout Muslim in his early years, he gained a formal outward knowledge and imbibed the spiritual moorings of Lahore, including the blessings of Hazrat Usman Ali Hajvery, aka Data Saheb, whose shrine has guided scores of saints, fakirs and yogis for nearly a millennium.

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A line drawn a couple of kilometres from Ludhiana may have defined borders and changed the world for most people. But on either sides there are some things that have become vestiges of another time, another place. TOI traces a few of these legacies of Partition in the city that trigger memories on this side of the border
Walking zig zag between vehicles and people at Lajpat Rai Market near Clock Tower, it is easy to walk past the Lahore Book Shop without much incidence. But, that is only for the uninitiated. For everyone else, the not-so-fancy bookstore is a legacy of the Partition and a destination in itself.
Ludhiana’s literature lovers file into the shop, go through the piles of books stacked one on another and find their pick before heading out with a smile. They say the store is a faithful witness of change while sticking to its roots.
The year was 1940, the place Lahore and Jiwan Singh, who had just finished post graduation in English, had many career opportunities staring him. He could have a cushy government job or work as English professor in any college of the time. But Jiwan decided differently and started the ”dicey” business of publishing Punjabi literature. His motivation was the desire to promote Punjabi and help students easily get books in the language.

Read the complete piece at:

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2012/05/28/city/lahore/a-little-piece-of-lahore-in-india/