Old Lahore 1864 -1866.

From the collection of photographs by John Burke and William Baker between 1860 and 1890

1 – Huzuri Bagh and Lahore Fort 1864: This photograph was taken from the steps of Badshahi Mosque and shows the square and pavilion in front of the main gate of Lahore Fort. The garden in front of the gates is Huzuri Bagh, Royal Gardens. The marble pavilion was built by Ranjit Singh from materials stripped from the Mughal tombs of Emperor Jehanghir and his brother-in-law Asif Khan in Shahdara on Lahore’s outskirts. Ranjit Singh used to hold kutcheri, court, in this pavilion, which had underground rooms to escape the heat. He used the Badshahi Mosque as an ammunition store.

2 – Jehangir’s Tomb 1864: Jehangir is the only Mughal emperor buried in Lahore, which together with Srinagar was his favourite residence. When he died in 1627 in Rajaori, Kashmir, his body was taken to Lahore. His favourite wife, Nur Jehan designed and built his tomb, a prime example of the classic Indo-Mughal style: perfect proportions, lattice marble windows, red and white sandstone and tile work. She and her brother Asif Khan are buried near Jehangir. She chose a much simpler but still elegant verson of Jehangir’s tomb for herself.

3 – The Exhibition Building 1864: The Punjab Exhibition marked the transition from Mughal to British Lahore. It was meant to begin the process of reconciliation in the Punjab after the war of 1857. Manufactured goods and handicrafts from all over the province and the rest of India were put on display. Over 1,000 people per day came to the building during the first months of the exhibition. Originally intended as a temporary structure, the building remained in use, housing the Lahore Museum until 1890. In the 1870s – 1880s the museum’s curator was J. Lockwood Kipling, father of Rudyard in whose book Kim this building was the model for the Aijaib Ghar, House of Wonders.

4 – Lawrence Hall 1866: Facing the Mall stood Lawrence Hall on the edge of what became the 12-acre Lawrence Gardens, known as "the Kensington Gardens" of Lahore.The funds for the hall came from public subscriptions raised in 1861-62 in his memory. The building itself was opened in December 1864. Lawrence Hall was the centre of colonial public life in Lahore; the main public building was used for concerts, theatricals and "other entertainments" like magic lantern exhibitions. Minstrels, the Great Australian Circus and variety groups were regular visitors.

5 – A platform at Lahore Railway Station 1866

6 – View from Shish Mahal, Lahore Fort, 1864: The Badshahi Mosque, built by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1674, was until recently the largest in the world. Next to it is the tomb of Maharajah Ranjit Singh. Although unfinished at the time of the British takeover, the tomb was completed under Sir Henry Lawrence as a goodwill gesture. In the foreground of the photograph is the naulakha, a marble pavilion, constructed during Aurangzeb’s reign. The name refers to Rs. 900,000, or nine lakh rupees, which was the amount spent to construct the delicate marble building complete

One response to “Old Lahore 1864 -1866.

  1. Incredible…beautiful. Thanks for posting.

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