Photograph of the temple of Rattan Chand at Lahore, Pakistan, taken by George Craddock in the 1880s, part of the Bellew Collection of Architectural Views
During Ranjit Singh’s rule (1799-1839) in Lahore, he became fond of a small boy at his court who grew to serve him with distinction. This courtier, Lala Rattan Chand, was awarded a prime plot of land by the Sikh ruler where he erected a temple to Shiva. Rattan Chand prospered even with the change of power to the British in Lahore from 1849. Joining the British administration, he was able to develop the area around the temple with gardens filled with fruit trees and a huge tank or reservoir, making it a well-known feature of the city. Rattan Chand died in 1872. The temple and its gardens were irretrievably damaged in the riots which followed the partition of India in 1947.