Rare pic: Akbari Gate of Lahore

Akbari Gate

Akbari Gate of walled city of Lahore. This gate exists no more. This pic was taken in 1962 by an unknown photographer.

Posted by:  Shiraz Hassan


10 responses to “Rare pic: Akbari Gate of Lahore

  1. This gate can not be related to Emperor Akbar in any sense. It is a British period structure.

  2. This picture of Akbari Gate is of earlier time than 1962. I witnessed the removal of this structure when I was a 1st year student at Islamia College Railway Road (1957/58). The circular road was being reconstructed as a dual carriageway with footpaths and service roads and the structure was on its route. Someone with a very sense of the importance of old historical monuments ordered its removal. I saw its destruction, it took them several months to complete this unfortunate task through manual methods of Chisel and Hammers.

  3. I agree with Subhash that this was a British Period Gate. The British demolished all the pre-colonial gates (except Roshnai Gate) of Lahore around 1864, and then reconstructed many gates at the sites of the old gates. As one can expect, these “new” gates had to be representatives of their times….so while one of the still standing gates (the Lohari Gate) is in a quasi Moghal-Sikh-British period style, the remaining still standing gates are caricatured Gothic revival (Bhatti, Sheranwala, Kashmiri), and neo-classical revival (Delhi Gate). This picture of the Akbari Gate would belong to the latter set. The Punjab Government appears to be interested in rebuilding the Akbari Gate….and one could attribute this to the nostalgia some people like A.W. Mir feel about their younger days. Since there is no photographic or other evidence of what the pre-colonial gate might have looked like, we can at best rebuild the gate according to this photograph (after all other aspects of authenticity have been covered, such as precise location and siting, etc.). There are however many other things that will have to be addressed first, such as removing the noncturnal trucking terminus that happens every night after eleven o’clock and which has turned the old city into a gigantic, haunted, warehouse. In the photograph one can see signs of this activity already emerging in 1962 (this was where the original Crown Bus Adda had been located). The laden pushcart that finds its way into the narrow streets of the Walled City is ubiquitous even today. The gate the Punjab Government wishes to reconstruct was in all likelihood torn down under the intense pressure of the needs of the trucking activity.

    • The statement of Mr. Masood Khan that Punjab Government desires to recontruct the Akbari Gate is a news for me. I do keep by ears to the ground about the doings of the present traders government, and I must admit I have not heard about this proejct except from Mr Masood. You are very correct that there are whole lot of truck terminals in the area of Akbari Gate. But with due respect I would like correct Mr Masoo Khan if I may that Crown Bus Adda:
      1. was not located at Akbari Gate it was where Bull Road meet the Circular Road you may say just past the end of Brandeth Road.
      2. as the name suggest was a bus terminal of inter city bus service of Crown Bus Company and it was not a trucking terminal.
      Happy New Year.

  4. Many thanks Mir Sahib for that correction. Please allow me to think that we are both on the same wicket as far as the negative effect of the trucking activity has had on old Lahore is concerned.

    • Goods transport agencies existance around the old city and in particular on Circular Road is is an evil for general public beasuse they cause so much polution; both smoke and noice polution.
      The existance of a major bus and trucks stand at Badami Bagh area is most harmful for the Lahore Fort.
      Inspite of repeated warnings to the Punjab Government from local and foreign experts on the subject of old monuments conservation nothing has been done to remedy the situation.
      Trader rulers have truned a deaf ear to the repeated requests and warnings.
      The unfortunate fact is that the people in authority are so ignorant about the importance of our historical monuments. May Allah help us save our histroy.

  5. Could I cautiously suggest that you concentrate on saving the many buildings that still survive intact (or nearly) instead of discussing the merits of a complete rebuilding of (an admittedly curious) colonial building. There are mosques in the walled city that are vanishing, and very few left with their original features more or less intact.

  6. Blood-Ink-Diary

    Lovely photograph! Thanks for sharing.

    • Ms. Shaheen Sultan Dhanji, it is interesting to learn about your interests and activities.
      We have a few common things; i.e. I have lived in Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, Libya and Nigeria) for many years and travelled a lot in the african bush and deserts. I love African Wild Life and Noth African Desert.
      As a matter of fact my engineering degree is from what is now Nairobi University. In our days it was called University of East Africa.
      My love for old Lahore and life style of the walled city (my native city) brought me back.
      It hurts me to see the old land marks (buildings, mosques, monuments etc.) gradually disappearing and in their place ugly concrete structures being put up. Unfortunately the greed of the traders is ruining the historical city. The city where every street corner has histroy.



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