he Lawrence and Montgomery Halls in Lahore as photographed by James Craddock in the 1860s. The caption states “Two large Halls for public meetings built by subscription in honour of Sir John (now Lord) Lawrence and Sir Robert Montgomery. The latter is almost the finest room in India & is used for all the state durbars and Senate meetings, etc. The great ball to the Duke of Edinburgh was in this Hall.” Sir John Lawrence was first Chief Commissioner and Lt. Governor of the Punjab (1853-59) and went on to become Viceroy of India. Robert Montgomery was second Lt. Governor of the Punjab (1859-65). Sir Lawrence played a crucial role during the First War of Independence in 1857 by assuring the supply of troops from Punjab to Delhi. The neoclassical look of the halls was meant to inspire awe in the locals and reaffirm colonial authority after the war. The halls are now being used as the Quaid e Azam Library.
Photo Credit: http://www.thefridaytimes.com/beta2/tft/article.php?issue=20111104&page=30
Posted in Architecture, heritage, History, Lahore
Tagged Architecture, heritage, Jinnah Library, Lahore, Lawrence Hall, Montgomery, Punjab, Raj
I am homesick so I am posting an old piece on the majestic Lawrence Gardens of Lahore.
Lahore ‘s Lawrence Gardens, baptised the Bagh-i-Jinnah in the post-independence era, represent the quintessential Raj ethos.
Built primarily for the sahibs and memsahibs, the park has managed to maintain its dream-like beauty for a century and a half. The colonial maps drawn up in the mid-nineteenth century show that eastward of Charing Cross, Gardens existed on the right. In the place of the Freemasons’ Hall, there was once a ‘circular garden’; and what is now the Lahore Zoo was another park called the New Garden.
This was followed by the Agricultural and Horticultural Society Garden, which was the original name of the city’s beloved Lawrence Gardens. The Agriculture Horticulture Society of India established it in 1860 and years later, in 1904, the department of agriculture assumed maintenance responsibilities.
Since 1912, approximately seven acres of the park have been managed by the Government College, Lahore. To this day, it maintains a delightful botanical garden replete with a greenhouse and experimental fields.
The annexation of the Punjab in 1849 and the successful control of the 1857 uprising in many regions of northern India resulted in the consolidation of the British Empire. Due to its strategic location, the Punjab was central to the architecture of the colonial power. Lahore was to become a major outpost of the empire. Therefore, the sahibs had to create social and cultural spaces for themselves in otherwise unfriendly and unfamiliar surroundings. A garden in the heart of British Lahore was essential.
True to the colonial policy, the new garden would be a continuation of the Mughal tradition of creating baaghs as the aesthetic expression of self-indulgence. This project, however, was to reflect the expanse of the Empire. Thousands of saplings of different exotic species were imported from many colonies around the world. By 1860, all the necessary preconditions – such as identifying and acquiring hundreds of acres of land – had been met. Continue reading
Posted in Environment, gardens, heritage, Lahore, Punjab, Raj, sex, Urban
Tagged Bano Qudsia, Club Sandwich, cricket, Fatima Jinnah Park, General Jillani, Gymkhana, Jinnah Park, Lahore, Lawrence, Lawrence Gardens, Montgomery, nostalgia, novel, Pakistan, Raj, Raja Gidh, shrine, Turat Murad