The city of Lahore is a beautiful spot in Punjab Pakistan. Lush green gardens, bustling food streets, neighborhoods full of life and especially the magnificent Mughal architecture can be spotted all across the city. One of the most important remains of the era is Lahore Fort, popularly known as the Shahi Qila.
Boasting a spellbinding architecture, Lahore Fort is also counted among the five most popular historical forts in Pakistan. The place wasn’t as quiet and as peaceful as it looks today, in fact, it was one of the busiest buildings in the region as it was home to the royal emperors of the Mughal reign. Let’s explore more about this fascinating historical place in Lahore.
The actual origin of Lahore Fort is unknown, shrouded in various traditional myths. After a siege and battle that lasted for a long time, Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi conquered the city of Lahore and rebuilt it. Made with mud, Lahore Fort was one of the constructions of the time.
The fort was destroyed and rebuilt several times in history, the origin of the present structure of Shahi Qila can be traced back to the reign of Mughal Emperor Akbar, who occupied this site for its important location for guarding the empire’s northwest frontier.
The fort also remained under the occupation of Maharaja Ranjit Singh for about 40 years (1799-1839 AD) during which an additional fortification wall was added to the fort. The history of Lahore fort is a living testimony of the rise and fall of many Mughals, Sikhs and colonial rulers.
Lahore Fort is one of the historical places to visit in Lahore with a stunning architecture that allows visitors to live its history. There are two main divisions in the fort: one is the administrative section and the other is residential division.
The administrative section is connected with the main entrance that includes courtyards and gardens to greet the royal audiences. On the other hand, the residential division featured concealed chambers and courts for privacy that can be accessed from the elephant gate.
The captivating art of the fort building is an incredible blend of the Islamic and Hindu architecture. The structures and the scriptures engraved on the walls speak volumes about the diversity of the history of Lahore Fort.
There are many worth-visiting Mughal era remains in Lahore. However, Lahore Fort in particular is a site where you get to see multiple historical structures at one place.
Spreading over an area greater than twenty hectares, the fortress has tourist attractions like Naulakha Pavilion, Picture Wall, Khawab Gah (Sleeping Chamber of Shah Jahan), Pari Mahal, Sheesh Mahal, Moti Masjid, Akbari Gate, Alamgiri Gate and Naag Temple.
The two most famous historical places to visit in Lahore Fort are Sheesh Mahal and Alamgiri gate. Sheesh Mahal is the palace of mirror that has a complex mirror work locally known as Ayina Kari.
There is a separate fee for entering Sheesh Mahal as it is among the most popular monuments of Lahore Fort. On the other hand, Alamgiri Gate – the only entrance that allows public to get into Lahore Fort – is also one of Lahore’s most iconic monuments, which was once featured on Pakistani currency.
Within Shahi Qila, there are three small museums that showcase the weapons, armoury and other important tools used by people who lived at the time of Mughal era. One of these museums also feature the actual horse of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh that has been stuffed and preserved for as a visitors’ attraction.
Lots of history, amazing architecture, Lahore Fort is, without a doubt, one of the best places to visit with family in the city of Lahore. Below are the details about timing, entry fee and things to do near Shahi Qila Lahore.
Shahi Qila is located in the north-western part of Lahore. It is the main attraction of the Walled City. People coming from Circular Road can make use of Fort Road to get to this famous historical place of Lahore. The Greater Iqbal Park, which is home to the Minar e Pakistan – the most famous national monument of the country – is also at a walking distance from Lahore Fort.
Lahore Fort Timings: 8:30am–5pm (seven days a week)
Things to Do Near Lahore Fort:
- Visit Shalimar Gardens and Badshahi Masjid
- Visit Anarkali Bazaar
- Wazir Khan Mosque
- Explore the old alleys of Walled City, Lahore
- Enjoy food at nearby eateries such as Fort View Hotel & Restaurant, Riwaj Restaurant, Arif Chatkhara House and Haveli Restaurant
- Iqbal Park Lahore