Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Shahi Qila (Lahore Fort), Lahore

Lahore Fort has two main gates. The entrance used by most visitors today is the Alamgiri gate, facing west towards the Badshahi Mosque, which was built by Aurangzeb in 1674 as a private entrance to the royal quarters. The gate opposite it to the east is the older Masjidi Gate which was built by Emperor Akbar in 1666.
The elegant white marble pavilion dominating Shah Jahan's Quadrangle is known as Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience), and was probably built by Shah Jahan for receiving guests. However, it is also sometimes referred to as Chotti Khhwabgah or Khwabgah-e-Khurd (Minor Sleeping Chamber), although this name may have been given to it during Sikh rule. Changes were made to the building at this time and during British rule; it was reconstructed during the British period restorations, utilizing the original elements, but it is likely that the roof structure was modified during reconstruction.

Shalamar Garden (Mughal Garden), Lahore

The Shalamar Garden, also written Shalimar Garden, was built by the great Mughal emperor Shah Jahan. Construction began in 1641 A.D. and was completed in a year.

Shalamar Garden is a great example of Mughal architecture. Covered area of garden is approx. 80 acres surrounded by a high wall of brick work. There are three successive terraces in the middle of the garden, raised one above the level of the other by a height of 12 or 15 feet (4 or 5 m). These terraces were named as:

1. Farah Baksh means Bestower of Pleasure. (Upper Terrace)
2. Faiz Baksh means Bestower of Goodness. (Middle Terrace)
3. Hayat Baksh means Bestower of life. (Lower Terrace)

A canal joins the middle terrace into a large marble basin. From this basin and from the canal, rise 450 fountains which throw up water that is subsequently received into marble tanks. The channels of water that weave through the whole garden are fed by this canal. The gardens contain white marble buildings in typical Shah Jahani style. 

The Shalimar Garden was gifted by King to "Mian" family and remained under this family more than 350 years, till then were among the best preserved Mughal gardens. It has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites List along with Royal Fort of Lahore. in danger. The site has been listed as Endangered since 2000.