Lahore Fort: History, Structures, Location & Everything You Need To Know

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Lively city Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan is famous for its historical possessions. If you have planned to explore it, don’t forget to visit the iconic Lahore fort, locally called Shahi Qila (Royal Fort).

Indisputably, it is an incredible repertoire of the Mughal era and has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Its distinctive and artistic exterior and interior make this fortification a unique place for visitors. If you seek to discover this chronological site, you must read this article to get all the necessary information.

This complete tourist guide will provide you with the fort’s various prominent aspects like its history, primary structures, tickets price, timings, and restaurants near it. 

Let’s begin with the brief history of this fascinating monument.

History of Lahore Fort

The history of the Lahore fort is absolutely attention-grabbing and enjoyable. It was the first time the built-in Mahmud of Ghazni‘s era with mud during the 11th century. However, Mongols demolished it in 1241 during their assault on Lahore.

In 1267 Sultan Balban of the Turkic Mamluk empire of the Delhi Sultanate rebuilt it. But, the battalions of Timur destroyed it in 1398.

The only construction that remained and still erects is of a Mubarak Shah Sayyid, who built the fort in 1421.

Shaikh Ali of Kabul captured it in the 1430s, and it stayed under the possession of Pashtun sultans of the Lodi dynasty until Mughal Emperor Babur occupied it in 1526.

Major Structures Of Lahore Fort

Without any information about this historical site, how can you get the affection of it? Therefore we have elaborate its basic construction and tourist affections.

The great Lahore fort has large and vast structures that make it the most attractive spot for visitors so, if you desire to explore this historical monument, must-read a bit about all these structures first.

1. Naulakha Pavilion

It was built during the Shah Jahan period with white marble in 1633.  It is an iconic hierarchy that is prominent for its unique arch roof style.

The Naulakha Pavilion is in the north of the fort and to the west of the Sheesh Mahal. This beautiful layout was initially inlaid with precious stones.

Its construction was the perfect blend of contemporary traditions, sloping-roof Bengali style, and a baldachin from Europe. The marble shades of the pavilion, capped with merlons to hide the view from the grounds.

2. Picture Wall

The magnificent Picture Wall is a vast portion of the outer wall, magnificently adorned with an enthusiastic arrangement of glazed tiles, frescoes, and faience mosaics.

It is approximately 1,450 ft. (440 m) by 50 ft. (15 m). This great picture wall is extensively spread over the fort’s northern and western borders.

However, due to extreme negligence from responsible authorities, most of the portrait work had been demolished and disappeared.

The Aga Khan Trust for Culture and the Walled City of Lahore Authority started its conservation in 2015 and completed it in 2016. To help a bit to the remains of this historical monument in the protection from erosion.

3. Sheesh Mahal

The glamorous Sheesh Mahal (the Palace of Mirrors) is also present under the Lahore Fort’s ownership.

Its name reflects its elegant and complex mirror-work known as Āina-kāri. The Sheesh Mahal was the favorite location for emperors as it prevails reserved for their personal use.

The Mehal section’s construction expresses substantial white marble design and is a perfect reflection of the Shah Jahani style.

4. Summer Palace

The Summer Palace, also known as the Pari Mahal (Fairy Palace), is just beneath the Sheesh Mahal and Shah Burj quadrangle.

The emperors utilized it for residency during summer due to its active ventilation and flooring. Its structural manner allowed cool breezes to spread in the whole place.

Also, its unique flooring system made it a calmer area. The floors were bilayered_ separated by a space. There was a space between two-layers where the cool water from the Ravi river pumped to circulate.

Moreover, the 42 waterfalls throughout the Palace gave it a magnificent look. There were also secret exit tunnels in it that allowed the inhabitants to escape in case of war.

The walls of the Palace were beautifully inlaid with marble and intricate frescoes designing. Due to extreme delinquency and with time, this work has badly deteriorated.

5. Kala Burj or Black Pavilion

It was used as the summer Pavilion and was Constructed by Jahangir.

Its ceilings were beautifully decorated with a European-influenced style of angels, which exemplify King Solomon’s virtuosity. The Kala Burj is in the northwest corner of the Khilawat Khana.

6. Lal Burj or Red Pavilion

The Lal Burj, with an octagonal shape, is in the north of the Khilawat Khana. Its formation was initiated during the region Jahangir and completed in Shah Jahan’s rule.

However, its interior was furnished with frescoes significantly during the Sikh era.

 It has windows that opened to the north, which allowed cool and fresh air to enter the structure. Due to this reason, emperors used it during hot summers.

7. Shah Jahan’s Quadrangle

The construction of the Shah Jahan period is counted in Shah Jahan’s Quadrangle. Below is the detail of each:

Khilwat Khana

It is to the east of the Shah Burj Pavilion and the west of Shah Jahan Quadrangle. The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan constructed it in 1633.

It was made with marble and had a curvilinear roof—this piece of mastery consumed by the court’s royal ladies for the residential purpose.

Diwan-i-Khas

Diwan-i-Khas was used as the quad for hearing state matters and as the site for receiving royal guests. Also, the diwan was employed for elaborate pageantry.

The Khwabgah Of Shah Jahan

It was the grand bedroom of Shah Jahan built in 1634 under the surveillance of Wazir Khan.  It had five sleeping chambers constructed in one row.

These compartments had carved marble screens and, like all other elegant structures, made with marble and frescoes. Now all these beautiful embellishments have razed, except its marble trace.

8. Jahangir’s Quadrangle

The installations occur in the era of Emperor Jahangir are as follow:

Diwan-i-Aam

The Diwan-i-Aam consisted of a hall with 40 pillars and was used publically to sort out their affairs. It built in the era of Shah Jahan in 1628.

However, the structure was destroyed during the fight between Sher Singh (the son of Maharaja Ranjit Singh) and Maharani Chand Kaur (the wife of Maharaja Kharak Singh).

The British constructed it again after their feat over Sikhs in 1849.

Kharak Singh Haveli

It is the structure made by Sikh ruler Kharak Singh. This Haveli is in the south-east of the Jahangir’s Quadrangle and employed for military activities during British rule.

The Khwabgah of Jahangir

Khwabgah of Jahangir was his luxurious and grant sleeping room. It was the masterpiece of that era. However, due to its extreme damage, it was again constructed under British rule.

Dawlat Khana-e-Jahangir or Maktab Khana

It was the walking passage between the audience hall and other palace buildings.  Maktab Khana was designed by Khawaja Jahan Muhammad Dost and built in the Persian-Timurid style to provide it with a classy look.

Also, it was consumed for the entry of guests who arrived at the fort.

9. Moti Masjid

Moti Masjid (the Pearl Mosques) is a prominent white marble structure erected in Lahore fort. It is the masterwork of the Mughal era with valuable stonework.

During the Sikh rule, the mosque was converted into a Sikh temple and renamed Moti Mandir.

It has a unique five-arched facade with an elegant and uncomplicated interior. However, the ceilings are in four special arrangements that give it a supreme look. 

10. Naag Temple

Naag temple is Sikh’s innovation in the fort and was constructed by Chand Kaur, Kharak Singh’s wife.

The temple has a curved dome and alluring fresco portrayals on its outer walls. It is now closed for tourists to prevent it.

11. Mai Jindan Haveli

Mai Jindan Haveli is assumed as Mughals hierarchy; however, it is devoted to the Sikh community. Sikhs now utilize this two-story building as their Gallery Museum.

12. Sehdari pavilion

This three-door pavilion’s decoration shows pure Hindu and Sikh cultural styles. Early there were two pavilions; however, one was severely destroyed in the British era.

The pavilion is decorated with floral designs, birds, and Hindu religious themes.

13. Fort Gates

Indeed, all the constructions make the Lahore fort a historical figure in the world.

Like all other structures, the gates to the fort enhance its glamour and make it more attractive for tourists.

Alamgiri Gate

The grand entrance gate to the fort was built by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb in 1674.  This iconic gate has an exquisite basal lotus petal design adorns. It gives the fort a more attractive look. Shah Burj Gate

The Shah Burj Gate was facing deterioration due to negligence by authorities. However, it was restored by the Walled City of Lahore Authority and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture in 2020.

Akbari Gate

The two fort gates were constructed in the Akbar era. One was known as Akbari gate, now Maseeti Gate.

Things To Consider Before Visiting Lahore Fort

Lahore Fort Timings: 8:30 am–5 pm (open all seven days a week)

Access Fee: PKR 20 for entering the fort, and the additional charges PKR 100 separately for visiting Sheesh Mahal.

Tour guide: You need to pay an extra amount of PKR 150 to hire a Lahore Fort tour guide.

Restaurants Near Lahore Fort

The outing without eating is incomplete. Thus after a great day in Lahore fort, you’ll be thinking of the best restaurants near to it to feast yourself.

Your problem has been solved; below we have mentioned the most famous eating points you should visit when going there.

  • Haveli Restaurant
  • Cooco’s Den
  • Andaaz Restaurant
  • Sweettooth Heera Mandi
  • Bundu Khan
  • Zaitoon Take Away Express Restaurant
  • Shahi Baithak
  • The Poet Boutique Restaurant

Location of Lahore fort

It is at the northern end of walled city Lahore and spreads over an area of 20 hectares. Its exact location is Fort Rd, Walled City of Lahore, Lahore, Punjab.

Conclusion

Unquestionably, the Lahore Fort is on the list of must-visit places. It is a wonderful reflection of the Mughal dynasty.

Lastly, whenever you come to Lahore, don’t forget to explore this exquisite creation. With the above information, you’ll find it not difficult to plan your trip to the fort.

Read More: Naran Kaghan & Places To Visit in This Beautiful Valley Of Pakistan

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