The famous saying about this city is that ” The person who has not seen Lahore is not born”. Lahore is the capital city of the Province of Punjab, Pakistan, and is known as the heart of the province and the country. Lahore is also known as the city of colleges and knowledge, flowers and gardens, historical places and buildings, food and cultures, and people of live hearts. Lahore has many historical buildings and places and here we take a tour of a few of them and I hope that you will feel and find yourself as a visitor to these places.
1. Badshahi Mosque
The Badshahi Mosque is a fine example of architectural art and construction of the Mughal era. It was the largest mosque in Pakistan up until 1986 before the construction of the Faisal Mosque in Islamabad. The mosque is considered one of the most iconic landmarks and is located west of the Lahore Fort and south of the greater Iqbal Park (Minar-e-Pakistan) and along the outskirts of the Walled city of Lahore. The mosque was constructed by Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb Alamgeer from 1671 to 1673. The exterior is decorated with carved red sandstone with marble inlay is a classic example of Mughal Architecture. The Tomb of Allama Iqbal the poet of the east is located on the left outside of the main entrance of the mosque.
2. Lahore Fort
The Lahore Fort is located at the northern end of the Walled City and in front of the main door of the famous Badshahi mosque. The first record of the Lahore fort was found with mud bricks in the 11th century. The foundation of the modern Lahore fort was laid down by Emperor Akbar in 1566 and improvements were made during the different Mughal Emperors Shah Jahan furnished the fort with Luxurious marble in Persian design. Ranjit Singh the founder of the Sikh empire used the Lahore Fort as his residence after the fall of the Mughal Empire.
3. Greater Iqbal Park (Minar-e-Pakistan)
Greater Iqbal Park (Minar-e-Pakistan) formerly known as the Minto Park has an area of 329 acres and is located on the outskirts of Walled City in Lahore. The park is known for its famous historical gathering on 23 March 1940 in which the Pakistan Resolution was passed and a Minar was built for the remembrance of this historical resolution. In the park there are a lot of attractions including an artificial lake spread over four acres and 800 feet long fountains, two-kilometer long soft rail, open-air gym, and many food points. The tomb of Hafeez Jalandhari is also located in this park. The Badshahi mosque, Lahore Fort, and the Greater Iqbal Park are very close to each other and within walking distance. A person can visit all three places in one trip.
4. Shalimar Garden
Shalimar Garden is one of the most important, historical, and popular tourist destinations in Lahore it is located the north of Lahore on Grand Trunk Road (GT Road) and five kilometers east of Delhi Gate of the Walled city of Lahore. Emperor Shah Jahan started the construction of the Shalimar Garden in 1641 and was completed in 1642. The design of the garden is a Persian style Charbagh. The Land of Shalimar garden originally belonged to the Arian Mian family of Baghbanpura. Mian Muhammad Yusuf was then the head of the Arian family ceded the land of Ishaq Pura to Shah Jahan emperor for the construction of the garden as a reward, Shah Jahan authorized to Arain Mian family the governance the garden and it was under their control for more than 350 years and in 1962 the garden was nationalized by General Ayub Khan as the Arain family opposed his martial law in Pakistan. The annual festival of Mela Chiraghan took place in the garden until 1958.
5. Tomb of Emperor Jehangir
The tomb is located after crossing the River Ravi in Shahdara Bagh, and it is on the northwest side of the Walled city of Lahore. The tomb is located in Jehangir’s favorite garden Dilkusha garden. The tomb of Jahangir’s wife Nur Jahan is also located in Shahdara Bagh outside the boundary wall of Jahangir’s tomb. The Mughal Emperor Jehangir ruled from 1605 to 1627 till his death. He died on 28 October 1927 in Kashmir near Rajauri. His body was transferred to Lahore for the funeral process on 12 November 1627 and was buried in his favorite spot in the Dikhusha garden. His son Shah Jahan started the construction of the tomb in 1627 which was completed in ten years in 1637 for the cost of Rs 1 million.
6. Lahore Museum
The Lahore Museum is located at Mall in Lahore and was founded in 1865 at the smaller location and in 1894 was opened at its current location. Lahore Museum is one of the most visited places and the largest museum in Pakistan. In front of the Lahore Museum building is located a Zamzama Gun. The Lahore Museum was initially established in 1965-66 in the Tollinton market. The Lahore museum’s current building was constructed as a memorial of the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887.
As a result of the partition of Punjab in 1948, the museum was divided into the newly formed countries of Pakistan and India. 60% of its collection were remain in the museum and 40% was given to India they have built the museum and art gallery in Chandigarh. In the year of 2005, there were over 250,000 visitors were registered and visited the museum which dropped to 236,000 in 2016, 215,000 in 2017, and 228,000 in 2018. Its also a very popular museum for foreigners as an average of 3,000 foreigners visit the museum during the period from 2016 to 2018.
7. Lahore Zoo
Lahore Zoo is one of the largest Zoos in Pakistan which was established in 1872. The Zoo is managed and operated by the Forest, Wildlife, and Fisheries department of the Government of Pakistan. The Zoo has a collection of over 1378 animals of 135 species which includes 996 birds of 82 species, 49 reptiles of 8, and 336 mammals of 45 species. The Zoo also has 1280 trees of 71 species. The Lahore Zoo is to be considered the 3rd or 4th oldest Zoo in the world after the London Zoo of England which was established in 1828 and became operational for the public in 1847 and the Alipore Zoo of India which was established in the early 19th century and open public in 1976. The Lahore Zoo has different departments and areas for the animals and birds those are fancy birds aviary, Lion House, Elephant house, Monkey House, Chimpanzee house, Waterfowl lake, Reptile house, Walk-through aviary, Chimpanzee Island, Urial hillock, and others.
8. Data Darbar
Data Darbar is a grave and tomb of the great Sufi shrine in South Asia the name was Abu-al-Hassan Ali Hujwiri commonly known as Data Ganj Baksh. He was born in 1009 in Ghazni, Afghanistan, and died on 25 September 1072 in Lahore Pakistan. Data Darbar is located in the center of the old city of Lahore and the surrounding areas are the Mall Road, the Bhati Gate, The Gawalmandi, Karbala Gamay Shah, the Badshahi Mosque, and the greater Iqbal Park. The site is a most famous place in Lahore where an average of 30,000 to 60,000 peoples visit daily and this number crossed over one million daily during the annual urs festival. The area remains open for 24 hours and visitors can freely enter the complex. One can reach the complex by using the Metrobus service by the exit at Bhatti Chowk Station. The Auqaf foundation managed the shrine and more than 200 workers worked full time excluding the security workers.
9. Sozo Water Park
Sozo Water Park is a huge and beautiful place in Lahore located at Canal Bank near Jallo Park. The specialty of this park is that it has totally separate water park for ladies. The park has a very good canteen for refreshment, has the facility of lockers for your clothing and other valuables and it has washrooms as well. It has a huge slide and has the capacity to entertain more than 2000 ladies and children in ladies’ portion and can adjust many more people in the male portion of the water park. The one thing about the park that is not attractive is that the ticket rates are different on the daily basis on Monday the rate will be Pak Rs 500 for adults and Rs 400 for children and from Tuesday to Wednesday it will be Pak Rs 600 for adults and Rs 500 for child and on Thursday which is the most economical day as compare to the other days of the week the rates are Rs 400 for adult and Rs 300 for child and on Saturday it will rise again to Rs 700 for adult and Rs 600 for child and the Sunday is the most costly day of the week the rates shoot up to Rs 800 for adult and Rs 700 for the child.
10. Wagah Border
Wagah is the village in Lahore district, Punjab, Pakistan, and famous as the border between India and Pakistan and very colorful ceremony took place at the border daily when the flags are down in the evening with a beautiful military parade. The parade took place on both sides the borders Indian side and the Pakistani side as well. The flag ceremony took place two hours before the sunset daily. The ceremony is something special and treats to watch in the noise of the slogans. The border is located 24 kilometers from Lahore and 32 kilometers from Amritsar India. The border is also used as a good transit terminal and it has a railway station as well for trade activities between Pakistan and India.