Lahore Fort is a palace in the city of Lahore, Pakistan. The fortress is located at the northern end of Lahore and covers an area of nearly 20 hectares. It contains 21 monuments, some of which date to the time of Mughal Emperor Akbar. The Lahore Fort is notable being entirely rebuilt in the 17th century when the Mughal Empire was at the height of its splendor and grace. After the fall of the Mughal Empire, the Lahore Fort was used as the residence of Ranjit Singh, founder of the Sikh Empire. The fort then passed to British colonialists after they annexed Punjab following their victory over the Sikhs at the Battle of Gujarat in February 1849. In 1981, the fort has bestowed the honor of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its “outstanding repertoire” of Mughal monuments dating from the era when the empire was at its artistic and aesthetic peak. Though the site of the Lahore Fort has been inhabited for thousands of years, the first record of a fort structure at the site was in regard to an 11th-century mud-brick fort.
The foundations of the modern Lahore Fort date to 1566 during the reign of Mughal Emperor Akbar, who bestowed the fort with a unique architectural style that featured both Islamic and Hindu motifs. Additions from the King Shah Jahan period are characterized by luxurious marble with inlaid Persian floral designs, while the fort’s iconic Alamgiri Gate was constructed by the last of the great Mughal Emperors, Aurangzeb, and faces the renowned Badshahi Mosque and the Hazuri Bagh.
There are several notable buildings in the fort which capture the imagination of the common man and which attracts many tourists from around the world. For example, the Naulakha Pavilion was constructed by Shah Jahan in 1633 and it is an iconic building which is a favorite of many. The name Naulakha is derived from the fact that nine lakh rupees were spent on its making, which was a huge amount in its time.
The other most notable place in the fort is the Picture Wall. The 440 m long and 15 m high wall is a triumph in itself, with 116 panels it is something like never before seen in any major forts built by the Mughal Emperors. The red fort and the Agra Fort do not even have such an immaculate and beautiful imagery on its walls.
The most notable building and my personal favorite is the Sheesh Mahal. The small intricate glass and diamonds (which aren’t there now) makes it one of the most beautiful buildings the world has ever seen. It was listed as in danger by the UNESCO but after major renovations, the name has been removed from the endangered list.
Lahore Fort is a must see and must visit place if you’re in Lahore, the ticket for visiting is also very nominal, and once in the vicinity Badshahi mosque, Hazuri Bagh and the Iqbal mausoleum are also nearby and of course Miner e Pakistan is also right across the road as well.