The Lahore Fort, locally referred to as Shahi Qila is citadel of the city of Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. It is located in the northwestern corner of the Walled City of Lahore. The trapezoidal composition is spread over 20 hectares.
Origins of the fort go as far back as antiquity, however, the existing base structure was built during the reign of Mughal emperor Akbar (1556-1605), and was regularly upgraded by subsequent rulers, having thirteen gates in all. Thus the fort manifests the rich traditions of Mughal architecture. Some of the famous sites inside the fort include: Sheesh Mahal, Alamgiri Gate, Naulakha pavilion, and Moti Masjid. In 1981, the fort was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the Shalimar Gardens (Lahore)
The Alamgiri Gate (built in 1673 C.E., constitutes the main entrance to Lahore Fort.
The gate had been constructed to face west towards the Badshahi Mosque in the days of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb.
It had been designed to allow the emperor's elephant mounted caravan to pass through.
It leads to the central square hall having deep arched recesses on the east and north and a staircase leading to the upper storey buildings.
Maktab Khana: Enter the Fort through Alamgiri Gate and you find yourself in a Maktab Khana (Clerks’ House). It is a small cloistered court surrounded by arcades in which clerks use to sit, recording the names of visitors. The inscription outside tells that King Jahangir built Maktab Khana in 1618.
At the time of battle the fort was fully barricade and the king would command his army from this building.
Two cannons were installed by the British on 1800 B.D as reminder of their occupation of the Fort and the Indian subcontinent.
Dewan-E-Khas Dewan-E-Khas " Hall of Private Audience" was Built by Wazir Khan Then the Governor of Lahore fort Mughal Emperor Shahjahan in 1645 AD. Measuring 53 Feet By 51 Feet, The entire Construction is in Chaste White Marble. This is where the emperor listened to petitions of VIP's and after processing were stamped by the royal seal. During British period it was converted into a chapped. Floor is laid in marble intarsia of different colors in geometrical pattern and a fine cup shaped. It is decorated with Petra Dura work.
DIWAN-E-AAM DIWAN-E-AAM or Hall of Public Audience was constructed during the time of shah jahan in 1631-32 A.D.It has 40 pillars and stand on a large raised rectangular platform measuring 187x60 it is a large front court of the DAULAT KHANA-E-KHAS-O-AAM.
Sheesh Mahal The Sheesh Mahal literally “Crystal Palace” or “PALACE OF MIRRORS” represents one of the most lavish rooms within the Lahore Fort. It was built by ASIF KHAN for emperor SHAH JAHAN in 1631-32 AD. It is a most decorated place in the fort embellished with glass work Small pieces of colored mirror cover the walls and ceiling.
Hathipar(Elephant Path) Built by Shah Jahan in 1931-32 A.D. The stairs case consisting of 58 low and broad steps provided access to the royalty mounted on Elephants from Shah burj to the forecourt of Sheesh Mahal.
Moti Masjid: The Moti Masjid stands on the western side of Lahore Fort, near the Alamgiri Darwaza gate. Like many of Shah Jahan's other buildings, it is entirely in white marble, with the cusped arches, engaged baluster columns, and smooth, fine contours associated with this style. It has two aisles of five bays, and a slightly raised central pishtaq, a portal with a rectangular frame.
Hazuri Bagh: The Hazuri Bagh is a small enclosure between the Alamgiri Gate of the Lahore Fort and eastern gate of the Badshahi Mosque. This garden was built by Maharajah Ranjit Singh in 1813 to celebrate the capture of the famous Koh-i-Noor Diamond from Shah Shujah of Afghanistan.
Jahangir’s Quadrangle The quadrangle is bordered by a building known as 'Khwabgah-e-Shahjahani', contiguous to which is the royal hammam, while the northern periphery is dominated by the elegant white marble pavilion known as Diwan-e-Khass.
khavabgah- e-shah jahan(sleeping chamber) It was built by shah jahan in 1663 and the working of its construction was entrusted to wazir khan the founder of wazir khan mosque. It is locatedon the southern end of shahjahan’s quadrangle. It comprises five chambers laid in one row that are exceptionally brilliant with the perforated screen dressed in white marble. The incised work is known as stucco tracery and glass work (ghalibkari in urdu) over the wall.
This building is referred to as ChottiKhwabgah or Khwabgah-e-Khurd (Minor Sleeping Chamber).
PaienBagh(Ladies Garden) The main feature of the Mughal gardens is the provision of paved paths for the walkways; PaienBagh (garden) was built for royal ladies to sustain their health. There were all around cypress and dwarf plants springing an ecstatic fragrance. There is also a water basin in middle of the spacious platform built in fine brick work.
AthDarra (Building having eight openings) Maharaja Ranjit Singh who ruled (1799-1839) built it and used for kacheri(court). The gilt frescos painting on its northern wall made by Maharaja Ranjit. Court artist This monument was constructed at the place of original entrance of Shish Mahal built by Shahjahan in 1633.
Shah Burj Gate It was built by shah jahan in 1631-32 A.D. This magnificent gate was used by the royalty(specific royal members) . An inscription in Persian records its completion in 4th regal year of Shah Jahan under supervision of Mamur Khan