Introduction Lahore has been the centre of art, learning and excellence in the region through ages. It obtained attention of several kings who ruled in subcontinent. Thus, it has been the cradle of kingdoms for centuries. We can see the relics of these kingdoms across the interior city. Lahore Fort commonly known as Shahi Qila is one such reminiscent that tells us about its past rulers eloquently. 2
Brief History Much of the history of the fort is lost in the mist of antiquity. It is said that a fort was built by Loh at the same place, who is considered to be the first ruler of Lahore. The existing fort was built-up gradually over the course of several centuries. The earliest reference to the fort comes in The History of Lahur (Lahore) written by Al-Beruni, which tells us about a fort constructed in the early 11th century. Evidences are found in archaeological digs that give strong indications that it was built long before 1025 AD. However, in recorded history, it is said to be destroyed by Mongols in 1241 AD. The existing structure of the fort was built during the reign of Emperor Akbar(1566 AD -- 1606 AD). Sometime before 1566, the mud-brick fort was demolished and a new one was constructed with burnt-brick. The fort was renovated, upgraded and expanded during the reigns of Jahangir, Shah Jahan, and Aurangzeb. During Sikh regime, Maharaja Ranjit Singh added several pavilions on the upper ramparts. Modifications to the fort were made during British Rule that consisted mainly of converting older buildings into hospitals, barracks, etc. 3
1. www.orientalarchitecture.com/pakistan/lahore/l ahore-fort.php 2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lahore_Fort Photo creditsPhotos used in the presentation were taken during our recent visit made on 25/09/2012.