The architectural heritage of Lahore needs no description. The architectural works of Lahore, sensuous in their exploitation of colors, textures, materials, intellectual in vigorous application of intricate formal patrons and spiritual in essence at once seduce the art lovers.
In Lahore 109 various buildings of historical or architectural importance have been declared as Special Premises in addition to 61 such buildings already declared as Protected Monuments under the Federal Antiquities Act 1975. Some of the important places which speak volumes of the great Muslim architecture are as under:
Shrine of Hazrat Data Gunj Bakhsh
Syed Abdul Hassan Ali Hajveri commonly known as Data Gunj Bakhsh (The Bestower of Treasures) is the luminous figure of history of the subcontinent. While Muslims conquered subcontinent by force, the saints like Data Gunj Bakhsh influenced the people to embrace Islam voluntarily through their eternal teachings and rational approach towards life. The mausoleum of the great mystic saint Syed Abdul Hassan Ali Hajveri is situated near Bhatti Gate, one of the gates of the walled city.
The Mughal Architecture is the most elegant manifestation of the building of art of the Muslim world as a whole. The Badshahi Mosque was one of the last accomplishments of this great architectural era of the Mughals. The great Emperor Aurangzeb built this mosque. Apart from its architectural magnificence, the Badshahi Mosque is also one of the largest mosques in the world.
This romantic Mughal monument takes its name from the ancient word Sholah Mah and means light of the Moonmongst all the Mughal monuments, it stands out as the pinnacle of romanticism. It is an enchanting piece of landscape where an imaginative gardenerancy has come into full bloom.
The massive doors and great walls of the Lahore Fort speak eloquently of the days gone by. It is one of the great palace forts built by the Mughals in South Asia.
Minar-e-Pakistan has been constructed at the site where the Pakistan Resolution was passed in 1940. The object of this Resolution was to launch the struggle for the attainment of a separate homeland for the Muslims of the Subcontinent, which was then governed by the British.
It is believed that Jehangireloved wife Nur Jehan designed this tomb. However, it was built and constructed by his son, Shah Jehan, who had a great love for architecture.
The Lahore Museum is regarded as one of the oldest and the most authentic in Pakistan. It was built during the times of the British. Lahore Museum has been constructed in the Mughal Gothic style.
Noor Jehan Tomb (1645 A.D.)
The real name of Noor Jehan was Mehrun Nisa Begum. She was given the title of Nur Jehan (light of the world) when she was married and used to consult her in a number of affairs. Noor Jehan was the only empress whose name appeared on the Mughal coins. She died in 1645 AD eighteen years after Jehangireath and was buried near her husbandomb.
Kim's Gun (1802 A.D.)
Ahmad Shah Abdali brought the gun into India. It was used in the battle of Paniput. He left it behind thinking it was unwise to take it back to Kabul. This gun, originally known as Zamas been immortalized as Kimun by the great English novelist poet Rudyard Kipling who lived and worked in Lahore for a long time.
Lahore High Court
Situated on the Mall Road between the General Post Office and new building of State Bank of Pakistan, the building of Lahore High Court was constructed in 1889 in the Indo-Sarcenic style.
It is located on the Faisal Chowk (Charring Cross) in between the WAPDA House and the Al-Falah Building. The first Legislature Assembly of the Punjab under Government of India Act 1935 was constituted in 1937. The Assembly Chambers was constructed in 1938.
National College of Arts
Located on the Mall Road and adjacent to the Lahore Museum in front of Istanbul Chowk and the Zamzama Gun, the British Government established the Mayo School of Arts in 1875. The school was one of its kinds in the Indian Sub Continent.
The Alhamra Arts Council (1970 A.D.)
The Alhamra Arts Council is a relatively modern building, but keeping in view the architectural heritage of Lahore, red bricks and lime mortar has been used for its construction so that is may harmonize with other important buildings such as the Museum, Aitchison College, High Court and Punjab University (Old Campus). Alhamra serves as a center of education for music and related arts and has three of the most modern theater halls in Pakistan.
It is located on the Mall Road on a point where it meets the Lower Mall Road. Sir Charles Aitcheson laid its foundation stone in 1887 and name was given Jubilee Town Hall. The formal inauguration took place in 1890 by Prince Albert Victor. It is a double storied building. The hall is on the upper storey. The floor is laid with teak planks. It is venue of civil functions, seminars and public addresses. It is now under the control of City District Government, Lahore.
It is located on the Mall Road opposite the Bagh-e-Jinnah. It was a private house of Khushal Singh and later on acquired by the British. The adoption and reconstruction was completed in 1853. Maj. Macgregor, the then Deputy Commission of Lahore, was the first official occupant and later on it was converted into the official residence of Lt. Governor of Punjab. During the last fifty years, it is used as the residence of the Governor of Punjab. One wing of the premises is reserved as Guest House. It has a Darbar Hall, Dinning Room, Hillocks and a swimming pool.
Jallo Recreational Park
The Park was established during 1978 over an area of 456 acres. Besides recreation facilities the following amusements also exist in Jallo Park:
- Fruit Garden
- Electric Swings
- Merry Go Round
- Ravi National Park
Total area of Ravi National Park is 68 acres out of which 40 acres covers grassy lawn. The following amusements exist in the Park:
- Electric Swing.
- Water Slides
- Merry Go Round