Lahore Fort

Lahore Fort, locally referred to as Shahi Qila ( شاهی قلعہ ) is citadel of the city of Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. It is located in the northwestern corner of the Walled City of Lahore. Origins of the fort go as far back as antiquity, 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).

Lahore Fort is located at an eminence in the northwestern corner of the Walled City. citadel is spread over approximately 60 acres and is trapezoidal in form. Although the origin of this fort goes deep into antiquity, the present fortification were begun by Mughal Emperor Akbar. There is evidence that a mud fort was in existence here in 1021, when Mahmud of Ghazni invaded this area. Akbar demolished old mud fort and constructed most of the modern fort on the old foundations. fort's mud construction date back to the early Hindu period.fort is mentione in connection with Muhammad Sam's invasions of Lahore in 1180, 1184, and 1186. It was ruined by the Mongols in 1241, and then rebuilt by Balban in 1267. It was again destroyed by Amir Taimur's army in 1398, to be rebuilt in mud by Sultan Mubarak Shah in 1421, then taken and repaired by Shaikh Ali.present fort, in brick and solid masonry, was built during Akbar's reign between 1556 and 1605. Every succeeding Mughal emperor, as well as the Sikhs and the British, added a pavilion, palace, or wall to the Lahore Fort, making it the only monument in Pakistan which represents a complete history of Mughal architecture.

Structure

strategic location of Lahore city between the Mughal territories and the stronghold of Kabul, Multan, and Kashmir required the dismantling of the old mud-fort anjkd fortification with solid brick masonry.strcucture is dominated by Persian influence that deepened with the successive refurbishments by subsequent emperors. The fort is clearly divided into two sections: first the administrative section, which is well connected with main entrances, and comprises larger garden areas and Diwan-e-Aam for royal audiences.second - a private and concealed residential section - is divided into courts in the northern part, accessible through 'elephant gate'. It also contains Shish Mahal (Hall of Mirrors of Mirror Palace), and spacious bedrooms and smaller gardens. On the outside, the walls are decorated with blue Persian kashi tiles. The original entrance faces the Maryam Zamani Mosque, whereas the larger Alamgiri Gate opens to the Hazuri Bagh through to the majestic Badshahi Mosque.
Lahore Fort

Timeline

1 It cannot be said with certainty when the Lahore Fort was originally constructed or by whom, since this information is lost to history, possibly forever. However, evidence found in archaeological digs gives strong indications that it was built long before 1025 A.D
2 1241 A.D. - Destroyed by Mongols.
3 1267 A.D. - Rebuilt by Sultan Ghiyas ud din Balban.
4 1398 A.D. - Destroyed again, by Amir Tamir's army.
5 1421 A.D. - Rebuilt in mud by Sultan Mubark Shah Syed.
6 1432 A.D. - The fort is occupied by Shaikh Ali of Kabul who makes repairs to the damages inflicted on it by Shaikha Khokhar. * 1566 A.D. - Rebuilt by Mughal emperor Akbar, in solid brick masonry on its earlier foundations. Also perhaps, its area was extended towards the river Ravi, which then and up to about 1849 A.D., used to flow along its fortification on the north. Akbar also built Doulat Khana-e-Khas-o-Am, the famous Jharoka-e-Darshan (Balcony for Royal Appearance), Masjidi Gate etc.
7 1618 A.D. - Jehangir adds Doulat Khana-e-Jehangir
8 1631 A.D. - Shahjahan builds Shish Mahal (Mirror Palace).
9 1633 A.D. - Shahjahan builds Khawabgah (a dream place or sleeping area), Hamam (bath ), Khilwat Khana (retiring room), and Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque).
10 1645 A.D. - Shahjahan builds Diwan-e-Khas (Hall of Special Audience).
11 1674 A.D. - Aurangzeb adds the massively fluted Alamgiri Gate.
12 (Sometime during) 1799-1839 A.D. - The outer fortification wall on the north with the moat, the marble athdera, Havaeli Mai Jindan and Bara Dari Raja Dhiyan Singh were constructed by Ranjit Singh, Sikh ruler from 1799-1839 A.D.
13 1846 A.D. - Occupied by the British.
14 1927 A.D. - The British hand over the Fort to the Department of Archaeology after demolishing a portion of the fortification wall on the south and converting it into a stepped form thus defortifying the fort.