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Lahore
  • لاہور
  • لہور
Metropolis
Night View of Badshahi Mosque (King’s Mosque).jpg
Lahore Fort view from Baradari.jpgWazir Khan Mosque by Moiz.jpg
Minar e Pakistan night image.jpgNaulakha Pavilion in Lahore Fort (cropped).jpg
Beautiful pavilion of Faiz Baksh terrace.jpgLahore Museum, Lahore.jpg
Clockwise from the top:
Badshahi Mosque, Wazir Khan Mosque, Naulakha Pavilion, Lahore Museum, Shalimar Gardens, Minar-e-Pakistan, Lahore Fort.
A higher resolution of Lahore emblem using the editing systems of Luna Pic and letsinhance.io-nd.png
Emblem
Nickname(s): The Heart of Pakistan, Paris of the East, City of Gardens, City of Hazrat Ali Hujwiri
Country  Pakistan
Province Punjab, Pakistan Punjab
Division Lahore
District Lahore
Metropolitan corporation 2013
Area
 • Total 1,772 km2 (684 sq mi)
Elevation 217 m (712 ft)
Population (2017)
 • Total 11,126,285
 • Rank
  • 2nd, Pakistan
  • 18th, World
 • Density 6,278.9/km2 (16,262/sq mi)
Demonym(s) Lahori
Time zone PKT (UTC+5)
Postal code 54000
Dialing code 042
GDP/PPP $65.14 billion (2017)

Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab, and is the country's 2nd largest city after Karachi, as well as the 18th largest city proper in the world. Lahore is one of Pakistan's wealthiest cities with an estimated GDP of $65.14 billion (PPP) as of 2017. Lahore is the largest city and historic cultural centre of the wider Punjab region, and is one of Pakistan's most socially liberal, progressive, and cosmopolitan cities.

Lahore's origins reach into antiquity. The city has been controlled by numerous empires throughout the course of its history, including the Hindu Shahis, Ghaznavids, Ghurids, and Delhi Sultanate by the medieval era. Lahore reached the height of its splendour under the Mughal Empire between the late 16th and early 18th century, and served as its capital city for a number of years. The city was captured by the forces of the Afsharid ruler Nader Shah in 1739, and fell into a period of decay while being contested between the Afghans and the Sikhs. Lahore eventually became capital of the Sikh Empire in the early 19th century, and regained some of its lost grandeur. Lahore was then annexed to the British Empire, and made capital of British Punjab. Lahore was central to the independence movements of both India and Pakistan, with the city being the site of both the declaration of Indian Independence, and the resolution calling for the establishment of Pakistan. Lahore experienced some of the worst rioting during the Partition period preceding Pakistan's independence. Following the success of the Pakistan Movement and subsequent independence in 1947, Lahore was declared capital of Pakistan's Punjab province.

Lahore exerts a strong cultural influence over Pakistan. Lahore is a major center for Pakistan's publishing industry, and remains the foremost center of Pakistan's literary scene. The city is also a major centre of education in Pakistan, with some of Pakistan's leading universities based in the city. Lahore is also home to Pakistan's film industry, Lollywood, and is a major centre of Qawwali music. The city also hosts much of Pakistan's tourist industry, with major attractions including the Walled City, the famous Badshahi and Wazir Khan mosques and Sikh shrines. Lahore is also home to the Lahore Fort and Shalimar Gardens, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

History

Origins

Temple associated with Loh
The Lava Temple at the Lahore Fort dates from the Sikh period, and is dedicated to the Hindu deity Lava

A legend based on oral traditions holds that Lahore, known in ancient times as Lavapura, was founded by Prince Lava or Loū, the son of Sita and Rama, the king of Ayodhya and an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu according to the Ramayana epic. The city of Kasur was founded by his twin brother, Prince Kusha. To this day, Lahore Fort has a vacant temple dedicated to Lava (also pronounced Loh, hence Loh-awar or "The Fort of Loh"). Ptolemy, the celebrated 2nd-century Egyptian astronomer and geographer, mentions in his Geographia a city called Labokla situated on the route between the Indus River and Palibothra, or Pataliputra (Patna) mostly, in a tract of country called Kasperia (Kashmir). It was described as extending along the rivers Bidastes or Vitasta (Jhelum), Sandabal or Chandra Bhaga (Chenab), and Adris or Iravati (Ravi). This city may have been ancient Lahore.

The oldest authentic surviving document about Lahore was written anonymously in 982. It is called Hudud al-'Alam (The Regions of the World). In 1927 it was translated into English by Vladimir Minorsky and published in Lahore. In this document, Lahore is mentioned as a town being invaded by Arabic savages "impressive temples, large markets and huge orchards." It refers to "two major markets around which dwellings exist", and it also mentions "the mud walls that enclose these two dwellings to make it one." The original document is currently held in the British Museum. Lahore was called by different names throughout history. To date there is no conclusive evidence as to when it was founded. Some historians trace the history of the city as far back as 4000 years ago. However, historically, it has been proved that Lahore is at least 2,000 years old. Hieun-tsang, the famous Chinese pilgrim has given a vivid description of Lahore which he visited in the early parts of the 7th century. Lahore has been ruled and plundered by a number of dynasties and hordes.

Rajput period and invasions

Lahore is described as a Hindu principality in the Rajput accounts. Keneksen, the founder of Suryavansha is believed to have migrated out from the city. The Solanki tribe, belonging to Amukhara Pattan which included the Bhatti Rajputs of Jaisalmer "point to Lahore" as their place of earliest settlement. In 1241, Lahore was invaded by Mongols. Though Timur captured the city in 1397, he did not loot it because "it was not rich then".

Ghaznavid Empire to Delhi Sultanate

Data Durbar as more then one decade before by Usman Ghani
The Data Darbar shrine, one of Pakistan's most important, was built to commemorate the patron saint of Lahore, Ali Hujwiri, who lived in the city during the Ghaznavid era in the 11th century.
Neevin Masjid 3 (WCLA)
The Neevin Mosque is one of Lahore's few remaining medieval era buildings.
Night View of Badshahi Mosque (King’s Mosque)
Badshahi Mosque was commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in 1671.

Lahore appears as the capital of the Punjab for the first time under Anandapala – the Hindu Shahi king who is referred to as the ruler of (hakim i lahur) –after leaving the earlier capital of Waihind. Few references to Lahore remain from before its capture by Sultan Mahmud of Ghaznavi in the 11th century. The sultan took Lahore after a long siege and battle in which the city was torched and depopulated. In 1021, Sultan Mahmud appointed Malik Ayaz to the throne and made Lahore the capital of the Ghaznavid Empire. As the first Muslim governor of Lahore, Ayaz rebuilt and repopulated the city. He added many important features, such as city gates and a masonry fort, built in 1037–1040 on the ruins of the previous one, which had been demolished in the fighting (as recorded by Munshi Sujan Rae Bhandari, author of the Khulasatut Tawarikh in 1695–96). The present Lahore Fort stands on the same location. Under Ayaz's rule, the city became a cultural and academic centre, renowned for poetry. The tomb of Malik Ayaz can still be seen in the Rang Mahal commercial area of town.

After the fall of the Ghaznavid Empire, Lahore was ruled by Turko-Afghan dynasties based in Delhi, known as the Delhi Sultanate, including the Khiljis, Tughlaqs, Mamluk, Sayyid and Lodhis. During the reign of Qutbu l-Din Aibak, Lahore was known as the 'Ghazni of India'. Scholars and poets from as far away as Kashghar, Bukhara, Samarkand, Iraq, Khorasan and Herat, gathered in Lahore and made it a city of learning. Under Aibak, Lahore had more poets of Persian than any other Islamic city. In 1286, Prince Muhammad, who was the son of Balban was defeated in an encounter with the Mongols in the city.

Mughal era

Revised photo Interior of Wazir Khan Mosque
Lahore's Wazir Khan Mosque is considered to be the most ornately decorated Mughal-era mosque.
Interior of Mariyam Zamani Begum Mosque
The Begum Shahi Mosque was completed in 1614 in honour of Jahangir's mother, Mariam-uz-Zamani.

In the early 16th century, Babur, a Timurid descendant of Timur and Genghis Khan from Fergana Valley (modern day Uzbekistan), swept across the Khyber Pass and founded the Mughal Empire, covering modern day Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. The Mughals were descended from Central Asian Turco-Mongols. Lahore reached the zenith of its glory during the Mughal rule from 1524 to 1752. Lahore reached the peak of its architectural glory during the rule of the Mughals, many of whose buildings and gardens have survived the ravages of time.

Humayun, his son married Hamida Banu Begum in Lahore while fleeing to Persia. It was also the headquarters of Mughal rule during Akbar between 1584 to 1598. Thus along with Agra and Delhi, it became an "alternate seat of imperial court". Akbar also held discussions with Portuguese missionaries in the city. Abul Fazl, his court historian calls it a "a great city in Bari Doab, in magnificance and populousness it has few equals".

The Mughal period in Lahore ended with Nader Shah's conquest in 1738. Lahore was part of Nader Shah's Persia between 1738 and 1747 and part of the Durrani Empire between 1747 and 1758.

Maratha reign

In 1758, the Maratha Empire's general Raghunathrao conquered Lahore, Attock and Peshawar, and drove out Timur Shah Durrani, the son and viceroy of Ahmad Shah Abdali. Lahore, Multan, Peshawar, Kashmir and other subahs on the south and eastern side of Attock were under the Maratha rule for the most part. In Punjab and Kashmir, the Marathas were now major players. In 1761, following the victory at the Third Battle of Panipat between the Durrani and the Maratha Empire, Ahmad Shah Abdali captured remnants of the Maratha Empire in Punjab and Kashmir regions and consolidated control over them.

Sikh reign

Tomb of Asif Khan 01
The Tomb of Asif Khan was one of several monuments plundered for its precious building materials during the Sikh period.
Maharaja Sher Singh (1807-1843) seated, attended by his council in the Lahore Fort.
Maharaja Sher Singh (1807-1843) seated, attended by his council in the Lahore Fort.

During the late 18th century, frequent invasions by the Durrani Empire and the Maratha Empire due to the decline of the Mughal Empire, led to a lack of governance in the Punjab region. The Sikh Misls were in close combat with the Durrani Empire, but began to gain territory and eventually the Bhangi Misl captured Lahore. When Zaman Shah invaded Punjab again in 1799 Maharaja Ranjit Singh was able to make gains in the chaos. He defeated Zaman in a battle between Lahore and Amritsar. The citizens of Lahore, encouraged by Sada Kaur, offered him the city and he was able to take control of it in a series of battles with the Bhangi Misl and their allies.

Lahore served as the capital city of the Sikh Empire in accordance with Lahore being the capital of Punjab. While much of Lahore's Mughal era fabric lay in ruins by the end of 18th century a close struggle to gain control, rebuilding efforts under the Sikh Empire were shaped by and indebted to Mughal practice. Maharaja Ranjit Singh moved into the Mughal palace in Lahore's citadel. By 1812 he had mostly refurbished the city's defences by adding a second circuit of outer walls that followed the outline of Akbar's original walls and were separated from them by a moat. The Maharaja also partially restored Shah Jahan's decaying gardens at Shalimar, and British maps of the area surrounding Lahore dating from the mid-19th century show that walled private gardens – many of them bearing the names of prominent Sikh nobles – continued in the Mughal pattern under Sikh rule. The Sikh court continued to endow religious architecture in the city, including a number of Sikh gurdwaras, Hindu temples and mosques.

British Raj

Street scene of Lahore, 1890s 2
Street scene of Lahore, 1890s.
GPO building
the General Post Office
designed by Sir Ganga Ram

Maharaja Ranjit Singh made Lahore his capital and was able to expand the kingdom to the Khyber Pass and also included Jammu and Kashmir, while keeping the British East India Company from expanding across the River Sutlej for more than 40 years. After his death in 1839 the internecine fighting between the Sikhs and several rapid forfeitures of territory by his sons, along with the intrigues of the Dogras and two Anglo-Sikh wars, eventually led to East India Company control of the Punjab ten years later. For the East India Company, the Punjab was a frontier province, because the region had boundaries with Afghanistan. Therefore, the Punjabis, unlike the Bengalis and Sindhis, were discouraged from using their mother tongue as an official language out of fear of Nationalism. The British first introduced Urdu as an official language in Punjab, including Lahore, allegedly due to a fear of Punjabi nationalism. Under the British (1849–1947), architecture in Lahore combined Mughal, Gothic and Victorian styles.

Under the British, Sir Ganga Ram (referred to as the father of modern Lahore) designed and built the General Post Office, Lahore Museum, Aitchison College, Mayo School of Arts (now the NCA), Ganga Ram Hospital, Lady Mclagan Girls High School, the chemistry department of the Government College University, the Albert Victor wing of Mayo Hospital, Sir Ganga Ram High School (now Lahore College for Women) the Hailey College of Commerce, Ravi Road House for the Disabled, the Ganga Ram Trust Building on Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam, and the Lady Maynard Industrial School.

Independence of Pakistan

Lahore played a special role in the independence movements of India. The 1929 Indian National Congress session was held at Lahore. In this Congress, the Declaration of the Independence of India was moved by Jawaharlal Nehru and passed unanimously at midnight on 31 December 1929. On this occasion, the Swaraj flag (with a charkha at its centre) was adopted by the Congress. Lahore's prison was used by the British to detain revolutionaries. Noted independence activist Jatin Das died in Lahore's prison after fasting for 63 days in protest of British treatment of political prisoners. One of the most famous martyrs in the history of Indian independence, Shaheed Sardar Bhagat Singh, was killed here. The most important session of the All India Muslim League (later the Pakistan Muslim League), demanding the creation of Pakistan, was held in Lahore in 1940. Muslims under the leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah demanded a separate homeland for Muslims of India in a document known as the Pakistan Resolution or the Lahore Resolution. It was during this session under the leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the leader of the league, that Muslims League publicly proposed the Two-Nation Theory for the first time.

Post-independence

Upon the independence of Pakistan, Lahore was made capital of the Punjab province in the new state of Pakistan. Almost immediately, large scale riots broke out among Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus, causing many deaths as well as damage to historic monuments—including the Lahore Fort, Badshahi mosque and colonial buildings.

After independence and its deep impact, Lahore as so many times before, once again gained its significance as an economic and cultural powerhouse of the region, through government reforms. The second Islamic Summit Conference was held in the city in 1974.

Geography

Weather chart for Lahore
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temperatures in °C
precipitation totals in mm
source: Hong Kong Observatory

Lying between 31°15′—31°45′ N and 74°01′—74°39′ E, Lahore is bounded on the north and west by the Sheikhupura District, on the east by Wagah, and on the south by Kasur District. The Ravi River flows on the northern side of Lahore. Lahore city covers a total land area of 404 square kilometres (156 sq mi). Lahore is located approximately 24 kilometres (15 mi) from the border with India.

Climate

Lahore has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSh). The hottest month is June, when average highs routinely exceed 40 °C (104.0 °F). The monsoon season starts in late June, and the wettest month is July, with heavy rainfalls and evening thunderstorms with the possibility of cloudbursts. The coolest month is January with dense fog.

The city's record high temperature was 48.3 °C (118.9 °F), recorded on 30 May 1944. 48 °C (118 °F) was recorded on 10 June 2007. At the time the meteorological office recorded this official temperature in the shade, it reported a heat index in direct sunlight of 55 °C (131 °F). The record low is −1 °C (30 °F), recorded on 13 January 1967. The highest rainfall in a 24-hour period is 221 millimetres (8.7 in), recorded on 13 August 2008. On 26 February 2011, Lahore received heavy rain and hail measuring 4.5 mm (0.18 in), which carpeted roads and sidewalks with measurable hail for the first time in the city's recorded history.

Demographics

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1881 138,878 —    
1891 159,947 +15.2%
1901 186,884 +16.8%
1911 228,687 +22.4%
1921 281,781 +23.2%
1931 400,075 +42.0%
1941 671,659 +67.9%
1951 1,130,000 +68.2%
1961 1,630,000 +44.2%
1972 2,198,890 +34.9%
1981 2,988,486 +35.9%
1998 5,209,088 +74.3%
2017 11,126,285 +113.6%

Population

The results of the 2017 Census determined the population to be at 11,126,285, with an annual growth rate of 4.07% since 1998. Gender-wise, 52.35% of the population is male, while 47.64% is female, and transgender people make only 0.01% of the population. Lahore is a young city with over 40% of its inhabitants below the age of 15. The average life expectancy stand at less than 60 years of age.

Religion

The city has a Muslim majority (97%), Christian (2%) minority population, Sikh and Hindu constitute (1%) combined. There is also a small but longstanding Zoroastrian community. Additionally, Lahore contains some of Sikhism's holiest sites, and is a major Sikh pilgrimage site.

According to the 1998 census, 94% of Lahore's population is Muslim, up from 60% in 1941. Other religions include Christians (5.80% of the total population, though they form around 9.0% of the rural population) and small numbers of Ahmadis, Bahá'ís, Hindus, Parsis and Sikhs. Lahore's first church was built during the reign of Emperor Akbar in the late 16th century, which was then leveled by Shah Jahan in 1632.

Languages

The Punjabi language is the most-widely spoken native language in Lahore, with 87% of Lahore counting it as their first language according to the 1998 Census, Lahore is the largest Punjabi-speaking city in the world.

Urdu and English are used as official languages and as mediums of instruction and media administration. However Punjabi is also taught at graduation level and used in theaters, films and newspapers from Lahore. Several Lahore based prominent educational leaders, researchers, and social commentators demand that Punjabi language should be declared as the medium of instruction at the primary level and official use in Punjab assembly, Lahore.

Cityscape

Beauty of Pakistan (lahore)
Cityscape of Lahore

Old City

Wazir Khan Mosque - Aerial View
The area around the Wazir Khan Mosque exemplifies the Walled City's urban form

Lahore's modern cityscape consists of the historic Walled City of Lahore in the northern part of the city, which contains several world and national heritage sites. Lahore's urban planning was not based on geometric design but was instead built piecemeal, with small cul-de-sacs, katrahs and galis developed in the context of neighbouring buildings. Though certain neighbourhoods were named for particular religious or ethnic communities, the neighbourhoods themselves typically were diverse and were not dominated by the namesake group.

By the end of the Sikh rule, most of Lahore's massive haveli compounds had been occupied by settlers. New neighbourhoods occasionally grew up entirely within the confines of an old Mughal haveli, such as the Mohallah Pathan Wali, which grew within the ruins of a haveli of the same name that was built by Mian Khan. By 1831, all Mughal Havelis in the Walled City had been encroached upon by the surrounding neighbourhood, leading to the modern-day absence of any Mughal Havelis in Lahore.

A total of thirteen gates once surrounded the historic walled city. Some of the remaining gates include the Raushnai Gate, Masti Gate, Yakki Gate, Kashmiri Gate, Khizri Gate, Shah Burj Gate, Akbari Gate and Lahori Gate. Southeast of the walled city is the spacious British-era Lahore Cantonment.

Badshahi Mosquee, Lahore
The area around the Badshahi Mosque which shows the Mughal era at its best.

Architecture

Bahria Mosque Lahore
Built in 2012, Grand Jamia Mosque in Southern Lahore is a blend of Mughal and modern architecture.

Lahore is home to numerous monuments from the Mughal Dynasty, Sikh Empire, and British Raj. The architectural style of the Walled City of Lahore has traditionally been influenced by Mughal and Sikh styles. The leafy suburbs to the south of the Old City, as well as the Cantonment southwest of the Old City, were largely developed under British colonial rule, and feature colonial-era buildings built alongside leafy avenues.

Sikh period

By the arrival of the Sikh Empire, Lahore had decayed from its former glory as the Mughal capital. Rebuilding efforts under Ranjit Singh and his successors were influenced by Mughal practices, and Lahore was known as the 'City of Gardens' during the Ranjit Singh period. Later British maps of the area surrounding Lahore dating from the mid-19th century show many walled private gardens which were confiscated from the Muslim noble families bearing the names of prominent Sikh nobles – a pattern of patronage which was inherited from the Mughals.

While much of Lahore's Mughal era fabric lay in ruins by the time of his arrival, Ranjit Singh's army's plundered most of Lahore's most precious Mughal monuments, and stripped the white marble from several monuments to send to different parts of the Sikh Empire. Monuments plundered of their marble include the Tomb of Asif Khan, Tomb of Nur Jahan, the Shalimar Gardens were plundered of much of its marble and costly agate. The Sikh state also demolished a number of shrines and monuments laying outside the city's walls.

Sikh rule left Lahore with several monuments, and a heavily altered Lahore Fort. Ranjit Singh's rule had restored Lahore to much of its last grandeur, and the city was left with a large number of religious monuments from this period. Several havelis were built during this era, though only a few still remain.

British period

Front elevation, Aitchison College
A syncretic architectural style that blends Islamic, Hindu, and Western motifs took root during the colonial era, as shown at Aitchison College.
Tollington market, Mall Road, Lahore, Pakistan
Much of old Lahore features colonial-era buildings, such as the Tollinton Market.

As capital of British Punjab, British colonialists made a lasting architectural impression on the city. Structures were built predominantly in the Indo-Gothic style – a syncretic architectural style that blends elements of Victorian and Islamic architecture, or in the distinct Indo-Saracenic style. The British also built neoclassical Montgomery Hall, which today serves as the Quaid-e-Azam Library.

Lawrence Gardens were also laid near Civil Station, and were paid for by donations solicited from both Lahore's European community, as well as from wealthy locals. The gardens featured over 600 species of plants, and were tended to by a horticulturist sent from London's Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.

The British authorities built several important structures around the time of the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887 in the distinct Indo-Saracenic style. The Lahore Museum and Mayo School of Industrial Arts were both established around this in this style. Other prominent examples of the Indo-Saracenic style in Lahore include Lahore's prestigious Aitchison College, the Punjab Chief Court (today the Lahore High Court), Lahore Museum and University of the Punjab. Many of Lahore's most important buildings were designed by Sir Ganga Ram, who is sometimes called the "Father of modern Lahore."

Parks and gardens

Bagh-e-Jinnah Lahore Pakistan
Lahore's Lawrence Garden was laid in 1862.

The Shalimar Gardens were laid out during the reign of Shah Jahan and were designed to mimic the Islamic paradise of the afterlife described in the Qur'an. The gardens follow the familiar charbagh layout of four squares, with three descending terraces.

The Lawrence Garden was established in 1862 and was originally named after Sir John Lawrence, late 19th-century British Viceroy to India. The Circular Garden, which surrounds on the Walled City on three sides, was established by 1892.

The many other gardens and parks in the city include Hazuri Bagh, Iqbal Park, Mochi Bagh, Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park, Model Town Park, Race Course Park, Nasir Bagh Lahore, Jallo Park, Lahore Zoo Safari Park, and Changa Manga, a man-made forest near Lahore in the Kasur district. Another example is the Bagh-e-Jinnah, a 141-acre (57 ha) botanical garden that houses entertainment and sports facilities as well as a library.

Economy

As of 2008, the city's gross domestic product (GDP) by purchasing power parity (PPP) was estimated at $40 billion with a projected average growth rate of 5.6 percent. This is at par with Pakistan's economic hub, Karachi, with Lahore (having half the population) fostering an economy that is 51% of the size of Karachi's ($78 billion in 2008). The contribution of Lahore to the national economy is estimated to be 11.5% and 19% to the provincial economy of Punjab. As a whole Punjab has $115 billion economy making it first and to date only Pakistani Subdivision of economy more than $100 billion at the rank 144. Lahore's GDP is projected to be $102 billion by the year 2025, with a slightly higher growth rate of 5.6% per annum, as compared to Karachi's 5.5%.

A major industrial agglomeration with about 9,000 industrial units, Lahore has shifted in recent decades from manufacturing to service industries. Some 42% of its work force is employed in finance, banking, real estate, community, cultural, and social services. The city is Pakistan's largest software & hardware producing centre, and hosts a growing computer-assembly industry. The city has always been a centre for publications where 80% of Pakistan's books are published, and it remains the foremost centre of literary, educational and cultural activity in Pakistan.

The Lahore Expo Centre is one of the biggest projects in the history of the city and was inaugurated on 22 May 2010. Defense Raya Golf Resort, also under construction, will be Pakistan's and Asia's largest golf course. The project is the result of a partnership between DHA Lahore and BRDB Malaysia. The rapid development of large projects such as these in the city is expected to boost the economy of the country. Ferozepur Road of the Central business districts of Lahore contains high-rises and skyscrapers including Kayre International Hotel and Arfa Software Technology Park.

Transport

Kalma Underpass1
Kalma Underpass

Public transportation

Lahore Bus Service at Central Station, Lahore
Lahore Metrobus

Lahore's main public transportation system is operated by the Lahore Transport Company (LTC) and Punjab Mass Transit Authority (PMTA). The backbone of its public transport network is the PMTA's Lahore Metrobus and soon to be Orange Line of the Lahore Metro train. LTC and PMTA also operates an extensive network of buses, providing bus service to many parts of the city and acting as a feeder system for the Metrobus.

Metro Bus

The Lahore Metrobus, is a bus rapid transit service operating in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan. Lahore Metrobus service is integrated with Lahore Transport Company's local bus service to operate as one urban transport system, providing seamless transit service across Lahore District with connections to neighboring suburban communities.

Metro Train

Orange Line

The Orange Line Metro Train is an automated rapid transit system in Lahore. The Orange line is the first of the three proposed rail lines proposed for the Lahore Metro. The line spans 27.1 km (16.8 mi) with 25.4 km (15.8 mi) elevated and 1.72 km (1.1 mi) underground and have a cost of 251.06 billion Rupees($1.6 billion). The line consists of 26 subway stations and is designed to carry over 250,000 passengers daily. CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive rolled out the first of 27 trains for the metro on 16 May 2017. Successful initial test trials were run in mid 2018. Since Lt Gen. (R) Asim Saleem Bajwa became the chairman of CPEC Authoriy, he boosted the work already going under his supervision and has announced the Orange Line Train will open as soon as 23 March 2020.

Blue Line

The Blue Line is a proposed 24 kilometres (15 mi) line from Chauburji to College Road, Township.

Purple Line

The Purple Line is a proposed 32 km Airport rail link.

Taxi and Rickshaw

Radio cab services Uber and Careem are available in the city. These taxis need to be booked in advance by apps or by calling their number. Motorcycle ride is also available in the city which have been introduced by private companies. These motorcycles need to be booked in advance by apps.

Auto rickshaws play an important role of public transport in Lahore. There are 246,458 auto rickshaws, often simply called autos, in the city. Motorcycle rickshaws, usually called "chand gari" (moon car) or "chingchi" (after the Chinese company Jinan Qingqi Motorcycle Co. Ltd who first introduced these to the market) are also a very common means of domestic travel. Since 2002, all auto rickshaws have been required to use CNG as fuel.

Urban (LOV) Wagon / Mini Bus

Medium-sized vans/wagons or LOVs(Low Occupancy Vehicle) run on routes throughout the city. They function like buses, and operate on many routes throughout the city.

Intercity transportation

Railways

Lahore Junction Station serves as the main railway station for Lahore, and serves as a major hub for all Pakistan Railway services in northern Pakistan. It includes services to Peshawar and national capital Islamabad-Rawalpindi, and long-distance services to Karachi and Quetta. Lahore Cantonment Station also operates a few trains.

Buses

The Lahore Badami Bagh Bus Terminal serves as a hub for intercity bus services in Lahore, served by multiple bus companies providing a comprehensive network of services in Punjab and neighboring provinces.

Daewoo Express has bus terminals at Thokar Niaz Baig as well as DHA. Bus stands for Faisal Movers, Niazi Express, Skyways and other major services are located at Niazi Bus Terminal. Lahore Jinnah Bus Terminal is also a major bus stand.

Airports

Further information: Allama Iqbal International Airport
AllamaIqbalAirport
Allama Iqbal International Airport

Pakistan's third busiest airport, Allama Iqbal International Airport (IATA: LHE), straddles the city's eastern boundary. The new passenger terminal was opened in 2003, replacing the old terminal which now serves as a VIP and Hajj lounge. The airport was named after the national poet-philosopher, Muhammad Iqbal. and is a secondary hub for the national flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines. Walton Airport in Askari provides general aviation facilities. In addition, Sialkot International Airport (IATA: SKT) and Faisalabad International Airport (IATA: LYP) also serve as alternate airports for the Lahore area in addition to serving their respective cities.

Allama Iqbal International Airport connects Lahore with many cities worldwide (including domestic destinations) by both passenger and cargo flight including Ras al Khaimah, Guangzhou (begins 28 August 2018), Ürümqi, Abu Dhabi, Barcelona, Beijing–Capital, Copenhagen, Dammam, Delhi, Dera Ghazi Khan, Doha, Dubai–International, Islamabad, Jeddah, Karachi, Kuala Lumpur–International, London–Heathrow, Manchester, Medina, Milan–Malpensa, Multan, Muscat, Oslo–Gardermoen, Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Peshawar, Quetta, Rahim Yar Khan, Riyadh, Salalah, Tokyo–Narita, Toronto–Pearson, Mashhad, Bangkok–Suvarnabhumi, Tashkent

Roads

Badshahi Mosque, Lahore VII
The Azadi Chowk is located near the Badshahi Mosque.
Lahore Ring Road (L-20)
Lahore Ring Road

There are a number of municipal, provincial and federal roads that serve Lahore.

  • Municipal roads
    • Canal Road (serves as the major north–south artery)
  • Provincial highways
    • Lahore Ring Road
    • Lahore–Kasur Road (Ferozepur Road)
    • Lahore–Raiwind Road (Raiwind Road)
    • Lahore–Sharaqpur Road (Sagianwala Bypass Road)
    • Lahore–Wagah Road
    • Grand Trunk Road (G.T Road )
  • Federal highways
    • M-2 motorway
    • M-3 motorway
    • M-11 motorway
    • N-5 National Highway (Multan Road)
    • N-60 National Highway (Sargodha–Lahore road)

Government

Metropolitan Corporation

Under Punjab Local Government Act 2013, Lahore is a metropolitan area and under the authority of the Metropolitan Corporation Lahore. The district is divided into 9 zones, each with its own elected Deputy Mayor. The Metropolitan Corporation Lahore is a body of those 9 deputy, as well as the city's mayor – all of whom are elected in popular elections. The Metropolitan Corporation approves zoning and land use, urban design and planning, environmental protection laws, as well as provide municipal services.

Mayor

As per the Punjab Local Government Act 2013, the Mayor of Lahore is the elected head of the Metropolitan Corporation of Lahore. The mayor is directly elected in municipal elections every four years alongside 9 deputy town mayors. Mubashir Javed of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) was elected mayor of Lahore in 2016. The mayor is responsible for the administration of government services, the composition of councils and committees overseeing Lahore City District departments and serves as the chairperson for meeting of Lahore Council. The mayor also functions to help devise long-term development plans in consultation with other stakeholders and bodies to improve the condition, livability, and sustainability of urban areas.

Neighbourhoods

Lahore District is a subdivision of the Punjab, and is further divided into 9 administrative zones. Each town in turn consists of a group of union councils, which total to 274.

Politics

The 2015 Local Government elections for Union Councils in Lahore yielded the following results:




Circle frame-1.svg

     PML(N) (84.5%)     Independents (9.9%)     PTI (4.4%)     PPP (0.4%)

MCL/Zones
Parties
UC seats
Pakistan Muslim League (N) 229
Independents 27
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf 12
Pakistan Peoples Party 1
Awaiting results *5
Total 274

Festivals

In March 2015 the Spring start. Canal get decorated. it feels amazing. Canal Bridge Jail Road, Lahore
Lahore Canal during the spring Basant festival

The people of Lahore celebrate many festivals and events throughout the year, including Islamic, traditional Punjabi, Christian, and national holidays and festivals.

Many people decorate their houses and light candles to illuminate the streets and houses during public holidays; roads and businesses may be lit for days. Many of Lahore's dozens of Sufi shrines hold annual festivals called urs to honor their respective saints. For example, the mausoleum of Ali Hujwiri at the Data Darbar shrine has an annual urs that attracts up to one million visitors per year. The popular Mela Chiraghan festival in Lahore takes place at the shrine of Madho Lal Hussain, while other large urs take place at the shrines of Bibi Pak Daman, and at the Shrine of Mian Mir. Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha are celebrated in the city with public buildings and shopping centers decorated in lights. Lahoris also commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Husain at Karbala during massive processions that take place during the first ten days of the month of Muharram.

Basant is a traditional Punjabi festival that marks the coming of spring. Basant celebrations in Pakistan are centred in Lahore, and people from all over the country and from abroad come to the city for the annual festivities. Kite-flying competitions traditionally take place on city rooftops during Basant, while the Lahore Canal is decorated with floating lanterns. Courts have banned the kite-flying because of casualties and power installation losses. The ban was lifted for two days in 2007, then immediately reimposed when 11 people were killed by celebratory gunfire, sharp kite-strings, electrocution, and falls related to the competition.

Lahore's churches are elaborately decorated for Christmas and Easter celebrations. Shopping centers and public buildings also install Christmas installations to celebrate the holiday, even though Christians make up a minority of Lahore's population.

Tourism

Lahore remains a major tourist destination in Pakistan. The Walled City of Lahore was renovated in 2014 and is popular due to the presence of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Among the most popular sights are the Lahore Fort, adjacent to the Walled City, and home to the Sheesh Mahal, the Alamgiri Gate, the Naulakha pavilion, and the Moti Masjid. The fort along with the adjoining Shalimar Gardens has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981.

The city is home to several ancient religious sites including prominent Hindu temples, the Krishna Temple and Valmiki Mandir. The Samadhi of Ranjit Singh, also located near the Walled City, houses the funerary urns of the Sikh ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The most prominent religious building is the Badshahi Mosque, constructed in 1673; it was the largest mosque in the world upon construction. Another popular sight is the Wazir Khan Mosque, known for its extensive faience tile work and constructed in 1635.

Cuisine

Religious sites

Other well-known religious sites in the city are:

  • St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church
  • Sacred Heart Cathedral
  • Badshahi Mosque
  • Lava Temple
  • Suneri Mosque
  • Grand Jamia Mosque
  • Masjid of Mariyam Zamani
  • Neevin Mosque
  • Dai Anga Mosque
  • Shab Bhar Mosque
  • Wazir Khan Mosque
  • Moti Masjid (Lahore Fort)
  • Muhammad Saleh Kamboh Mosque
  • Masjid Shuhada
  • Oonchi Mosque
  • Lohari Gate Mosque
  • Shaheed Ganj Mosque
  • Data Durbar Complex
  • Grand Jamia Mosque, Lahore
  • Valmiki Temple
  • Krishna Mandir, Lahore
  • Darbar Madho Lal Hussain
  • Sacred Heart Cathedral, Lahore

Museums

  • Lahore Museum
  • Army Museum Lahore
  • National History Museum
  • Fakir Khana
  • Javed Manzil
  • Shakir Ali Museum
  • Islamic Summit Minar
  • National Museum of Science and Technology
  • Tollinton Market-Lahore City Heritage Museum

Tombs

  • Tomb of Ali Mardan Khan
  • Tomb of Allama Iqbal
  • Tomb of Anarkali
  • Tomb of Asif Khan
  • Tomb of Dai Anga
  • Tomb of Jani Khan
  • Tomb of Jahangir
  • Tomb of Nadira Begum
  • Tomb of Nur Jahan
  • Buddhu
  • Cypress Tomb or Sarowala Maqbara
  • Kuri Bagh
  • Mai Dai
  • Mian Khan
  • Nusrat Khan
  • Prince Pervez
  • Qutb-ud-din Aibak
  • Saleh Kamboh
  • Mir Niamat Khan
  • Rasul Shahyun
  • Gul Begam
  • Malik Ayaz
  • Zafar Jang Kokaltash
  • Zeb-un-Nisa

Shrines

  • Bibi Pak Daman
  • Ali Hujwiri
  • Mian Mir
  • Madho Lal Hussain
  • Khawaja Tahir Bandgi
  • Ghazi Ilm Din Shaheed
  • Sheikh Musa Ahangar
  • Khawaja Mehmud
  • Nizam-ud-Din
  • Siraj-ud-Din Gilani
  • peer makki
  • Baba Shah Jamal

Samadhis

Havelis

There are many havelis inside the Walled City of Lahore, some in good condition while others need urgent attention. Many of these havelis are fine examples of Mughal and Sikh Architecture. Some of the havelis inside the Walled City include:

  • Mubarak Begum Haveli Bhatti Gate
  • Chuna Mandi Havelis
  • Haveli of Nau Nihal Singh
  • Nisar Haveli
  • Haveli Barood Khana
  • Salman Sirhindi ki Haveli
  • Dina Nath Ki Haveli
  • Mubarak Haveli – Chowk Nawab Sahib, Mochi/Akbari Gate
  • Lal Haveli beside Mochi Bagh
  • Mughal Haveli (residence of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh)
  • Haveli Sir Wajid Ali Shah (near Nisar Haveli)
  • Haveli Mian Khan (Rang Mehal)
  • Haveli Shergharian (near Lal Khou)

Other landmarks

  • Shahi Hammam

Historic neighbourhoods

  • Walled City of Lahore
  • Anarkali
  • Shahdara Bagh
  • Mughalpura
  • Begampura
  • Baghbanpura
  • Badami Bagh

Education

GCU Tower in Lahore
Government College University

Lahore is known as Pakistan's educational capital, with more colleges and universities than any other city in Pakistan. Lahore is Pakistan's largest producer of professionals in the fields of science, technology, IT, law, engineering, medicine, nuclear sciences, pharmacology, telecommunication, biotechnology and microelectronics, nanotechnology and the only future hyper high-tech center of Pakistan. Most of the reputable universities are public, but in recent years there has also been an upsurge in the number of private universities. It has the only AACSB accredited business school in Pakistan, namely, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). The literacy rate of Lahore is 74%. Lahore hosts some of Pakistan's oldest and best educational institutes:

  • Lahore Garrison University
  • Lahore University of Management Sciences, established in 1986
  • St. Francis High School, established in 1842
  • King Edward Medical University, established in 1860
  • Forman Christian College, established in 1864
  • Government College University, Lahore, established in 1864
  • Convent of Jesus and Mary, established in 1867
  • University Law College, established in 1868
  • National College of Arts, established in 1875
  • Oriental College, established in 1876
  • University of the Punjab, established in 1882
  • University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, established in 1882
  • Central Model School, established in 1883
  • Aitchison College, established in 1886
  • Muslim Model High School, established in 1890
  • Islamia College, established in 1892
  • St. Anthony's High School, established in 1892
  • Sacred Heart High School, established in 1906
  • Queen Mary College, established in 1908
  • Dayal Singh College, established 1910
  • Kinnaird College for Women University, established in 1913
  • University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, established in 1921
  • Lahore College for Women University, established in 1922
  • Hailey College of Commerce, established in 1927
  • De'Montmorency College of Dentistry, established in 1929
  • Garrison College for Boys, 52-A Sarfaraz Rafiqui Road, established in 2014
  • M.A.O College, established in 1933
  • Lady Maclagan Training College, established in 1933
  • Lady Willingdon Nursing School, established in 1933
  • University College of Pharmacy, established in 1944
  • Jamia Ashrafia, established in 1947
  • Fatima Jinnah Medical University, established in 1948
  • College of Statistical and Actuarial Sciences, established in 1950
  • College of Home Economics, established in 1955
  • Don Bosco High School, established in 1956
  • Lahore Grammar School, established in 1979
  • University of Education, established in 2002
  • PakTurk International Schools and Colleges, established in 2006
  • University of Management and Technology (Lahore), established in 2002
  • University of Central Punjab, established in 2002
  • Beaconhouse National University, established in 2003
  • Lahore School of Economics, established in 1993
  • Pakistan Institute of Fashion and Design, established in 1994
  • University College Lahore, established in 1994
  • University of Lahore, established in 1999
  • University of Health Sciences, Lahore, established in 2002
  • Lahore Medical and Dental College, established in 1997
  • Aitchison College, established in 1886

Sports

Lahore has successfully hosted many international sports events including the finals of the 1990 Men's Hockey World Cup and the 1996 Cricket World Cup. The headquarters of all major sports governing bodies are located here in Lahore including Cricket, Hockey, Rugby, Football etc. and also has the head office of Pakistan Olympic Association.

Gaddafi Stadium is a Test cricket ground in Lahore. It was completed in 1959 and later in the 1990s, renovations were carried out by Pakistani architect Nayyar Ali Dada.

Lahore is home to several golf courses. The Lahore Gymkhana Golf Course, the Lahore Garrison Golf and Country Club, the Royal Palm Golf Club and newly built DHA Golf Club are well maintained Golf Courses in Lahore. In nearby Raiwind Road, a 9 holes course, Lake City, opened in 2011. The newly opened Oasis Golf and Aqua Resort is another addition to the city. It is a state-of-the-art facility featuring golf, water parks, and leisure activities such as horse riding, archery and more. The Lahore Marathon is part of an annual package of six international marathons being sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. More than 20,000 athletes from Pakistan and all over the world participate in this event. It was first held on 30 January 2005, and again on 29 January 2006. More than 22,000 people participated in the 2006 race. The third marathon was held on 14 January 2007. Plans exist to build Pakistan's first sports city in Lahore, on the bank of the Ravi River.

Professional sports teams from Lahore
Club League Sport Venue Established
Lahore Qalandars Abu Dhabi T20 Trophy Cricket Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium 2018
Lahore Qalandars Pakistan Super League Cricket Dubai International Cricket Stadium 2015
Lahore Lions National T20 League/National One-day Championship Cricket Gaddafi Stadium 2004
Lahore Eagles National T20 League/National One-day Championship Cricket Gaddafi Stadium 2006
WAPDA F.C. Pakistan Premier League Football Punjab Stadium 1983

Twin towns and sister cities

The following international cities have been declared twin towns and sister cities of Lahore.

Awards

In 1966, the Government of Pakistan awarded a special flag, the Hilal-i-istaqlal to Lahore (also to Sargodha and Sialkot) for showing severe resistance to the enemy during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 as these cities were targets of the Indian advance. Every year on Defence Day (6 September), this flag is hoisted in these cities in recognition of the will, courage and perseverance of their people.

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