About Lahore Fort
The Lahore Fort (Shahi Qila) in Lahore, Pakistan is a large complex of fortifications, marble mosques and palaces built by Mughal Emperor Akbar, known as Akbar the Great. Whilst there were buildings and fortifications on the site since the 11th century and even before, it was under Akbar the Great that the current fort flourished.
Lahore Fort history
In the 16th century, Lahore became Akbar’s capital and, in circa 1580 he established the Lahore Fort as it is known today. Since his reign, successive leaders have made their mark on the fort including Shah Jahan’s 17th century Crystal Palace or “Shish Mahal”. However, despite all of the renovations and additions to the Lahore Fort, Akbar’s work can generally be distinguished as the red brick constructions.
Ornate and full of incredible sites such as Naulakha Pavillion and the Hall of Public Audience or ‘Diwan-i-Aam’, the Lahore Fort is also well-planned. For example, it is compartmentalised to separate the residential aspects from those of the administrative functions.
The entrance to the fort is the Alamgiri Gate built by Aurangzeb in 1674 as a private entrance to the royal quarters. It was large enough to allow several elephants carrying members of the royal household to enter at one time. The small Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque) was built by Shah Jahan in 1644 for the private use of the ladies of the royal household and was restored to its original delicacy in 1904.
After the Mughal Empire fell in the 18th century, the Lahore Fort was ransacked and many of its buildings were damaged. However it has now been carefully restored, allowing visitors to enjoy its original splendour.
Lahore Fort today
The Lahore Fort houses three museums, the Mughal Museum, the Armoury Gallery and the Sikh Museum, each containing a series of interesting exhibits.
It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Getting to Lahore Fort
Entrance to the fort is on the western side. An autorickshaw/taxi from The Mall to Lahore Fort should cost about 80- 200Rs.