Legend has that it was founded by two sons of Lord Rama about 4000 years ago. Historically it has been proved that Lahore is about 2000 years old. Hieun-tsang, the famous Chinese pilgrim, has given a vivid description of Lahore city which he visited in the early parts of the seventh century A.D.For 200 years, beginning from about 1525 A.D, Lahore was a thriving cultural center of the great Mughal Empire. Mughal Emperors beautified Lahore with palaces, gardens and mosques. During the British regime many monuments sprang up in Lahore which blended beautifully with the Mughal, Gothic and Victorian styles of architecture.
Lahore is the second largest city in Pakistan and provincial capital of Punjab. Apart from being the cultural and academic center of the country, Lahore is the Mughal "show-window" of Pakistan. The origins of Lahore are shrouded in the mists of antiquity. Reminiscence of its hoary past are the remains of a subterranean temple in the northern part of the Royal fort, attributed to Lord Rama, the legendry hero of Ramayana. Lying on the main trade and invasion routes to the sub-continent, Lahore has been ruled and plundered by a number of dynasties and heroes. However it touched the zenith of its glory during the rule of Mughals. The Mughals, who were famous as builders, gave Lahore some of its finest architectural monuments that are extinct today.
- Royal Fort Lahore:
Although most parts of the Royal Fort were constructed around 1566 A.D. by the Mughal Emperor, Akbar the great, there is evidence that a mud fort was in existence here in 1021 A.D. as well, when mahmood of Ghazna invaded this area. Akbar demolished the old mud fort and constructed most of the modern Fort, as we see it today, on the old foundations. Construction of the fort dates back to the early Hindu period.
The Royal Fort is rectangular. The main gates are located alongside the center of the western and eastern walls. Every succeeding Mughal Emperor as well as the Sikhs, and the British in their tom, added a pavilion, palace or all to the Fort. Emperor Jehangir extended the gardens and constructed the palaces that we see today in the Jehangir's Quadrangle, while Shah-Jehan added Diwan-e-Khas, Moti Masjid (Pearl Mosque) and his own sleeping Chambers.Aurangzeb built the impressive main gate which faces the Hazoori Bagh lying in between the Badshahi Mosque and the Fort. The famous Sheesh Mahal or palace of mirrors, is in the north-east corner of the Fort. This is the most beautiful palace in the Fort and is decorated with small mirrors of different colors set. The part of the wall of the Elephant Steps towards the Fort's inner gate are scarred by bullet marks, bearing testimony to the Sikh Civil War of 1847 A.D.
A party of Sikhs had mounted their guns on one of the minarets of the mosque across the courtyard from where they fired on their opponents. The Sleeping Chamber of Mai Jindan houses a very interesting museum with relics from Mughal and the Sikh periods.