58 Facts About Lahore


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 many years.

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Lahore eventually became the capital of the Sikh Empire in the early 19th century and regained some of its lost grandeur.

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Lahore was then annexed to the British Empire, and made capital of British Punjab.

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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.

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For many years, Lahore was home to Pakistan's film industry, Lollywood, though in recent years most filming has shifted to Karachi.

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Lahore's name has been variously recorded by early Muslim historians as Luhawar, Luhar, and Rahwar.

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One theory suggests that Lahore's name is a corruption of the word Ravawar, as R to L shifts are common in languages derived from Sanskrit.

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Early records of Lahore are scant, but Alexander the Great's historians make no mention of any city near Lahore's location during his invasion in 326 BCE, suggesting the city had not been founded by that point or was unimportant.

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Lahore appears to have served as the capital of north-east Punjab during this time under Anandapala of the Kabul Shahi empire, who had moved the capital there from Waihind.

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Lahore was formally made the eastern capital of the Ghaznavid empire in 1152, under the reign of Khusrau Shah.

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Lahore was made an important establishment of the Mamluk Dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate following the assassination of Muhammad of Ghor in 1206.

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Under the reign of Mamluk sultan Qutbu l-Din Aibak, Lahore attracted poets and scholars from as far away as Turkestan, Greater Khorasan, Persia, and Mesopotamia.

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Threat of Mongol invasions and political instability in Lahore caused future Sultans to regard Delhi as a safer capital for medieval Islamic India, though Delhi had before been considered a forward base, while Lahore had been widely considered to be the centre of Islamic culture in the north-eastern Punjab.

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Lahore came under progressively weaker central rule under Iltutmish's descendants in Delhi - to the point that governors in the city acted with great autonomy.

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Under the rule of Kabir Khan Ayaz, Lahore was virtually independent from the Delhi Sultanate.

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Lahore briefly flourished again under the reign of Ghiyath al din Tughlaq of the Tughluq dynasty between 1320 and 1325, though the city was again sacked in 1329, by Tarmashirin of the Central Asian Chagatai Khanate, and then again by the Mongol chief Hulechu.

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Lahore began to be incurred upon yet again the Khokhar tribe, and so the city was granted to Bahlul Lodi in 1441 by the Sayyid dynasty in Delhi, though Lodi would then displace the Sayyids in 1451 by establishing himself upon the throne of Delhi.

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Only 9 of the 36 urban quarters around Lahore, known as guzars, were located within the city's walls during the Akbar period.

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Lahore renovated large portions of the Lahore Fort with luxurious white marble and erected the iconic Naulakha Pavilion in 1633.

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The population of pre-modern Lahore probably reached its zenith during his reign, with suburban districts home to perhaps 6 times as many compared to within the Walled City.

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Mughal preoccupation with the Marathas in the Deccan eventually resulted in Lahore being governed by a series of governors who pledged nominal allegiance to the ever weaker Mughal emperors in Delhi.

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Lahore's sons fought a battle outside Lahore in 1712 for succession to the Mughal crown, with Jahandar winning the throne.

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Struggles between Zakariyya Khan's sons following his death in 1745 further weakened Muslim control over Lahore, thus leaving the city in a power vacuum, and vulnerable to foreign marauders.

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Durrani rule was interrupted when Lahore was briefly captured by Marathas in 1758 during their campaigns against the Afghans, under Raghunathrao, who drove out the Afghans, while a combined Sikh-Maratha defeated an Afghan assault in the 1759 Battle of Lahore.

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Ranjit Singh's rule restored some of Lahore's lost grandeur, but at the expense of destroying the remaining Mughal architecture for its building materials.

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Lahore established a mint in the city in 1800, and moved into the Mughal palace at the Lahore Fort after repurposing it for his own use in governing the Sikh Empire.

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Lahore became the empire's administrative capital, though the nearby economic centre of Amritsar had been established as the empire's spiritual capital by 1802.

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The Sunehri Mosque in the Walled City of Lahore was converted to a gurdwara, while the Mosque of Mariyam Zamani Begum was repurposed into a gunpowder factory.

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Sikh royal court, or the Lahore Durbar, underwent a quick succession of rulers after the death of Ranjit Singh.

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Lahore's soldiers mounted weaponry on the minarets of the Badshahi Mosque in order to target Chand Kaur's forces in the Lahore Fort, destroying the fort's historic Diwan-e-Aam.

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British viewed Lahore's Walled City as a bed of potential social discontent and disease epidemics, and so largely left the inner city alone, while focusing development efforts in Lahore's suburban areas, and Punjab's fertile countryside.

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Lahore was visited on 9 February 1870 by Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh – a visit in which he received delegations from the Dogras of Jammu, Maharajas of Patiala, the Nawab of Bahawalpur, and other rulers from various Punjabi states.

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Lahore played an important role in the independence movements of both India and Pakistan.

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Lahore's jail was used by the British to imprison independence activists such as Jatin Das, and was where Bhagat Singh was hanged in 1931.

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On 17 August 1947, Lahore was awarded to Pakistan on the basis of its Muslim majority in the 1941 census and was made capital of the Punjab province in the new state of Pakistan.

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In 1955, Lahore was selected to be the capital of all West Pakistan during the single-unit period that lasted until 1970.

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Lahore city covers a total land area of 404 square kilometres.

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Lahore has a semi-arid climate, not receiving enough rainfall to feature the humid subtropical climate.

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Additionally, Lahore contains some of Sikhism's holiest sites, and is a major Sikh pilgrimage site.

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Several Lahore-based prominent educational leaders, researchers and social commentators have demanded that the Punjabi language should be declared as the medium of instruction at the primary level and be used officially in the Punjab Assembly, Lahore.

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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.

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Lahore is home to numerous monuments from the Mughal Dynasty, Sikh Empire, and the British Indian Raj.

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The architectural style of the Walled City of Lahore has traditionally been influenced by Mughal and Sikh styles.

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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.

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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.

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Major industrial agglomeration with about 9, 000 industrial units, Lahore has shifted in recent decades from manufacturing to service industries.

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Lahore Metrobus, is a bus rapid transit service operating in Lahore, Punjab, Pakistan.

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Under Punjab Local Government Act 2013, Lahore is a metropolitan area and under the authority of the Metropolitan Corporation Lahore.

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Lahore District is a subdivision of the Punjab, and is further divided into 9 administrative zones.

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

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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.

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Lahore's churches are elaborately decorated for Christmas and Easter celebrations.

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The Walled City of Lahore was renovated in 2014 and is popular due to the presence of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

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Lahore is known as Pakistan's educational capital, with more colleges and universities than any other city in Pakistan.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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In 1966, the Government of Pakistan awarded a special flag, the Hilal-i-istaqlal to Lahore for showing severe resistance to the enemy during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 as these cities were targets of the Indian aggression.

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