Lahore is the Capital city of Punjab Province of Pakistan. With the population of approximately 12 Million it is a lively city. The main attraction of the city is its beautiful Architecture and bustling Bazaars. The tradition of buildings is centuries old in Lahore but the Moghuls (1500AD to 1800AD) have contributed the most to it.
According to a legend Lahore was known in ancient times as Lavapuri ("City of Lava" in Sanskrit), was founded by Prince Lava or Loh, the son of Rama, the Hindu deity. To this day, Lahore Fort has a vacant temple dedicated to Lava (also pronounced Loh, hence Loh-awar or "The Fort of Loh").
Lahore is mentioned capital of the Punjab during the rein of Anandapala- the Hindu Shahi king who is referred to as the ruler of (hakim-e-lahur) after leaving the earlier capital of Waihind
In 11th century the city was captured by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni. The sultan took Lahore after a long siege and battle in which the city was burned and depopulated. In 1021, Sultan Mahmud appointed Malik Ayaz to the throne and made Lahore the capital of the Ghaznavid Empire of India. 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 center, renowned for poetry. The tomb of Malik Ayaz can still be seen in the Rang Mahal commercial area of town.
Lahore is the second largest city of Pakistan. Other than many famous Historical monuments, the city is also known for its beautiful gardens, mostly laid out during Moghal Empire and British Raj. Besides the fragrance of its gardens, the Old Walled City has aroma of rich cultural Heritage.
The use of glazed faience tiles, rare in Mughal buildings, was restricted mainly to the Punjab and Sind, but the animal and human representations in this medium on the northern walls of the fort at Lahore are probably unique. These depict horses, elephants, camels and warriors often in postures of sport or combat and even winged angles or fairies. In these designs each shape is separately formed by an individually glazed tile, making up a brightly colored mosaic.
While animal and human forms are only found in the Picture Wall of the fort at Lahore, floral and calligraphic designs in this technique are abundant enough in a great number of buildings in the same city built during the middle of the 17th century.
Situated near the Railway Station of Lahore this mosque was constructed in 1635 by Dai Anga, the wet nurse of Shah Jahan, whose name was Zebun Nisa. It is notable for its minute and refined enameled tiled mosaic work. In plan the prayer chamber consists of three domed bays, with the central dome rising higher than the two flanking domes. All the domes are raised on high cylindrical necks with sharply recessed collars at the springing. The east facade of the prayer chamber reflects thc internal plan with three arched openings framed in half-domed recessed bays by tall multi-capped arches. The central arch is taller and wider than its two adjacent arches. Each bay is contained within a rectangular frame and the entire ensemble is flanked on either side by square towers topped by heavy pro- jecting platforms, typical of the Lahore provincial style.
Located on the Multan Road, this was a gateway to a garden that has now disappeared. The garden was founded in 1646 by a lady, mentioned metaphorically as "Sahib-e-Zcbinda, Begum- e-Dauran" (endowed with elegance, the lady of the age), prob- ably Jahan Ara Begum, the eldest daughter of Emperor Shah Jahan, and bestowed upon Mian Bai who constructed the garden? This gateway is notable for the glazed mosaic decora- tion with which its entire facade, including the octagonal corner minarets, is brilliantly embellished. The minarets themselves with their top-heavy profile are characteristic of the contemporary provincial style of Lahore.
This gateway, with its rich and vivid mosaic tile work and superb calligraphy on a plaster base, was the entranoe to a pleasure garden constructed by the Persian noble Mirza Sultan Baig in 16559. It is an exquisitely refined example ofthe form of garden gateway typical of this city. The main facade is divided into three bays, delineated by a grid of rectangular lines re- miniscent of timber-framed town houses. The double-storey volume is expressed by the two pairs of arched windows in the two side bays. These storey-height openings are arranged one above the other, whereas the central bay consists of a single arch rising two storeys, behind which the arched entrance is placed in a deep recess.
The delicate sophistication of its tile mosaics is matched by the subtle detailing of its structural forms, such as the ertgrailed arches of the upper storeys and the slender octagonal shafts marking the corners of the gateway block.
The mausoleum of Dai Anga, wet nurse of Shah Jahan and wife of Murad Khan, a Mughal Magistrate of Bikaner, lies on the site of the Bulabi Bagh, the garden whose surviving gateway has been described above, The tomb was probably constructed in 1671. Built in brick and square in plan, the structure is raised on a low platform under which lies the actual burial site in a subterranean chamber. The mausoleum, cornprising a central tomb chamber and eight rooms around it, was once elaborately decorated with glazed-tile mosaics. The central chamber is roofed by a low pitched dome on a high neck. Around it, the roof over the smaller chambers is externally flat with a square kiosk in each corner supported on slender brick pillars. Sarvwala Maqbara Not far from Dai Angas Mausoleum is a solid, tower-like brick structure with generous chhajja [eaves) near the top and sur- mounted by a four-sided pyramidal low dome carried over a low double neck. This structure is the tomb of Sharfun Nisa Begum, built in the middle of the 18th centurym. lt is known as Sarvwala Maqbara from its ornamentation of cypresses four on each side intercepted by blooming flower plants. The burial chamber is elevated to a height of 16 feet and is approachable only by a removable ladder. ln order to shield from sight the actual grave of the pious lady. According to some sources, the tower was originally surrounded by a beautiful garden and tank.