Lahore the city equipped with hundreds of historical places and monuments. The Lahore city has special importance in the history of Pakistan.
Here I have mentioned the 16 best historical places in Lahore which will make your travel even more fun.
Best historical places in Lahore
- Badshahi Mosque
- Lahore Fort
- Jahangir Tomb
- Samadhi of Ranjit Singh
- Gurdwara Dera Sahib
- Lahore Museum
- Shalimar Gardens
- Anarkali Bazar
- Masjid Wazir Khan
- Data Darbar
- Haveli of Nau Nihal Singh
- Begum Shahi Mosque
- Haveli Barood Khana
- Tomb of Ali Mardan Khan
- Tomb of Dai Anga
When I think of Lahore the first thing that comes to my mind is the Badshahi mosque and praying inside the mosque is one of the best things I have done in Lahore.
Badshahi Mosque is considered to be the Lahore Most iconic landmark it was built in Mughal Era by Emperor Aurangzeb in 1673. The Mask is located west of Lahore Fort along with the walled city of Lahore.
The Badshahi Mosque is not just a Mosque but is a symbol of the historical development of the Mughal Era.
You can not only pray in Badshahi Mosque but the mosque also has a small Museum inside where manuscripts of the Quran centuries ago are reserved, belongings of Hazrat Muhammad (Peace be upon him), and historical equipment used by Islamic rulers also there.
If you are visiting Lahore for the first time then I would recommend you visit Badshahi Mosque first. It is one of the most astonishing and beautiful mosques you’ll see in your life.
Lahore Fort is opposite to the Badshahi mosque it is spread over 20 hectares. Lahore fort was built in 1566 during the reign of Emperor Akbar. With later development in the Shahjahan period and more development was done in the reign of Aurangzeb Alamgir.
Lahore fort was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in 1981 due to its reflection of Mughal architectural knowledge.
The Fort is spread over 20 hectares and it’s not just a single building but there are many major structures inside Lahore Fort some of them include the Naulakha pavilion, picture wall, Sheesh Mahal, summer palace, khilwat khana, Kala Burj, Lal Burj, Moti Masjid, diwan e khaas and many more.
There are three gates to enter Lahore Fort Akbari gate, Alamgiri Gate Burj Gate.
Minar-e-Pakistan is the national tower of Pakistan. Built-in 1960 on the site where Lahore resolution was passed on 23 March 1940. The tower is built on the historic site where the first official call of independence was called.
Minar-e-Pakistan stands 62 meters high and was designed by Nasreddin Murat Khan. The historic tower is open to the public and you can also climb to the top to see the beautiful view of the city of Lahore. A park and an artificial lake are built around the tower to enhance its beauty.
No wonder Minar-e-Pakistan is one of the best historical places in Lahore.
Lahore fort, Badshshi mosque, and Samadhi of Ranjit Sigh are also nearby.
Jahangir tomb in a 17th-century building built for Mughal Empire Jahangir. It was built in 1637 in Lahore along the banks of river Ravi. The Tomb is famous for its extensive use of marble and highly decorated walls. It is also currently on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
There is not just Tom at the site but encircled with Gardens’ marvelous exterior and interior designs. At the center of the tomb is a Gondal chamber carved with marble in which there are remains of Mughal Emperor Jahangir below the center part. The interior of the Tomb is fully equipped with marbles, 99 names of Allah, and various duas and Hadith.
The Tomb of Jahangir is surrounded by the vast Gardens. The Gardens are separated into four squares by walkways and water channels.
The water channels enhance the front look of the tom and as soon as you enter the Tomb you will see a lot of calligraphy on the walls of the tomb, the floor of the wall is also equipped with white marbles which enhances the beauty of the inside of the tomb.
Jahangir tomb timings:
Jahangir Tomb timings from 9 a.m. till 7 p.m.
Samadhi of Ranjit Singh has spatial importance to Sikhs. The building was completed in 1848 by the youngest son of Ranit Singh and contains funerary urns of Ranjit Singh.
Ranjit Singh was the leader of Sihk empire and ruled the Lahore city and its surrounding in early half of 19 century. He is also known as the Sher-e-Punjab or Lion of Punjab. He was one of the best rulers the Sikhs have ever produced.
He started his journey when he was only 10 yeas old fighting side by side his father. He was so brave that at the age of 20 he earned the title of Maharaja of Punjab. Ranjit Singh made Sikhs so powerful that in his era Sikhs ruled over Punjab, some parts of Khyber Pakhtoon Khawa, nd Gilgit Baltistan.
Some major town under empire of Ranjit Singh include.
Samadhi of Ranjit Singh is located adjacent to the Lahore fort and Badshshi Mosque.
Gurdwara Dera Sahib is a Sikh temple where the 5th Guru of Sikhism Guru Arjan Dev was martyred in 1606. The temple is adjacent to Samadhi of Ranit Singh and the iconic landmark of the Mughal Empire The Badshshi Mosque.
Guru Arjan is one of the 10 gurus in Sikhism. There is no clear evidence that Guru Arjan was executed or drowned while he was in captivity of Mughals. He died at the age of 43 on 30 May 1606 in Lahore.
One of the oldest Museums in Pakistan. Lahore Museum was founded in 1965 and opened in 1894 during the British period. It is one of Pakistan’s most visited and famous museums and also one of the major museums in South Asia.
Lahore Museum is one of the best historical places in Lahore.
The Museum is particularly known for its vast collection of Buddhist art from ancient Indo Greek and Gandhara kingdoms. The museum also contains the Mughal Empire empire and collection of the British Empire in the subcontinent.
As soon as you walk into the interesting gallery these are used collections of a painting portraying the evolution of mankind. The main attraction of the Lahore Museum is the fasting Buddha. The statue in the museum portraits thin Gautam Buddha while he practiced fasting.
The Lahore Museum not only has rich Buddhist art sculptures and paintings but also has collections from Hindu, Islamic, and British Empire.
One of the oldest objects in the museum dates back to 500,000 Years From the Prehistoric era. There is a vast collection of objects donated by British archaeologists which of course was discovered in the subcontinent including weights, pottery, and jewelry of ancient civilizations living in the subcontinent.
The Lahore museum also has a wide variety of coins on display. It has more than 40,000 coins from all over Southern Asia and some are said to be from the sixth century.
Another important part of the Lahore Museum is the collection of ancient and modern weaponry, a stamp collection full of Islamic art and calligraphy, and a gallery of miniature paintings.
The Lahore museum also plans cultural activates every year and they publish a calendar for this. You can view cultural activities here.
The Lahore Museum just isn’t about the history; it has a dedicated section telling the story of modern Pakistan using collections of paintings left by Pakistan artists including Gulam Rasul, Shakir Ali, Jamil Naqsh, and many more.
There is a separate section that tells the story of the Pakistan movement from 1857 to 1947. As you move through this section you will start to Remember the stories we used to hear from the Pakistan Studies teacher in school.
The Lahore Museum in one of the best historical places in Pakistan.
Lahore museum entry fee:
Lahore museum entry fees are 50 rupees for adults and 20 rupees for students and children per head.
For foreigners, entry fees are 1000 rupees per head. If you want to do a professional or commercial photoshoot in the museum then you will be charged 10,000 rupees.
Lahore museum opening days:
Lahore museum remains open for all days except Friday.
Lahore Museum’s timing is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and remains closed on the 1st Monday of every month.
You will see there is only historical buildings in Lahore, not more modern architecture. Yes, there are some modern architectural places to visit in Lahore but Lahore is known for its history.
From the first Mughal Empire until the end of the British Empire Lahore was one of the important cities of all these Empires. That’s why there are hundreds of historical architectural sites and dozens of UNESCO World Heritage Sites throughout Lahore and Shalimar Bhag is one of them.
Shalimar Bagh also is known as Shalimar Gardens is one of the most popular tourist destinations of Lahore as well as of Pakistan. Its construction started in 1641 during the reign of Shah Jahan and was completed in 1642. In 1981 at first, included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The Shalimar Bagh is not just a garden that symbolizes the Mughal Empire and the era of the luxury of Shah Jahan. Shalimar Garden has a royal Hamam and a Grand Hall. There are 400 fountains that rise from the canal in the Gardens and also have 5 water cascades gateways resting houses and sleeping Chambers. In order to make the environment more pleasant trees of almond, Apricot, Cherry, and peach are grown.
If this is your first time visiting Shalimar Bagh then I bet you will never ever see a garden like this.
If you are visiting Lahore for the first time then read the Lahore tourist guide for an in-depth guide on travel to Lahore.
Anarkali Bazar, one of the oldest bazaars of South Asia, dates back to 200 years old. It was named after a girl named Anarkali who was in love with Prince Alam, Mughal Emperor Akbar’s son and the Mughal emperor rusticated Anarkali out of the town.
Generally, Anarkali Bazar is popular among women for food items such as clothes, bangles, shoes, and fashion. It is located in the central Lahore and is the architectural Heritage from Mughal and British era. There is a popular food to enjoy while shopping in Anarkali Bazar and that is Dahi Baray, and fruit chart.
The Anarkali Bazar is spread around the Tomb of Anarkali and the surrounding areas are known by the Tomb of Anarkali.
Prince Salim also is known as Jahangir wanted to keep the place around his normal life so he laid the foundation of Anarkali Bazar so that people can remember this place and how it was important to him.
After the death of Anarkali when Jahangir became the emperor she made a superstructure over the sepulcher Of Anarkali.
You will not see a lot of historical structures in Anarkali Bazar but when you will walk through the streets of Anarkali Bazar The Bazaar will depict the Mughal Era.
Masjid Wazir Khan
If you want to know more about Islamic, Mughal history, and the architectural development made in the Mughal Era then Masjid Wazir Khan must be your top priority while visiting Lahore.
Masjid Wazir Khan construction started in 1634 and was completed in 1641 it is also on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List.
The mosque is located in the walled city of the Lahore along the southern side of Royal Road. It is on the west side of Delhi Gate where Shahi Hamam is located.
It is among the list of most marvelous structural designs in the reign of Mughal emperor Shahjahan. The mosque is not only painted with the abstract design but there are also verses of the Holy Quran written inside and outside the mosque in Urdu we known this as Kashi-Kari.
The Masjid Wazir Khan decoration is done inspired by Persian style. There is a lot of calligraphy in masjid Wazir Khan including verses of the Quran etc
Data Darbar is the largest Sufi shrine in South Asia and among the best historical places in Lahore. It was built to house the remains of Ali Hujwiri commonly known as Data Ganj Baksh. Ali Hujwiri was a Sufi saint from Ghazni who used to live on the site in the 11 century.
It is one of the most important and popular Sufi shrines of Pakistan. Every day thousands of people visit the shire. Annual urs festival is also arranged on the site attracting millions of visitors not only from Pakistan but all around the world.
From the death of Ali Hujwiwir in 11 century till the 13th century the site was just a simple grave. In the Mughal era, shrine complex was expanded and Hujwiri mosque was rebuilt.
Haveli of Nau Nihal Singh is one of the finest examples of Sikh architectures in Lahore. It is also one of the Havelis in Lahore which is still in the original architecture.
Built-in 1840 in the era when Ranjit Singh ruled Punjab for Nau Nihal Singh. Ranjit Singh was the grandfather of Nau Nihal Singh and he built haveli as the personal residence of his grandson Nau Nihal Singh.
The Haveli of Nau Nihal Singh is in a rectangular shape. The haveli has four stories and a basement. There is a small sheesh mahal on the fourth level. The remaining stories are built with a high ceiling to give the appearance of a citadel. Ceilings are made of decorated wood, glass, and mirror.
Begum Shahi Mosque
Begum Shahi Mosque or Mariyam Zamani Begum Mosque was built by Jahangir in 1614 to honor his mother Mariyam Zamani. The mosque is one of the earliest mosques built by Mughals and still in very good condition.
Mariyam Zamani Begum Mosque is located inside old Moti Masjid Gate in walled city of Lahore. Its construction started in 1611 and completed in 1614.
The mosque is a living example of Mughal architecture. The design is influenced by the Lodi dynasty and Mughal artictuture.
It was built before Masjid Wazir Khan and the mosque features extensive use of fresco work. Fresco work inside mosque includes both Islamic and non Islamic text and is the first mosque in Lahore to feature this practice.
Mariyam Zamani Begum Mosque is one of the best historical places in Lahore.
Haveli Barood Khana
Haveli Barood Khana was built during the Sikh rule in Punjab in the mid 18th century. The main purpose of Haveli Barood Khana was to serve the Sikh army. The haveli acted as an ammunition depot and residence place for Sikh army. It is believed that Haveli Barood Khana had the biggest ammunition depot ousted Lahore fort. This is why the haveli was named as Barood Khana which translates to ammunition depot.
Haveli Barood Khana has high ceilings and in 1901 the haveli was divided into two portions Zanana Khana and Mardana Khana. Haveli is located in the old city of Lahore facing Lahore Fort close to the Taxila gate.
Tomb of Ali Mardan Khan
The Tomb of Ali Mardan Khan was built in 1630 to house the remains of Ali Mardan Khan. Ali Mardan Khan was an engineer, courter, and a spirtual figure. He was a Kurd and worked for Persian ruler Shah Safi and for the Mughal empire.
He was particularly known for his engineering skills including the constructions of canals and other major Mughal structures.
He died in 1657 while going to Kashmir. As he was a spiritual figure so the grave was turned into a tombb and named as Ali Mardan Khan’s Tomb.
Ali Mardan Khan Tomb is not in a good condition. It is somewhat more semi-ruined. It might be decorated with Kashi Kari and freso painting but now only traces of these remains.
Tomb of Dai Anga
The Tomb of Dai Anga is built to honor the wet nurse of Shah Jhan Dai Anga. The tomb was built in 1655 by Mirza Sultan Baig as an entrance to the pleasure garden. Later in 1671, the garden was repurposed into a tomb of Dai Anga.
Dai Anga was not only the wet nurse of Shah Jhan but her husband Murad Khan was the magistrate of Bikaner a city in the northwest of Rajasthan, India. Murad khan also served in the court of Jahangir. Her family was closely associated with Mughal empire.
Dai Anga mosque in Lahore is also one of the historical places in Lahore.
The tomb consists of eight rooms and is in rectangular shape circling the central chamber. The central chamber is decorated with the carved inscription from Quran and calligraphy done by Muhammad Saleh.
This 350 years old builds interior is still in very good condition but the outside which was once covered in rich Kashi Kari is now lost.
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