Chauburji, Lahore

2 Reviews

Multan Road, Lahore.

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  • Chauburji
    by claree
  • Chauburji
    by claree
  • Chauburji
    Chauburji
    by WAHEEDASLAM
  • claree's Profile Photo

    CHAUBURJI

    by claree Written Aug 12, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In the historic city of Lahore, on the road that led southwards to Multan, the Chauburji gateway remains of an extensive garden known to have existed in Mughal times. The establishment of this garden is attributed to Mughal Princess Zeb-un-Nissa, 1646 A.D., which appears in one of the inscriptions on the gateway. The gateway consists of four towers (chau: four, burji: tower) and contains much of the brilliant tile work with which the entire entrance was once covered.

    During a severe earthquake in 1843, the north-western minaret collapsed and cracks appeared in the central arch. This has however been restored as much as was reasonably possible and the gateway now looks quite as it might have been during the time of its Mughal patroness. The restoration was carried out by the Department of Archeology in the late in 1960's.

    The architecture of Chauburji represents a strong blend of Mughal architecture with ancient Muslim style of building. Its distinguishing features are the minarets which expand from the top, not present anywhere in the sub-continent. Some, however, believe that there were cupolas upon these minarets which collapsed with the passage of time. Arches are of the so-called 'Tudor' style, adapted to Islamic architecture, particularly in Mughal mausoleums and mosques. The red brickwork is typical of the Muslim buildings of the sub-continent; the doorways and windows running through the interior corridors are examples of the living style that characterized the Mughal buildings. However, the main purpose of building Chauburji appears to be strictly monumental. The decrepit building, which has not lost its elegance, stands alone surrounded by hoardings and bustling traffic on the busy Multan Road.

    Dr. Ajaz Anwar wrote in an article published in The Pakistan Times in April, 1985: “But the real prototype of Chauburji is the Char Minar of Hyderabad Deccan constructed in 1591 by Muhammad Quli as a triumphal arch at the junction of four roads, leading to the four quarters of the old city. Octagonal minarets were later used along the corners of Jehangir’s tomb itself. This became a motif and was incorporated in the Taj where the minarets flank the corners of the platform... The Char Minar, though it comes closest to Chauburji, has a striking contrast and a sense of negation between the very simple lower portion and the heavily decorated upper portion. In the tomb of Akbar, the white marble and variegated stone give the feeling of having been added later... Chauburji, because of the colour of the brick adorned with glazed tiles having the look of flowering creepers, retains a distinctive unity.”

    Originally it was gateway to the Garden of Zeb-un-nisa]] or Zebinda Begum, the accomplished daughter of Aurangzeb. This garden is believed to have been extended from Nawankot in the south to the main city of Lahore towards north. However, no traces of such an expansive garden are now available. A fragmentary inscription on the eastern archway records that the garden was built in A.H. 1056 i.e. 1646 A.D. Although most of the inscriptions have been lost, on the upper-most part of the construction Ayat-ul-Kursi can be seen in Arabic script in blue and worked in porcelain. Others include two couplets written in Persian above the arch: “This garden, in the pattern of the garden of Paradise, has been founded (missing line)... The garden has been bestowed on Mian Bai. By the bounty of Zebinda Begum, the Lady of the Age." It is thus understood that it was commissioned by Sahib-e-Zebinda (one endowed with elegance), Begum-e- Dauran (Lady of Ages) and was bestowed upon Mian Bai Fakhrunnisa (Pride of Women), the favourite female attendant of the princess.

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  • Chauburji.....

    by WAHEEDASLAM Written Jan 27, 2004

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    On the road that led southwards to Multan, the Chauburji gateway remains of an extensive garden know to have existed in Mughal times. The establishment of this garden is attributed to Mughal princes in 1646, which appears in one of the inscriptions on the gateway. The gateway consists of four towers and contain much of the brilliant tile work mostly turquoise colored with which the entire entrance is covered. One of the towers at the northwestern corner collapsed, its foundations perhaps eroded by the waters of the flooding Ravi. This has however been restored as much as was reasonably possible and the gateway now looks as it might have done during the time of its Mughal patroness.The restoration was carried out by the Department of Archeology in the late in1960's.
    The architecture of Chauburji represents a strong blend of Mughal architecture with ancient Muslim style of building. The red brickwork is typical of the Muslim buildings of the sub-continent; the doorways and windows running through the interior corridors are exemplary of the living style that characterized the Mughal buildings. However, the main purpose of building Chauburji appears strictly to be monumental, as its presence in the heart of Lahore signifies a strong sense of Mughal architectural beauty.
    The delicately lofty building standing alone in an island of traffic on the Multan Road is now commonly known as Chaburji because of its four (chau) minarets (burji). Originally it was gateway to the Garden of Zebunnisa or Zebinda Begum, the accomplished daughter of Aurangzeb. This garden is believed to have been extended from Nawankot in the south to the main city of Lahore towards north. However, no traces of such an expansive garden are now available.

    A fragmentary inscription on the eastern archway records that the garden was built in A.H. 1056 i.e. 1646. According to this inscription it was built by Sahib-e-Zebinda (one endowed with elegance), Begum Dauran (the lady of Ages) and was bestowed upon Mian Bai, Fakhrunnisa (the pride of Ladies).

    Chauburji

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