The Shish Mahal (Palace of Mirrors) was built for the empress and her court and installed with screens to conceal them from prying eyes. It was constructed by Asif Khan the then governor of Lahore for Emperor Shah Jehan in 1631-32. Embellished with mirror work, stucco tracery, gilding and pietra dura and fretwork in marble, the palace consists of a lofty spacious hall with several rooms behind and on either sides and a vast courtyard in front.
The Shish Mahal is where the Sikh ruler Ranjit Singh constantly displayed his prize possession, the fabulous Kohinoor diamond, and arranged "grand entertainments" for his foreign visitors. It is also the pllace where after the annexation of the Punjab by the British, the sovereignty of the Punjab, along with the Kohinoor diamond, was passed into the hands of the British.
In addition to the two main gates giving access to the interior of the fort, is the Shah Burj (Royal Tower) Gate, which was a grand entrance to the private areas of the fort, exclusively for the use of the Emperor. Of particular note as one walks along the ramp (the Hathi Paer, or Elephant Path), is the fine painted tilework of the outer wall, known as the Picture Wall.
The elegant white marble pavilion dominating Shah Jahan's Quadrangle is known as Diwan-i-Khas (Hall of Private Audience), and was probably built by Shah Jahan for receiving guests. However, it is also sometimes referred to as Chotti Khhwabgah or Khwabgah-e-Khurd (Minor Sleeping Chamber), although this name may have been given to it during Sikh rule. Changes were made to the building at this time and during British rule; it was reconstructed during the British period restorations, utilizing the original elements, but it is likely that the roof structure was modified during reconstruction.
The Diwan-i-Aam (Hall of Public Audience) was built by Shah Jahan in 1631, with an upper balcony added by Akbar. It's where the emperor would make a daily public appearance, receive official visitors and review parades.
Sadly only the columns and footprint are original, the arches and roof being a British-era reconstruction.
Lahore Fort has two main gates. The entrance used by most visitors today is the Alamgiri gate, facing west towards the Badshahi Mosque, which was built by Aurangzeb in 1674 as a private entrance to the royal quarters. The gate opposite it to the east is the older Masjidi Gate which was built by Emperor Akbar in 1666.
In the north-western corner of the old walled city of Lahore is Shahi Qila, the royal fort, a large complex of fortifications, marble mosques and palaces. It is still uncertain how long a fort has stood on this site (archaeology suggests the area has been occupied since at least the eleventh century CE), but the current structure was established during the reign of Mughal Emperor Akbar, in the 1580s, during the period of 14 years when Lahore was his capital city. It was regularly updated by subsquent rulers, but despite later renovations and additions Akbar’s work can generally be distinguished as the red brick constructions.
The fort is an UNESCO World Heritage site together with the Shalimar Gardens. Entrance fee for non-Pakistanis is Rs 200.
Shahi Qila is situated in front of Badshahi Mosque. It is a huge forte bounding a lot of beauty. A great ancient work of architecture. Without Visiting Lahrore Forte your visit to Lahore is incomplete.
History of Lahoe Forte is very old. Originally It was built some 1000 years ago. But current Lohore Forte was built by Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1566 AD. Then his son Jehangir added his Palace. Jahangir's son, Shahjahan, built Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace).
You can see several Royal palaces, gardens, fountains, Baths, Retiring rooms of Mughal period. There is a museum inside the forte. It is also worth visiting place.
Lahore Fort has been listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site along with Shalamar Garden since 1981.
Lahore Fort is located adjacent to Walled City of Lahore and right in front of Badshahi Mosque. Origin of fort is believed to be even before the conquest of Lahore by Mahmood of Ghazni in 1021 AD. In 1981, the fort was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is a huge architectural masterpiece measuring 1,400 feet long and 1,115 feet wide.
See my travelogue for details and pictures.
Located opposite the Badshahi Mosque the Lahore Fort is 1400 feet long and 1115 wide. It has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site but there is uncertainty surrounding when it was built and by whom. Some archaelogical digs have suggested that the fort was built long before 1025 AD.
:: 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.
The Royal Fort is rectangular. The main gates are located alongside the centre of the western and eastern walls. Every succeeding Mughal Emperor as well as the Sikhs, and the British in their turn, added a pavilion, palace or wall 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 colours 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.
The Sleeping Chamber of Mai Jindan houses a very interesting museum with relics from Mughal and the Sikh periods.
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