Lahore Travel Guide

Tourist Attractions in Lahore
There is so much to see in Lahore but the following should not be missed: BadshahiMoosque, Lahore fort, Old city including Wazir Khan mosque, Shalimar garden, tomb of Jahangir, tomb of Noor Jahan and flag lowering ceremony at Pak – India border (Wahga).


Badshahi Mosque
Built by Aurangzeb (Mughal king) in 1673-74, the Badshahi mosque is a landmark of Lahore in particular and for Pakistan in general. This is one the jewels of Mughals architect and modeled on the Jamia Masjid Delhi. It has an impressive 20 mtres high gateway and central prayer chamber topped by three large white marble domes that opens onto an enormous 160 meters square courtyard. It is claimed that 100,000 worshippers can gather in the courtyard. The best timing for photography is to visit the mosque in the morning when the sun is still in the east.


Between the Badshahi Mosque and the main entrance to Lahore fort is a small garden, named HazuriBagh laid out by Ranjit Sing. At the center is the Marble Baradarri where Ranjit Singh used to hold the court. Originally it was two storey pavilion, the upper storey was collapsed in 1932 following a heavy storm and possibly a lightning strike. Many locals believe that this was revenge taken by God because the marble used in this pavilion was stolen from the tombs of Jahangir etc.


Gurdwara of Guru Arjan Dev
The adjacent building to Badshahi Masjid is GurdwaraArjanDev, the fifth Guru who completed the AdiGranth (the holy book of the Sikhs) and initiated work on the golden temple at Amritsar. Built by Ranjit Singh the Gurdwara is made conspicuios by its heavily gilded fluted dome and is center of Sikh pilgrimage.


Lahore Fort
With its counterparts in Delhi and Agra, Lahore Fort represents one of the three great forts built by the Mughals. Covering a vast area, some 375 meters by 300 meters, the fort contains some of the most impressive secular Mughal buildings in South Asia. Embellished with carved red sandstone, marble pietradura, glazed color and kasha tile work, plus frescoes depicting royal pleasures, it is more a palace than a fort.

It is thought that there have been a succession of earlier forts on this site dating back to 1180, but the basis we see today was begun during the reign of Akbar and some later additions were made by Jahangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb. Later on the fort was occupied by the Sikhs and then British.


The Old Walled City
All the key Mughal’s buildings are located in the old walled city or around. The original nine meters high walls were built during the reign of Akbar; and allowed day time access to the city through 12 large gates. Although only some of the original gates remain, the old city is still very much alive and it is fascinating to wander through the narrow Galis and Bazaars. The convenient route to enter the old city is Delhi Gate which will take you straight to Wazir Khan Mosque.


Shrine of Hazrat Data GanjBakhsh
Located to the west of Bhati Gate is Data Darbar know as a patron saint of Lahore. A renowned Islamic scholar and author of the classic book on Sufism “KashfulMajoob”, he migrated to Lahore in the early 11th century and remained there until his death in 1072. Although born as Abu ul Hassan Ali, he was given the title of “Data GanjBakhsh” – “Bestower of treasures”. In recognition of his help amongst the poor and needy, an inscription above the main gate translates: “He who calls at your shrine, never returns disappointed.


Tomb of Anarkali
In the premises of Punjab Secretariat on the lower Mall stands Anarkali’s tomb. The legend has it that Anarkali (literally Pomegranate Blossom) was either a wife of Emperor Akbar or a favorite in his harem. Catching a glimpse of a smile pass between Anarkali and his son Jahangir, Akbar suspected them having an affair an in a fit of fury had Anarkali buried alive. When Jahangir became emperor he raised a mausoleum to Anarkali, engraving a mournful Persian couplet on the cenotaph.


The Mall
Lahore has some of the finest examples of the Gothic-Victorian-Mughal style of architecture of the sub-continent. Many of them are located along the Mall which has been renamed as ShahraheQuaideAzam. The major historical buildings alongside the Mall are the High court, General Post Office, Punjab University, Cathedral Church, Lahore Museum and Atchison College.


Lahore Museum
The museum is the oldest and one of the best in Pakistan and housed in another fine colonial building founded in 1864, it moved to the present building in 1890. Some of the collections, notably the Gandhara sculptures are outstanding, the Coin collections are extremely valuable, local art and old history is nicely displayed.


Tomb of Jahangir
Across the river Ravi is the tomb of Jahangir, the Mughal emperor who ruled from 1605 to 1627. He died in Rajauri in Kashmir and according to his will buried in Lahore and now he is the only Mughal emperor buried in Pakistan. 10 years after the death of Jahangir his son Shah Jahan constructed the mausoleum under the supervision of Jahangir’s widow NurJahan. After TajMahal the Tomb of Jahangir is the most famous tomb of the world.


Tomb of NurJahan
Further west, across the rail track is the tomb of NurJahan. She died in 1645 and was buried in the mausoleum that she had erected for herself. Once richly decorated with floral fresco paintings on lime plaster, most of the embellishments were removed by the Sikhs, The minarets have gone, the marble platform and the sandstone facing are new and the tomb is little more than a shell.


Shalimar Garden
The Shalimar “abode of love” which is an interpretation of a dream of the princess saw that she is sleeping on bed of roses. The gardens were laid out in 1637 on the instructions of Shah Jahan. It was a royal pleasure garden. Over 450 meters long and enclosed within high walls for privacy, with its marble pavilions with carvings, pietradura inlay work and fresco paintings, a marble waterfall, ornamental ponds and over 400 fountains, the gardens provided an alternative residence for the royal family. Sadly it has lost the former beauty. The garden is open 0800-1630 daily.


Flag Lowering Ceremony at Pak-India Border
Pak-Indian flag lowering ceremony has been converted into a prime tourist attraction. Before sunset the ceremony starts and goes for about 30 minutes, ends at sunset time. This event should not be missed while touring Lahore. Wahga border is about 20 KM from Lahore which is connected directly on GT road.


Shopping in Lahore
The Mall is mostly central market for shopping where you find variety of shops from gold market, leather garments, book shops to carpet shops. Liberty market is famous for clothing and women make up shops. Panorama shopping arcade is good for leather products. Pace market in Gulburg is also famous for super markets and general shopping.


Sightseeing & Excursions

  1. Full day city tour of Lahore visiting Badshahi Masjid, Lahore fort, Masjid Wazir Khan, Jehangir’s Mausoleum, museum, Shalimar garden and flag ceremony at Wahgah border.
  2. Half day excursion to HiranMinar (Sheikhupura).
  3. Full day excursion for Harappa.
  4. Full day excursion to Nankana Sahib.