Mohenjo-Daro ruins

The Lost Civilization of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa

Sometime around 6000 BCE a nomadic herding people settled into villages in the mountainous region just west of the Indus River. There they grew barley and wheat using sickles with flint blades, and they lived in small houses built with adobe bricks. After 5000 BCE the climate in their region changed, bringing more rainfall, and apparently they were able to grow more food, for they grew in population. They began domesticating sheep, goats and cows and then water buffalo. Then after 4000 BCE they began to trade beads and shells with people in distant areas in central Asia and areas west of the Khyber Pass. And they began using bronze and working metals.
The climate changed again, bringing still more rainfall, and on the nearby plains, through which ran the Indus River, grew jungles inhabited by crocodiles, rhinoceros, tigers, buffalo and elephants. By around 2600, a civilization as grand as that in Mesopotamia and Egypt had begun on the Indus Plain and surrounding areas. By 2300 BCE this civilization had reached maturity and was trading with Mesopotamia. Seventy or more cities had been built, some of them upon buried old towns. There were cities from the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains to Malwan in the south. There was the city of Alamgirpur in the east and Sutkagen Dor by the Arabian Sea in the west.
One of these cities was Mohenjo-daro (Mohenjodaro), on the Indus river some 250 miles north of the Arabian Sea, and another city was Harappa, 350 miles to the north on a tributary river, the Ravi. Each of these two cities had populations as high as around 40,000. Each was constructed with manufactured, standardized, baked bricks. Shops lined the main streets of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, and each city had a grand marketplace. Some houses were spacious and with a large enclosed yard. Each house was connected to a covered drainage system that was more sanitary than what had been created in West Asia. And Mohenjo-daro had a building with an underground furnace (a hypocaust) and dressing rooms, suggesting bathing was done in heated pools, as in modern day Hindu temples.
The people of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa shared a sophisticated system of weights and measures, using an arithmetic with decimals. Whether these written symbols were a part of a full-blown written language is a matter of controversy among scholars, some scholars pointing out that this and the brevity of grave site inscriptions and symbols on ritual objects are not evidence of a fully developed written language.
The people of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa mass-produced pottery with fine geometric designs as decoration, and they made figurines sensitively depicting their attitudes. They grew wheat, rice, mustard and sesame seeds, dates and cotton. And they had dogs, cats, camels, sheep, pigs, goats, water buffaloes, elephants and chickens.
Between 1800 and 1700 BCE, civilization on the Indus Plain all but vanished. What befell these people is unknown. One suspected cause is a shift in the Indus River. Another is that people dammed the water along the lower portion of the Indus River without realizing the consequences: temporary but ruinous flooding up river, flooding that would explain the thick layers of silt thirty feet above the level of the river at the site of Mohenjo-daro. Another suspected cause is a decline in rainfall.
Agriculture declined and people abandoned the cities in search of food. Later, a few people of a different culture settled in some of the abandoned cities, in what archaeologists call a "squatter period." Then the squatters disappeared. Knowledge of the Mohenjo-daro and Harappa civilization died -- until archaeologists discovered the civilization in the mid-19th century.

The National Monument, Islamabad

TypePublic monument
LocationPakistan Islamabad, Pakistan
OwnerMinistry of Culture, Pakistan
LandlordMinistry of Culture, Pakistan
StartedMay 25, 2004
CompletedMarch 23, 2007
Main contractorUniversal Corporation Private LTD.
ArchitectArif Masoud
Structural engineerMushtaq Daud
Civil engineerKhizar Hayat Asghar

The monument is located at the west viewpoint of the Shakar Parian Hills, and is spread over a total area of 2.8 hectares. The high location makes the monument visible from across the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
The idea to to build a national monument was conceived by the Ministry of Culture and the Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planners (PCATP) was entrusted to design a befitting structure to represent the aspirations of the people of Pakistan. The PCATP organized a national competition around the theme of signifying strength, unity and dedication of the people of Pakistan into an icon representing an independent and free nation. From a total of twenty submissions, three were short-listed. Finally, the design proposed by Arif Masood was selected. The foundation stone was laid on 25 May 2004 and the complex was completed by the end of 2006 for inauguration on 23 March 2007. The total cost incurred was more than Rs.580 million.
The architecture of the monument represents the four provinces and three territories of Pakistan. The structure comprises four blossoming flower petals, built of granite, representing the unity of Pakistani people. From air the monument looks like a star (center) and a crescent moon (formed by walls forming the petals), these represent the star and crescent on Pakistan's flag. The blooming flower shape of the monument represents Pakistan's progress as a rapidly developing country. The four main petals of the monument represent the four provinces (Balochistan, North West Frontier Province, Punjab, and Sindh), while the three smaller petals represent the Northern Areas, Azad Kashmir and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. The Monument has been designed to reflect the culture and civilization of the country and depicts the story of the Pakistan Movement, dedicated to those who sacrificed themselves for future generations. The inner walls of the petals are decorated with murals. The central platform is made in the shape of a five-pointed star which is surrounded by a water body. A metallic crescent surrounding the star is inscribed with sayings of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and poetry of Allama Iqbal.
The murals on the inside of large petals are based on Islamic architecture, and were decorated by a team of artists led by Kausar Jahan and Zarar Haider Babri, who spent a total of 119,000 hours on the artwork.The first petal features the Malki Tombs, Shahjahan Mosque, Rohtas Fort, Gawadar, and Faisal Mosque. The second second petal depicts the images of Quiad-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Fatima Jinnah, Minar-e-Pakistan, Badshahi Mosque, Shila Tunnel, Karakorum Highway and a group of cheering people at Jinnah's public appearance. The third petal reflects Allama Iqbal, the Shah Rukn-e-Alam's Tomb, Mahabat Khan Mosque, Indus Valley Civilization, Lahore Fort and Indus River Delta.
The fourth petal comprises the images of Sheesh Mehal, Lahore, Shalamar Gardens, the Uch Sharif Tomb, Islamia College Peshawar, the Ziarat Residency, the Khyber Pass and a polo match.
Facing the monument, on the right side, down below the stairs stand four pillars, one inscribed with the three cardinal principals of the Quaid (Muhammad Ali Jinnah - founder of Pakistan) "Unity, Faith and Disciple" in english while the other three pillars bear the same in Urdu, one on each. There are a number of beautiful fountains on the main and secondary terraces which give an enchanting look, specially at night. Just opposite the main stair case is the Pakistan Monument Museum.
On weekends, there is a flag lowering ceremony by a smartly turned out contingent of Pakistan Army and the mounted President's Body Guards. The sounding of the Retreat by the buglers atop the building of the Pakistan Monument Museum is an awe inspiring moment. People from the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad flock in great numbers to witness the ceremony. So next time you happen to visit Islamabad, do not miss to visit the Monument and specially the National Flag lowering ceremony.

Wazir Khan Mosque

File:Wazir Khan Masjid 2007.jpg

Basic information
Ecclesiastical or orginizational statusMosque
Architectural description                               
Architectural typeMosque
Architectural styleIndo-Islamic/Mughal          
Completed1635 A.D.
Minaret height100 feet

Masjid Wazir Khan is extremely colorful and pretty mosque right in the heart of walled Lahore city. It was built in 1634-35 by Mr. Wazir Khan who was governor of Lahore at that time. This mosque was built a few decades before the glorious huge Badshahi Mosque Lahore (1673). I’m not trying to compare the two mosques here because one was built by the King himself                    (Badshahi mosque) while other was built by a city-governor (Masjid Wazir Khan), but later is much more colorful, much more well built and well designed, much delicate and attractive and is in much original condition. Ironically, inspite of being so beautiful and attractive, it has not been much talked about.

The best way to reach the mosque is to enter the Walled-city

of Lahore through Delhi-Gate and walk straight through the narrow and lively bazaar. A few hundred yards through the twisted path and there you see huge mosque minarets welcoming you. An open area outside the main entrance is still kept unpopulated and is a welcome change in contrast to highly dense populated area.

Right next to the entrance on both right and left sides are several small rooms that were originally designed to be shops. All shops were closed and locked but the veranda right outside each shop was very beautiful, especially the colorful ceiling.
Once you enter the mosque’s prayer area, you see a water pond for wuzu (ablution) in the center of the courtyard and a huge colorful mosque-building is visible at the other end of the courtyard. There are small rooms on both right and left sides of the courtyard that were closed and a couple were in use by the mosque administration, imam and the students.
The whole mosque both from outside and inside is a marvel of tile-work, colored paintings and calligraphy. The photo album posted at the bottom of this post contains several photos that prove my words above.
Quite interestingly, there was a mazaar (tomb) near the center of the mosque courtyard. On close inspection, it was discovered that the grave visible on the ground level was fake and the real grave was underground, some 10 feet right below the dummy grave on ground. The photo shows the name of the person. I have not yet been able to find who’s mazaar was this and how significant he was in the history.
On all four corners of the mosque are traditional high minarets. Unlike most of the mosques from the history as well as current day, these minarets are also covered completely with colored patterns and tiles that are in their original pretty colors even after almost four centuries.
Then I found a combination of steel ladder and staircase that took me to the roof top of the shops and I got a few clear shots of the mosque from there. Hundreds of pigeons were enjoying their free meal up there and were disturbed by my intervention.
After saying prayers, the mimbar (address chair) caught my attention. It was a beautiful wooden chair with a detailed wooden work. Looked pretty old but Imam sahib guided me to the label dug into the wood that said that it was a present to the mosque by Lord Curzon, Governor general India, who visited Lahore in 1899.
The whole mosque was colorful and patterned but keeping Islamic values in mind, no human or animal paintings could be seen. Either it was patterns and plants or it was calligraphy.

Hiran Minar

Those who take their chance to cross the River Ravi from Saghian Bridge to go to Sheikhupura in the suburbs of Lahore have to pass through the flower nurseries. Also, along the road has come up a Flower Market near Saghian Bridge. After turning on Sheikhupura-Sargodha Road from the Chowk where a beautiful replica of Hiran Minar (The Deer Tower) has been made, you drive along the bumpy two-way road lined up on both sides with smoke emitting factories of different kinds: fabrics, chemicals, glass, and paper pulp. At places the pungent whiff reminds as if one is driving on Grand Trunk Road near Kala Shah Kaku. Wall chalking, religious and or commercial slogans – is another thing that one notices all along the road to Sheikhupura.

Jehangir Abad turned Sheikhupura is situated in Ravi-Chenab corridor and fast turning from a market agricultural town to an industrial city. Adjacent to Lahore, the town is surrounded by old places like Sangla Hill (old Sakala), Nankana Saheb (birth place of Baba Guru Nanak) and Jandiala Sher Khan (last resting place of Waris Shah).
Hunting grounds were an important part of the physical environment of Moghal emperors. The place where the town stands today was one of Jahangir’s (Prince Salim) princely dominions during his father Akbar’s reign. The town was founded by Jehangir, near village Sahu Malli, during his rule in 1607. The king declared the barren jungles adjoining the place as royal hunting ground. After the death of king’s darling deer Mans Raj, this hunting ground was changed into a protected sanctuary and hunting was prohibited. In the memory of his favourite antelope, the king also constructed an octagonal tower in 1607 at the foot of the grave of the deer. In 1620, a square lake like pond and Baradari was added to the monument. A causeway with its own gateway connects the pavilion with the mainland and minaret. At the centre of each side of the tank, a brick ramp slopes down to the water that used to provide access for royal animals and wild game. Later he conferred the entire area upon Sikandar Moin.
A special feature of Hiran Minar is its location and environment: the top of the Minar is perhaps the best place in the province of Punjab to get a feel for the broader landscape and its relationship to a Moghal site. Looking north from the top of the Minar, one can see a patch of forest which is similar to the scrub forest vegetation of Moghal times, while to the west are extensively-irrigated fields, a product of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but similar in size and appearance to the well-irrigated fields of the Moghal period. The Lower Chenab Canal has turned the land into one of the most fertile area in the country now.

In eighteenth century, Nadir shah and Ahmed shah Abdali passed through Jehangir Abad once they came to attack India. Punjabi poet Syed Waris Shah had composed some pointing details of the attacks and conditions of the society of the time in his classic folk romance Heer Ranjha. Sikh came to the power in the later half of eighteenth century when Moghal authority weakened after the death of Aurangzeb Alamgir. It is during Sikh rule that the name of the town was changed from Jehangir Abad to Sheikhupura.

Sheikhupura was separated from Gujranwala and declared district in 1920 with Sharq Pur and Khankah Dogran as two of its tehsiels. Electricity came into the town in 1931. During independence movement, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah addressed a huge crowd in Sheikhupura while going to Faisalabad (then Layal Pur) in 1942. Later, the geographical boundaries of the district were again changed in 1962. The remains of once majestic Sheikhupura Fort, constructed by King Jehangir, reminds of the times gone by. Five storied building of the Fort speak of the expertise of its architects. The Moghul Fort was built in 1619 for use as a hunting lodge. The Fort is built of bricks rather than stone, a common feature of Moghul forts. The Fort was later used by Sikh Princess Rani Nakayan and her private quarters are decorated with superbly preserved frescoes depicting dancing girls, hunt and court scenes and images of Guru Nanak. History has it that Arbeel Singh fired one hundred rounds on the Sheikhupura Fort to break in. During Ranjeet Singh’s time, the Fort was renovated. Some of the murals are still there on the walls of the Fort. Around the Fort, some wood carving on doors, windows and balconies of old havelies can be seen being eaten by termite.
Maharani Jind Kaur (some time called Rani Jindaan), who was described by Lord Dalhousie as the only woman in the Punjab with manly understanding and in whom the British Resident foresaw a rallying point for the well-wishers of the Sikh dynasty, was kept under close surveillance in Sheikhupura Fort. Henry Lawrence laid down that she could not receive in audience more than five or six sardars in a month and that she remain in purdah like the ladies of the royal families of Nepal, Jodhpur and Jaipur. Maharani Jind Kaur was later exiled from the Punjab. She was taken to Firozpur and then to Banaras. Her annual allowance, which according to the treaty of Bharoval had been fixed at one and a half lakh of rupees, was reduced to twelve thousand. Her jewellery worth fifty thousand of rupees was forfeited; so was her cash amounting to a lakh and a half. The humiliating treatment of the Maharani caused deep resentment among the people of the Punjab. Even the Muslim ruler of Afghanistan, Amir Dost Muhammad, protested to the British, saying that such treatment is objectionable to all creeds.”

Old Rai Pur and now famous Nanakana Sahib, a birth place of Guru Nanak and last resting place of Waris Shah in Jandiala Shekhan are also claims of Sheikhupura to international fame. Gazetteer of the district written by British reads, Nanakana Sahib was then in the heart of jungle thirty miles from the nearest railway station and on the anniversary of the Guru’s birth was visited by a few hundred pious pilgrims. These days much more Sikhs from all over the world visit the birth place of Baba Nanak.
Despite being near Lahore, the town has not developed and all the civic facilities are over burdened. Over crowding, population increase, litter, and power outages have all played a part in turning small hamlet into a teeming sprawling slum. Moghal King who founded it would not be able to recognize the town if he comes back. There are no sufficient healthy recreations in town and people of Sheikhupura go to Lahore to have an eating experience at Food Street, for celebrating basant bash or for other recreations. The main road that passes through the town was once landscaped on both sides. Now the landscape and green strips along the road have vanished. The bifurcation railing in the middle of the road has broken down at places and people have made crossing points there. Completion of Jinnah Park was very festive for the residents of Sheikhupura but now it gives a repulsive look rather than that of a recreational place. On entering the gate one realizes that the park is not being maintained. Result: polythene bags and wrappers are scattered every where, the grass has not been mowed, there are no flowers, and benches are broken and dusty. A rehriwalla who sells ‘Dahi Bhallay’ in front of the park says, “I used to do much better business when the park was newly completed but now no body comes here.”

Faisal Mosque

File:Faisal mosque2.jpg

Coordinates33.729944°N 73.038436°E
LocationPakistan Islamabad, Pakistan
Branch/traditionSunni Islam
(Open to all , but Imamate reserved for either Shafi or Shahi or Hanbali)
Architectural information                                    
Architect(s)Vedat Dalokay
StyleContemporary Islamic
Capacity74,000 within the main areas, approx. 200,000 in adjoining grounds
Covered area5,000 m2 (54,000 sq ft)                
Minaret height90 meters (295 ft)
Construction cost120 million USD

Faisal Mosque is also referred to as the Shah Faisal Masjid. It is the national mosque of Pakistan. The mosque is one of the grandest and most unique mosques in entire Pakistan, if not the world. The size of the mosque is another uncommon aspect, and it was the largest mosque in the world for quite some time till it was finally overtaken.
The Masjid was completed building in the year nineteen eighty six. The mosque is a marvel of architecture, and was designed by world famous architect Vedat Dalokay from Turkey. The architect had competed with a huge number of applicants around the world in a competition to select the architect. He was chosen in nineteen sixty nine. The mosque is shaped in a most unique way. In fact it is shaped like a Bedouin Tent. The mosque has attracted rave reviews from all over the world for its unique architecture.
It was King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz from Saudi Arabia that suggested building this mosque in nineteen sixty six. The king funded a good part of the building of the Mosque as well, which is why the mosque is named after him. The mosque is the national mosque of Pakistan, and it stands as a symbol of hope and aspiration for the then baby nation.
Faisal Mosque is situated on a high bit of land set off perfectly by the Margalla Hills in the background. The location is an indicator of how important the mosque is, and it is visible from miles both during the day as well as night.

The architecture of the mosque is among the most unique. The traditional concepts of Islamic architecture, with arches and domes have been done away with in this structure, and all you will see is straight, clean lines, shaped like a Bedouin’s tent in the desert.

Anarkali Tomb

File:Anarkali tomb, November 2008.jpg

The tomb of Anarkali is one of the most significant buildings of the Mughal period. It is an ingeniously planned octagonal building, and is a memorial of the love-legend of Prince Saleem (later emperor Jahangir).  According to a popular legend, Nadira Begum, with the title of “Anarkali” belonged to the herem of Emperor Akbar Suspecting jahangir’s intense passion for the beautiful Anarkali, Akbar ordered Anarkali to be buried alive in a brick wall. She died in 1599 AD. Circular in shape and roofed by a lofty dome, the tomb once surrounded a garden, called Anarkali Garden, but during the last couple of hundred years it has been put to several uses. Under the Sikhs, the mausoleum was occupied by kharak Singh. Later it served as the residence of General Ventura, the Italian General of Ranjit Singh’s army. Under the British, the tomb was converted into a Christian Church. Since 1891 it has been used as Punjab Archives Museum with an amazing treasure for those interested in the history of British Punjab.
The Story of Anarkali

A manuscript depicting Anarkali.
The Great Mughal emperor Akbar and his wife, Mariam-uz-Zamani, had a son named Prince Saleem (later Emperor Jahangir). He was a spoiled and rude boy (*citation required), and because of this, Akbar the Great sent his son away to the army for fourteen years to learn the discipline required to rule the empire. Finally, Akbar allowed this son to return to the main palace in Lahore. Since this day was one of great celebration, the harem of Akbar decided to hold a great Mujra (dance performance) by a beautiful girl named Nadeera D/O Noor Khan Argun. Since she was an exceptional beauty, "like a blossoming flower", Akbar named her as Anarkali (blossoming pomegranate).
During her first and famous Mujra in Lahore Prince Saleem fell in love with her and it later became apparent that she was also in love with him. Later, they both began to see each other although the matter was kept quiet. Later, however, Prince Saleem informed his father, Akbar, of his intention to marry Anarkali and make her the Empress. The problem was that Anarkali, despite her fame in Lahore, was a dancer and a maid and not of noble blood. So Akbar (who was sensitive about his own mother, Hamida Banu Begum, being a commoner) forbade Saleem from seeing Anarkali again. Prince Saleem and Akbar had an argument that later became very serious after Akbar ordered the arrest of Anarkali and placed her in one of the jail dungeons in Lahore.
After many attempts, Saleem and one of his friends helped Anarkali escape and hid her near the outskirts of Lahore. Then, the furious Prince Saleem organized an army (from those loyal to him during his fourteen years there) and began an attack on the city; Akbar, being the emperor, had a much larger army and quickly defeated Prince Saleem's force. Akbar gave his son two choices: either to surrender Anarkali to them or to face the death penalty. Prince Saleem, out of his true love for Anarkali, chose the death penalty. Anarkali, however, unable to allow Prince Saleem to die, came out of hiding and approached the Mughal emperor, Akbar. She asked him if she could be the one to give up her life in order to save Prince Saleem, and after Akbar agreed, she asked for just one wish, which was to spend just one pleasant night with Prince Saleem.
After her night with Saleem, Anarkali drugged Saleem with a pomegranate blossom. After a very tearful goodbye to the unconscious Saleem, she left the royal palace with guards. She was taken to the area near present-day Anarkali Bazaar in Lahore where a large ditch was made for her. She was strapped to a board of wood and lowered in it by soldiers belonging to Akbar. They closed the top of the large ditch with a brick wall and buried her alive.
A second version of the story says that the Emperor Akbar helped Anarkali escape from the ditch through a series of underground tunnels with her mother only with the promise of Anarkali to leave the Mughal empire and never return. Thus it is not known whether Anarkali survived or not.
Another quite popular version states that she was immured alive in a wall.

Shalimar Gardens (Lahore)

State Party Pakistan
Criteriai, ii, iii
Inscription history
Inscription1981  (5th Session)

Continued from: The shrine of Madhu Lal Hussain
After marveling and wandering about in the spiritual world, we walked towards Shalimar Garden nearly 300 meters way. Anyone going there would first encounter a high red sandstone wall interrupted by small decorative kiosks. This is a hallmark of Mughal architecture. Beside privacy and security, the walls excluded the wildness of nature and included the tended, watered greenery of the garden.
The Shalimar Gardens were reportedly the best preserved Mughal garden having survived in the last 400 years. Others in Delhi and Kashmir with the same names were reported to be not in their original forms but much in ruins with some patches of paintings.
Paying Rs.10 (about 12 cents), we entered the garden. The first glimpse was awesome; a line of fountains in a water channel stretched a long way. Unfortunately, there was no water in this part as repair work was going in full swing to greet the spring festival only a month away. The garden had three levels. We were on the first and the highest level. Presumably, in old days it was reserved for the imperial ladies as it was concealed from the view of people entering directly from the side doors on the lower levels. (Later, the doors were closed for good and one can entre only from the main gate).
By a leisurely walk along trees and budding flowerbeds, we reached an arcaded pavilion which marked the end of the upper terrace. It was entirely built with white marble. Water was flowing under the pavilion, cascading down over a carved marble slab mimicking a waterfall effect. In the years gone by, this pavilion was used by Moghul Emperors and their family members to enjoy the coolness created by about 410 fountains. In building Shalimar, Shah Jahan sought to bring Kashmir down to the plains
Standing by the edge of the pavilion, one can see the middle and lower terraces. The gardens are surrounded by a wall with intricate fretwork or interlaced decorative designs in geometric patterns giving an overall view of an oblong parallelogram.
In the middle terrace, there was a magnificent water reservoir studded with fountains. Though fountains were not working, the reservoir was filled to the brim. It was bordered by an elaborate marble work. Alas, it was an off-season. I imagined the fountains playing, their water mixing in the air dampening faces of the visitors, a relief in the scorching sun. I further imagine the upcoming Shalimar Festival when the grounds would be artistically laid out with flower beds and promenades. All pavilions would glitter with lights and whole place would be transformed into fairyland. Shalimar Gardens of Lahore were one of the best specimens of the art of land-scaping introduced by the Mughals in the South Asian Sub-Continent. In 1981, Shalimar Gardens was included as a UNESCO World Heritage

Shalimar Gardems

We enjoyed the panoramic views for quite some time and came down to the middle terrace to explore it further. There were lots of young school kids shouting “left and right” in unison. Their teachers were busy in keeping them together. We moved diagonally away from the kids to find a quiet corner. It was indeed rewarding. There was fragrance of flowers, the sweet chirping sounds of the birds and the sunlight sparkling in the water pools. It made the Mughal garden a complete sensual experience.
courtesy /2/6/93/9/ 185469309Sshd Jr_ph.jpg
After some rest, we resumed the walk.  The kids had gone away and a complete calm prevailed.  At the end of the terrace was a beautiful structure called "Sawan Bhadon" which has been described as “a sunken tank niches on its three sides. Water cascades down from it in sheets in front of the niches, producing the sound of falling rain. In the olden times, small oil lamps were placed in the niches, which reflected myriad colors, through the water. “
The garden is well stocked with magnificent fruit trees and flowering shrubs. There are beautiful groves of lemon and pomegranate trees.


Finally, we came down to lowest terrace which in old time had a public entrance. This was important because the ascending hierarchy of terraces symbolized the respective social levels within the court.
After having a blissful time under the shade of green tree, majestic pavilions surrounded by rippling cascades, we came out of the garden to face glare and dust of the old city.
Moghul Emperor Shah Jahan
Mumtaz Mahal, the beloved wife

SHAH JAHAN, the developer of Shalimar Gardens

Literally meaning, “King of the world, he ruled India for 30 years from 1628 to 1658. He was considered to be one of the greatest Mughals and his reign has been called the Golden Age of Mughals.
Shah Jahan erected many splendid monuments: Taj Mahal, Moti Masjid, Delhi Red Fort and Mosque and Shalimar Gardens at Lahore and Delhi.
His most significant contribution is building “Taj Mahal”, the most beautiful monument in the world. He built this monument for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal. They were an inseparable couple, going together everywhere on royal inspections, military expeditions and constructions sites.
During his 30-year reign, Shah Jahan had never expected that his last days would be so utterly tragic. In 1657, he fell ill and was dethroned by his son and imprisoned. When Shah Jahan was on his death-bed, he kept his eyes fixed on the Taj Mahal which was clearly visible from his place of confinement. After his death, Shah Jahan was buried there beside his dead queen, Mumtaz Mahal.