“Lahore, the second largest city of Pakistan, ancient capital of the Punjab, home to nearly as many people as New York, layered like a sedimentary plain with the accreted history of invaders from the Aryans to the Mongols to the British.”
When the Indian subcontinent received independence in 1947, Lahore became the capital of West Punjab province; in 1955 it was made the capital of the newly created West Pakistan province, which was reconstituted as Punjab province in 1970.
Lahore consists of an old city area flanked on the southeast by newer commercial, industrial, and residential areas that are in turn ringed by suburbs. The old city was at one time surrounded by a wall and a moat, but these structures have been replaced, except in the north, by parklands. A circular road around the rampart provides access to the old city by 13 gates. Notable structures within the old city include the mosque of Wazīr Khān (1634) and Lahore Fort. A walled complex that covers some 36 acres (14.5 hectares), the fort is a splendid example of Mughal architecture; it was partially built by Akbar (reigned 1556–1605) and extended by the next three emperors. The mosque and the fort are decorated in marble and kashi, or encaustic tile work. Other historic landmarks include the Bādshāhī (Imperial) Mosque, built by Aurangzeb and still one of the largest mosques in the world; the 14-foot- (4.3-metre-) long Zamzama, or Zam-Zammah, a cannon that is immortalized (along with other details of the city) in Rudyard Kipling’s novel Kim (1901); Ranjit Singh’s buildings and mausoleum; the Shāhdara gardens, containing the tomb of the Mughal emperor Jahāngīr; and the magnificent Shālīmār Garden, laid out east of the city in 1642 by Shāh Jahān as a refuge for the royal family. Jahān’s refuge consists of about 80 acres (32 hectares) of terraced, walled gardens, with about 450 fountains. The fort and Shālīmār Garden were collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981.
Lahore, second largest city of Pakistan and the capital of Punjab province. It lies 811 miles (1,305 km) northeast of Karāchi in the upper Indus plain on the Rāvi River, a tributary of the Indus. Little is known of the history of the settlement prior to the Muslim period. Hindu legend attributes the founding of Lahore to Lava, or Lōh, son of Rāma, for whom it is said to have been named Lōhāwar. The city of “Labokla” mentioned in Ptolemy’s 2nd-century Guide to Geography may have been Lahore.
Excerpt From Encyclopedia Britannica