|Megacity / Metropolitan City|
|City District Government||11 September 2008|
|• Type||City District|
|• District Administrator||Captain (R) Muhammad Usman Younis|
|• District Coordination Officer||Captain (R) Muhammad Usman Younis|
|• Capital City Police Chief||Captain (R) Amin Venus|
|• Total||1,772 km2 (684 sq mi)|
|Elevation||217 m (712 ft)|
|Lahore Urban agglomeration|
|Time zone||PKT (UTC+5)|
|HDI Category||Very High|
|Lahore Cantonment is a legally separate military-administered settlement.|
Lahore (//; Punjabi: لہور ALA-LC: Lahor [ləhoːr] ( listen); Urdu: لاہور ALA-LC: Lāhor [lɑːhoːr]) is the capital city of the province of Punjab, the second largest metropolitan area in Pakistan and 16th most populous city in the world. It is an important historical centre in South Asia. With a rich history dating back over a millennium, Lahore is a main cultural centre of the Punjab region and Pakistan and is the largest Punjabi city in the world. One of the most densely populated cities in the world, Lahore remains an economic, political, transportation, entertainment, and educational hub of Pakistan.
Lahore successively served as the regional capital of the empires of the Hindu Shahi kingdom in the 11th century, the Ghaznavids in the 12th century, the Ghurid State in the 12th and 13th centuries and the Mughal Empire in the 16th century. From 1802 to 1849, Lahore served as the capital city of the Sikh Empire. In the mid-19th and early 20th century, Lahore was the capital of the Punjab region under the British Raj. The traditional capital of Punjab for a millennium, Lahore was the cultural centre of the northern Indian subcontinent which extends from the eastern banks of the Indus River to New Delhi. Mughal structures such as the Badshahi Mosque, the Lahore Fort, Shalimar Gardens, the mausolea of Jehangir and Nur Jahan, Chauburji Gate, and the walled city are some of the major tourist attractions in the city. Lahore is also home to many British colonial structures built in the Indo-Saracenic style, such as the Lahore High Court, the General Post Office, Lahore Museum, Lahore Railway Station, and many older universities and colleges including the University of the Punjab, Govt College and King Edward Medical University. The Lahore Zoo, thought to be the fourth oldest in the world, is also situated here.
Lahore is referred to as the cultural heart of Pakistan as it hosts most of the arts, cuisine, festivals, music, film-making, gardening and intelligentsia of the country. The city has always been a centre for publications where 80 percent of Pakistan's books are published, and it remains the foremost centre of literary, educational and cultural activity in Pakistan. It is also an important religious centre as it is home to hundreds of temples, mosques, churches and shrines like Data Durbar Complex.
According to the latest 1998 census, Lahore's population was 6,319,000. In July 2014, Index Mundi put the population of the city at 7,566,000. An estimate in January 2015 gave the population of the Lahore agglomeration as 10,052,000. It is ranked 34 in the most populated urban areas in the world and the 8th largest city within the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. The area of Lahore has almost doubled in the last 12 to 14 years, nevertheless any population estimate should be taken with a grain of salt as the census has been missing in action, one is scheduled for 2016. In 2010, Lahore was ranked as a Gamma+ world city. The Guardian has rated Lahore as the 2nd best tourist destination in Pakistan after Taxila.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Civic administration
- 4 Economy
- 5 Transport
- 6 Religion
- 7 Population
- 8 Festivals
- 9 Historic parks and gardens
- 10 Education
- 11 Fashion
- 12 Architecture
- 13 Sports
- 14 Notable people
- 15 Twin Towns and Sister Cities
- 16 See also
- 17 References
- 18 Bibliography
- 19 External links
A legend based on oral traditions holds that Lahore, known in ancient times as Lavapura, was founded by Prince Lava or Loū, the son of Sita and Rama, the king of Ayodhya and an avatar of the Hindu god Vishnu according to the Ramayana epic. The city of Kasur was founded by his twin brother, Prince Kusha. To this day, Lahore Fort has a vacant temple dedicated to Lava (also pronounced Loh, hence Loh-awar or "The Fort of Loh"). Ptolemy, the celebrated 2nd-century Egyptian astronomer and geographer, mentions in his Geographia a city called Labokla situated on the route between the Indus River and Palibothra, or Pataliputra (Patna) mostly, in a tract of country called Kasperia (Kashmir). It was described as extending along the rivers Bidastes or Vitasta (Jhelum), Sandabal or Chandra Bhaga (Chenab), and Adris or Iravati (Ravi). This city may have been ancient Lahore.
The oldest authentic surviving document about Lahore was written anonymously in 982. It is called Hudud al-'Alam (The Regions of the World). In 1927 it was translated into English by Vladimir Minorsky and published in Lahore. In this document, Lahore is mentioned as a town being invaded by Arabic savages "impressive temples, large markets and huge orchards." It refers to "two major markets around which dwellings exist", and it also mentions "the mud walls that enclose these two dwellings to make it one." The original document is currently held in the British Museum. Lahore was called by different names throughout history. To date there is no conclusive evidence as to when it was founded. Some historians trace the history of the city as far back as 4000 years ago. However, historically, it has been proved that Lahore is at least 2,000 years old. Hieun-tsang, the famous Chinese pilgrim has given a vivid description of Lahore which he visited in the early parts of the 7th century. Lahore has been ruled and plundered by a number of dynasties and hordes.
Rajput period and invasions
Lahore is described as a Hindu principality in the Rajput accounts. Keneksen, the founder of Suryavansha is believed to have migrated out from the city. The Solanki tribe, belonging to Amukhara Pattan which included the Bhatti Rajputs of Jaisalmer "point to Lahore" as their place of earliest settlement. In 1241, Lahore was invaded by Chengiz Khan. Though Timur captured the city in 1397, he did not loot it because "it was not rich then".
Lahore appears as the capital of the Punjab for the first time under Anandapala – the Hindu Shahi king who is referred to as the ruler of (hakim i lahur) –after leaving the earlier capital of Waihind. Few references to Lahore remain from before its capture by Sultan Mahmud of Ghaznavi in the 11th century. The sultan took Lahore after a long siege and battle in which the city was torched and depopulated. In 1021, Sultan Mahmud appointed Malik Ayaz to the throne and made Lahore the capital of the Ghaznavid Empire. As the first Muslim governor of Lahore, Ayaz rebuilt and repopulated the city. He added many important features, such as city gates and a masonry fort, built in 1037–1040 on the ruins of the previous one, which had been demolished in the fighting (as recorded by Munshi Sujan Rae Bhandari, author of the Khulasatut Tawarikh in 1695–96). The present Lahore Fort stands on the same location. Under Ayaz's rule, the city became a cultural and academic centre, renowned for poetry. The tomb of Malik Ayaz can still be seen in the Rang Mahal commercial area of town.
After the fall of the Ghaznavid Empire, Lahore was ruled by Turko-Afghan dynasties based in Delhi, known as the Delhi Sultanate, including the Khiljis, Tughlaqs, Mamluk, Sayyid and Lodhis. During the reign of Qutbu l-Din Aibak, Lahore was known as the 'Ghazni of India'. Scholars and poets from as far away as Kashghar, Bukhara, Samarkand, Iraq, Khorasan and Herat, gathered in Lahore and made it a city of learning. Under Aibak, Lahore had more poets of Persian than any other Islamic city. In 1286, Prince Muhammad, who was the son of Balban was defeated in an encounter with the Mongols in the city.
In the early 16th century, Babur, a Timurid descendant of Timur and Genghis Khan from Fergana Valley (modern day Uzbekistan), swept across the Khyber Pass and founded the Mughal Empire, covering modern day Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. The Mughals were descended from Central Asian Turco-Mongols. Lahore reached the zenith of its glory during the Mughal rule from 1524 to 1752. Lahore reached the peak of its architectural glory during the rule of the Mughals, many of whose buildings and gardens have survived the ravages of time.
Humayun, his son married Hamida Banu Begum in Lahore while fleeing to Persia. It was also the headquarters of Mughal rule during Akbar between 1584 to 1598. Thus along with Agra and Delhi, it became an "alternate seat of imperial court". Akbar also held discussions with Portuguese missionaries in the city. Abul Fazl, his court historian calls it a "a great city in Bari Doab, in magnificance and populousness it has few equals".
In 1758, the Maratha Empire's general Raghunathrao conquered Lahore, Attock and Peshawar, and drove out Timur Shah Durrani, the son and viceroy of Ahmad Shah Abdali. Lahore, Multan, Peshawar, Kashmir and other subahs on the south and eastern side of Attock were under the Maratha rule for the most part. In Punjab and Kashmir, the Marathas were now major players. In 1761, following the victory at the Third Battle of Panipat between the Durrani and the Maratha Empire, Ahmad Shah Abdali captured remnants of the Maratha Empire in Punjab and Kashmir regions and consolidated control over them.
During the late 18th century, frequent invasions by the Durrani Empire and the Maratha Empire due to the decline of the Mughal Empire, led to a lack of governance in the Punjab region. The Sikh Misls were in close combat with the Durrani Empire, but began to gain territory and eventually the Bhangi Misl captured Lahore. When Zaman Shah invaded Punjab again in 1799 Maharaja Ranjit Singh was able to make gains in the chaos. He defeated Zaman in a battle between Lahore and Amritsar. The citizens of Lahore, encouraged by Sada Kaur, offered him the city and he was able to take control of it in a series of battles with the Bhangi Misl and their allies.
Lahore served as the capital city of the Sikh Empire in accordance with Lahore being the capital of Punjab. While much of Lahore's Mughal era fabric lay in ruins by the end of 18th century a close struggle to gain control, rebuilding efforts under the Sikh Empire were shaped by and indebted to Mughal practice. Maharaja Ranjit Singh moved into the Mughal palace in Lahore's citadel. By 1812 he had mostly refurbished the city's defences by adding a second circuit of outer walls that followed the outline of Akbar's original walls and were separated from them by a moat. The Maharaja also partially restored Shah Jahan's decaying gardens at Shalimar, and British maps of the area surrounding Lahore dating from the mid-19th century show that walled private gardens – many of them bearing the names of prominent Sikh nobles – continued in the Mughal pattern under Sikh rule. The Sikh court continued to endow religious architecture in the city, including a number of Sikh gurdwaras, Hindu temples and mosques.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh made Lahore his capital and was able to expand the kingdom to the Khyber Pass and also included Jammu and Kashmir, while keeping the British East India Company from expanding across the River Sutlej for more than 40 years. After his death in 1839 the internecine fighting between the Sikhs and several rapid forfeitures of territory by his sons, along with the intrigues of the Dogras and two Anglo-Sikh wars, eventually led to East India Company control of the Punjab ten years later. For the East India Company, the Punjab was a frontier province, because the region had boundaries with Afghanistan. Therefore, the Punjabis, unlike the Bengalis and Sindhis, were discouraged from using their mother tongue as an official language out of fear of Nationalism. The British first introduced Urdu as an official language in Punjab, including Lahore, allegedly due to a fear of Punjabi nationalism. Under the British (1849–1947), architecture in Lahore combined Mughal, Gothic and Victorian styles.
Under the British, Sir Ganga Ram (referred to as the father of modern Lahore) designed and built the General Post Office, Lahore Museum, Aitchison College, Mayo School of Arts (now the NCA), Ganga Ram Hospital, Lady Mclagan Girls High School, the chemistry department of the Government College University, the Albert Victor wing of Mayo Hospital, Sir Ganga Ram High School (now Lahore College for Women) the Hailey College of Commerce, Ravi Road House for the Disabled, the Ganga Ram Trust Building on Shahrah-e-Quaid-e-Azam, and the Lady Maynard Industrial School.
Independence of Pakistan
Lahore played a special role in the independence movements of India. The 1929 Indian National Congress session was held at Lahore. In this Congress, the Declaration of the Independence of India was moved by Jawaharlal Nehru and passed unanimously at midnight on 31 December 1929. On this occasion, the Swaraj flag (with a charkha at its centre) was adopted by the Congress. Lahore's prison was used by the British to detain revolutionaries. Noted independence activist Jatin Das died in Lahore's prison after fasting for 63 days in protest of British treatment of political prisoners. One of the most famous martyrs in the history of Indian independence, Shaheed Sardar Bhagat Singh, was hanged here. The most important session of the All India Muslim League (later the Pakistan Muslim League), demanding the creation of Pakistan, was held in Lahore in 1940. Muslims under the leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah demanded a separate homeland for Muslims of India in a document known as the Pakistan Resolution or the Lahore Resolution. It was during this session under the leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the leader of the league, that Muslims League publicly proposed the Two-Nation Theory for the first time.
Upon the independence of Pakistan, Lahore was made capital of the Punjab province in the new state of Pakistan. Almost immediately, large scale riots broke out among Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus, causing many deaths as well as damage to historic monuments—including the Lahore Fort, Badshahi mosque and colonial buildings.
After independence and its deep impact, Lahore as so many times before, once again gained its significance as an economic and cultural powerhouse of the region, through government reforms. The second Islamic Summit Conference was held in the city in 1974.
Lying between 31°15′—31°45′ N and 74°01′—74°39′ E, Lahore is bounded on the north and west by the Sheikhupura District, on the east by Wagah, and on the south by Kasur District. The Ravi River flows on the northern side of Lahore. Lahore city covers a total land area of 404 square kilometres (156 sq mi).
|Climate chart (explanation)|
Lahore has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSh). The hottest month is June, when average highs routinely exceed 40 °C (104.0 °F). The monsoon season starts in late June, and the wettest month is July, with heavy rainfalls and evening thunderstorms with the possibility of cloudbursts. The coolest month is January with dense fog.
The city's record high temperature was 48.3 °C (118.9 °F), recorded on 30 May 1944. 48 °C (118 °F) was recorded on 10 June 2007. At the time the meteorological office recorded this official temperature in the shade, it reported a heat index in direct sunlight of 55 °C (131 °F). The record low is −1 °C (30 °F), recorded on 13 January 1967. The highest rainfall in a 24-hour period is 221 millimetres (8.7 in), recorded on 13 August 2008. On 26 February 2011, Lahore received heavy rain and hail measuring 4.5 mm (0.18 in), which carpeted roads and sidewalks with measurable hail for the first time in the city's recorded history.
|Climate data for Lahore (1961–1990)|
|Record high °C (°F)||27.8
|Average high °C (°F)||19.8
|Daily mean °C (°F)||12.8
|Average low °C (°F)||5.9
|Record low °C (°F)||−2.2
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||23.0
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||218.8||215.0||245.8||276.6||308.3||269.0||227.5||234.9||265.6||290.0||259.6||222.9||3,034|
|Source #1: NOAA (1961-1990) |
|Source #2: PMD|
Under the latest revision of Pakistan's administrative structure, promulgated in 2001, Lahore became a City District, and was divided into nine towns. Each town in turn consists of a group of union councils (U.C.'s).
As of 2008, the city's gross domestic product (GDP) by purchasing power parity (PPP) was estimated at $40 billion with a projected average growth rate of 5.6 percent. This is at par with Pakistan's economic hub, Karachi, with Lahore (having half the population) fostering an economy that is 51% of the size of Karachi's ($78 billion in 2008). The contribution of Lahore to the national economy is supposed to be around 13.2%. As a whole Punjab has $115 billion economy making it first and to date only Pakistani Subdivision of economy more than $100 billion at the rank 144. Lahore's GDP is projected to be 102 billion$ by the year 2025, with a slightly higher growth rate of 5.6% per annum, as compared to Karachi's 5.5%.
A major industrial agglomeration with about 9,000 industrial units, Lahore has shifted in recent decades from manufacturing to service industries. Some 42% of its work force is employed in finance, banking, real estate, community, cultural, and social services. The city is Pakistan's largest software & hardware producing centre, and hosts a growing computer-assembly industry.
Defense Raya Golf Resort, also under construction, will be Pakistan's and Asia's largest golf course. The project is the result of a partnership between DHA Lahore and BRDB Malaysia. The rapid development of large projects such as these in the city is expected to boost the economy of the country. Ferozepur Road of the Central Business Districts of Lahore contains high-rises and skyscrapers including Kayre International Hotel and Arfa Software Technology Park.
The Lahore Metro or Lahore Rapid Mass Transit System (LRMTS) was first proposed in 1991. Funding was not secured, and in 2012 it was abandoned by the Punjab Government in favour of the more cost–effective Lahore Metro Bus System which opened in February 2013. However, in May 2014 the Punjab Government decided to restart development on the Lahore Metro as a $1.6 billion project with Chinese assistance. The Orange Line, which will be 27.1-kilometre (16.8 mi) long, (25.4 kilometres (15.8 mi) of which will be elevated), will be the first line of the project and is under construction.
Several bus companies operate in Lahore. Premier Bus Services, owned by the Beaconhouse Group, was started in 2003, and provides transportation services to the general public in Lahore. With over 240 buses running on exclusive routes, it is the largest public transport company in Pakistan. As of 2010[update], the buses are in the process of being converted to compressed natural gas for environmental and economic reasons.[not in citation given]
The Daewoo City Bus also operates routes within Lahore. Its headquarters are located in the city of Lahore. It is operated by a Korean company, Sammi. On 11 February 2013, Punjab Government launched Rapid Bus Transit System (MBS) in Lahore.
The government built a new city airport in 2003. It was named Allama Iqbal International Airport after the national poet-philosopher of Pakistan, Allama Muhammad Iqbal, and is served by international airlines as well as the national flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines. The old terminal now operates as the Hajj terminal to facilitate the great influx of pilgrims travelling to Saudi Arabia to perform the hajj every year. Lahore also has a general aviation airport known as Walton Airport.
According to the 1998 census, 94% of Lahore's population is Sunni Muslim, up from 60% in 1941. Other religions include Christians (5.80% of the total population, though they form around 9.0% of the rural population), and a small number of Bahá'ís, Hindus, Ahmediya, Parsis, and Sikhs.
According to the 1998 census, Lahore's population was 6,318,745. An estimate in July 2014 put the population of the Lahore agglomeration at 7,566,000. It is considered to be one of the 35 largest cities of the world.
The people of Lahore celebrate many festivals and events throughout the year, blending Mughal, Western, and other traditions. Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha are celebrated. Many people decorate their houses and light candles to illuminate the streets and houses during public holidays; roads and businesses may be lit for days. The mausoleum of Ali Hujwiri, also known as Data Ganj Bakhsh (Urdu: داتا گنج بخش) or Data Sahib, is located in Lahore, and an annual urs is held every year as a big festival. Basant is a Punjabi festival marking the coming of spring. Basant celebrations in Pakistan are centred in Lahore, and people from all over the country and from abroad come to the city for the annual festivities. Kite-flying competitions traditionally take place on city rooftops during Basant. Courts have banned the kite-flying because of casualties and power installation losses. The ban was lifted for two days in 2007, then immediately reimposed when 11 people were killed by celebratory gunfire, sharp kite-strings, electrocution, and falls related to the competition.
Historic parks and gardens
Lahore is known as the City of Gardens. Many gardens were built in Lahore during the Mughal era, some of which still survive. The Shalimar Gardens were laid out during the reign of Shah Jahan and were designed to mimic the Islamic paradise of the afterlife described in the Qur'an. The gardens follow the familiar charbagh layout of four squares, with three descending terraces. The Lawrence Gardens were established in 1862 and were originally named after Sir John Lawrence, late 19th-century British Viceroy to India. The many other gardens and parks in the city include Hazuri Bagh, Iqbal Park, Mochi Bagh, Gulshan Iqbal Park, Model Town Park, Race Course Park, Nasir Bagh Lahore, Jallo Park, Wild Life Park, and Changa Manga, an artificial forest near Lahore in the Kasur district. Another example is the Bagh-e-Jinnah, a 141-acre (57 ha) botanical garden that houses entertainment and sports facilities as well as a library.[not in citation given]
Lahore is known as Pakistan's educational capital, with more colleges and universities than any other city in Pakistan. Lahore is Pakistan's largest producer of professionals in the fields of science, technology, IT, engineering, medicine, nuclear sciences, pharmacology, telecommunication, biotechnology and microelectronics, nanotechnology and the only future hyper high tech centre of Pakistan . Most of the reputable universities are public, but in recent years there has also been an upsurge in the number of private universities. The current literacy rate of Lahore is 74%. Lahore hosts some of Pakistan's oldest educational institutes:
- Government College Lahore (now Government College University, Lahore), established in 1864
- Forman Christian College, a chartered university established in 1864
- Government Islamia College Lahore, established in 1892
- University of the Punjab, established in 1882;
- Kinnaird College, established in 1913
- Lahore College for Women University , established in 1922
- Queen Mary College, Lahore, established in 1908 and
- University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore (UET Lahore), established in 1921. UET is also Pakistan's oldest technical degree-awarding institute and the first Pakistani university in the field of engineering and technology.
Lahore's principal educational institutes and establishments include:
Lahore has successfully hosted many international sports events including final of the 1990 Hockey World Cup and final of the 1996 Cricket World Cup. The headquarters of all major sports governing bodies are located here in Lahore including Cricket, Hockey, Rugby, Football etc. and also has the head office of Pakistan Olympic Association.
Lahore is home to several golf courses. The Lahore Gymkhana Golf Course, the Lahore Garrison Golf and Country Club, the Royal Palm Golf Club and newly built DHA Golf Club are well maintained Golf Courses in Lahore. In nearby Raiwind Road, a 9 holes course, Lake City, opened in 2011. The newly opened Oasis Golf and Aqua Resort is another addition to the city. It is a state-of-the-art facility featuring golf, water parks, and leisure activities such as horse riding, archery and more.The Lahore Marathon is part of an annual package of six international marathons being sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. More than 20,000 athletes from Pakistan and all over the world participate in this event. It was first held on 30 January 2005, and again on 29 January 2006. More than 22,000 people participated in the 2006 race. The third marathon was held on 14 January 2007.[not in citation given] Plans exist to build Pakistan's first sports city in Lahore, on the bank of the Ravi River.[better source needed]
Twin Towns and Sister Cities
The following international cities have been declared twin towns and sister cities of Lahore.
- Lahore Fashion Week
- Lahore Literary Festival
- Lahore Railway Station
- Lahori cuisine
- List of cemeteries in Lahore
- List of cities proper by population
- List of cities with the most high-rise buildings
- List of largest cities in Organisation of Islamic Cooperation member countries
- List of metropolitan areas in Asia
- List of people from Lahore
- List of streets in Lahore
- List of tallest buildings in Lahore
- List of towns in Lahore
- List of urban areas by population
- List of films set in Lahore
- Sikh period in Lahore
- Transport in Lahore
- Walled City of Lahore
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