Lahore, also known as the heart of Pakistan is the second largest city of Pakistan after Karachi. It's among the easily accessible cities of Pakistan. Popular places in Lahore include Mughal Structures like Badshahi Mosque, Shalimar Gardens and Lahore Fort. Anarkali being the most famous traditional bazaar of Lahore is also a point of interest.
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Lahore, being an ancient city, is full of architectural treasures. Lahore Museum, which has the most and the finest Mughal artifacts in the world, is a place to start. Minar-e-Pakistan, Badshahi Mosque and Shalimar Gardens are synonymous with the word Lahore. Tomb of Jahangir, Noor Jahan and Badshahi Mosque have magnificent architecture, as do many other buildings across Lahore.
Lahore is also the shoppers paradise. It has many markets and traditional bazaars. Anarkali is perhaps the most famous of the traditional Lahore bazaars.
In the middle of Iqbal Park in Lahore stands Minar-e-Pakistan, a tall concrete minaret which was built as a tribute to the creation of Pakistan. This is the exact place where in 1940, the Muslim League passed the famous Lahore Resolution, which demanded a separate homeland for the Muslims of India.
Minar-e-Pakistan is about 60 meters in height. The tower base is raised approximately four meters from the ground and it rises up to approximately 13 meters, forming a sculpted, flower-like base. From this point it tapers as it rises. The base platform is shaped like a five-pointed star and it encloses crescent shaped pools. It is constructed of reinforced concrete, with the floors and walls rendered in stone and marble. Now it is officially recognized as the National Monument of Pakistan. The Minar-e-Pakistan was designed by Murad Khan, a Turkish architect.
Close to Minar-e-Pakistan is the magnificent Badshahi mosque, built under the patronage of the sixth Mughal Emperor, Aurangzeb Alamgir. The moque was completed in 1673 under the supervision of Aurangzeb's foster brother Muzaffar Hussain who was appointed governor of Lahore in May of 1671 and held this post until 1675.
The Badshahi mosque is adjacent to Lahore Fort, one of the most splendid examples of Mughal architecture in Pakistan. The mosque is one of the largest building made during the reign of Aurangzeb, and in terms of space, it is one of the largest mosque in the Indian subcontinent. The area within the mosque measures approximately 150 meters on each side.The mosque is raised pretty high from the ground level, and steps lead to the main court yard. The Badshahi mosque has close resembles to the Friday Mosque built by Shah Jahan in his new capital, adjoining the Red Fort, in Delhi, although the Badshahi Mosque is a grander structure.
The gardens are a masterpiece from the time of the Mughal civilization, which reached its height during the reign of the Emperor Shah Jahan. The gardens were commissioned by Shah Jahan in 1637. The fort contains marble palaces and mosques decorated with mosaics and gilt. The elegance of these splendid gardens, built near the city of Lahore on three terraces with lodges, waterfalls and large ornamental ponds, is unequalled.
Each garden is divided by canals and flowerbeds, following the Persian tradition of the charbagh, or fourfold garden. Each of the 3 parts is on a different level, so that the upper parts are concealed from the view of people entering from below. The highest, and therefore the most private, section is thought to have been used by the imperial women. The channels of water that weave through the whole garden are fed by canals designed and administered by a defector from the Persian court, Ali Mardan Khan, or Inayat Khan, known for his architectural and building expertise. The gardens contain white marble buildings in typical Shah Jahani style. They are enclosed by a red sandstone wall interrupted by small decorative kiosks. The Shalimar Gardens are among the best preserved Mughal gardens.
The Shalimar Gardens are laid out in the form of an oblong parallelogram, surrounded by a high brick wall, which is famous for its intricate fretwork. The gardens measure 658 meters north to south and 258 meters east to west.