Lahore (Urdu: لاہور, Punjabi: لہور, pronounced [laːˈhoːr] ) is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and the second largest city in Pakistan after Karachi. The city lies along the Ravi River and is situated approximately 25 kilometers (16 mi) from Wagah (the only road border crossing between
According to the 1998 census,
A legend based on oral traditions holds that Lahore, known in ancient times as Lavapuri(City of Lava in Sanskrit), was founded by Prince Lava, the son of Rama, while Kasurwas 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 hisGeographia 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 orChandra Bhaga (Chenab), and Adris or Iravati (Ravi). This city may have been ancient
The oldest authentic document about
Ghaznavid Empire to
An 11th-century house in the Walled City
Few references to
After the fall of the Ghaznavid Empire, Lahore was ruled by various Muslim dynasties known as the Delhi Sultanate, including the Khiljis, Tughlaqs, Sayyid, Lodhis and Suris When Sultan Qutb-ud-din Aibak was crowned here in 1206, he became the first Muslim sultan in South Asia. It was not until 1524 that
From 1524 to 1752,
During the 17th century, as Mughal power dwindled,
The 1740s were years of chaos, and the city had nine different governors between 1745 and 1756. Invasions and chaos in local government allowed bands of warring Sikhs to gain control in some areas. The Sikhs were gaining momentum at an enormous rate. In 1801, the twelve Sikh misls joined into one to form a new empire and sovereign Sikh state ruled by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.
During the late 18th century, frequent invasions by Ahmad Shah Abdali and the Durrani Empire led to a lack of governance in the Punjab region. The Sikh Misls began to gain territory and eventually the Bhangi Misl captured
Maharajah Ranjit Singh made
The GPO and YMCA buildings in
of Independence Pakistan
The most important session of the All India Muslim League (later the Pakistan Muslim League), demanding the creation of Pakistan, was held in
Upon the independence of
The Walled City of Lahore known locally as the "Un-droone Shehr" is the oldest and most historic part of
Lying between 31°15′—31°45′ N and 74°01′—74°39′ E,
Lahore features a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSh) with rainy, long and extremely hot summers, dry and warm winters, a monsoon and dust storms. The weather of
Under the latest revision of
Administrative towns of
8. Iqbal Town
Other major residential areas within Lahore include: Abdalian Housing Society, Awan Town, Badami Bagh, Bahria Town, Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Faisal Town, Garden Town, GCP Society, Green Town, Gulberg, Samanabad, Gulshan-e-Ravi, Hassan Town, Ichhra, Iqbal Town, Sabzazar, Islampura, Ittefaq Town, Johar Town, Model Town, Muhafiz Town, Mustafa Town, Nespak Society, New Muslim Town, NFC Employees Cooperative Housing Society, Pasco Society, Punjab Cooperative Housing Society, Sabzazar Scheme, Sant Nagar, Saroba Gardens, Shad Bagh, Sukh Chayn Gardens, Township, Valencia Town, WAPDA Town, Iqbal Avenue Co-operative Housing Society andYouhanabad.
The Liberty Roundabout or
Head office of the PIA in
As of 2008, the city's gross domestic product (GDP) bypurchasing 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 other 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
Metro, Makro and Hyperstar (Carrefour) have situated their headquarters in
Among the projects currently under construction in
Defense Raya Golf Resort, also under construction, will be
The economy is also enhanced by
The Lahore Ring Road.
M2: The Lahore-Islamabad Motorway.
The Lahore Ring Road (LRR) Project was launched on
In addition to the historic Grand Trunk Road (G.T. Road), motorways connecting all major cities (Islamabad, Multan, Faisalabad, Peshawar,Rawalpindi, etc.) have been built. A motorway to Sialkot is under construction. The government has built underpasses to ease congestion and prevent traffic jams, and according to official figures,
The Punjab government had allocated Rs 170.300 million for W/I of Thokar-Raiwind Road, Rs 50 million for the dualisation of Lahore-Jaranwala Road from Ferozepur Interchange to Mandi Faizabad, Rs 40 million for the construction of extending building for IWMI Thokar Niaz Baig Lahore, Rs 2.7 million for the construction of an overhead bridge at Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jillani Road near University of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, Rs 56 million for PC-II for a feasibility study of elevated expressways in Lahore, Rs 10 million for the construction of an elevated expressway from Lahore Bridge to Niazi Chowk, Rs 50 million for the strengthening of Sheikhupura-Gujranwala Road, and Rs 15 million for the construction of a bypass between Sargodha and Lahore Road.
Bus Serviceoperates four routes within
Several bus companies operate in
Pakistan Railways is headquartered in
To accommodate increased air travel, the government built a
Lahore Rapid Mass Transit (LRMT) System is a project envisioned to provide mass transit facilities to
Sacred Heart Cathedral.
According to the 1998 census,
Punjabi is the native language of the province and is the most widely spoken language in
According to the 1998 census, 94% of
Minaret of Badshahi Mosque in background, viewed from the roof of Cooco's Den
Cooco's cafe, a famous restaurant in the Old city of
The people of
Basant is a Punjabi festival marking the coming of spring. Basant celebrations in
The Festival of Lamps, or Mela Chiraghan, is an important and popular event in
The tomb of Allama Iqbal.
The National Horse and Cattle Show is one of the most famous annual festivals, held in spring in the Fortress Stadium. The week-long activities include a livestock display, horse and camel dances, tent pegging, colourful folk dances from all regions of
The World Performing Arts Festival is held every autumn (usually in November) at the
Lahoris are known for their love of food and eating. While Lahore has a great many traditional and modern restaurants, in recent years Western fast food chains, such as McDonald's, Pizza Hut,Domino's Pizza, Subway Sandwiches, Dunkin Donuts, Nando's and Kentucky Fried Chicken have appeared all over the city. Recently the food streets in the historic locales of
The alleys and lanes of these bazaars are full of traditional wares like leather articles, embroidered garments, glass bangles, beaten gold and silver jewelry, and creations in silk. Anarkali is named after the famous courtesan of Akbar’s time, Anarkali (Pomegranate Blossom). The grave of SultanQutbuddin Aibak, who died falling off his horse while playing polo, is located in Anarkali on
An artificial waterfall at Jilani Park.
Sukh Chayn, a joint venture between the governments of Pakistan and China
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 charbaghlayout 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.
The Lahore Zoo is the second oldest zoo in the South Asia after Calcutta and has been a source of amusement and recreation for families for more than a 100 years. In December 2004, Pakistan and China signed a $110 million contract for the construction of a housing project on Multan Road in Lahore. The result was Sukh Chayn Gardens, a beautiful housing society full of lush green parks and gardens.
Lahore also has a safari park covering more than 200 acres (81 ha). The park has safaris for different animals. The safaris with tigers, lions, rhinos, elephants, bear, apes, African and Indus plane animals cover an area of 80 acres (32 ha). Pakistan’s largest walkthrough aviary is also located here, with all kinds of birds, including pheasants, waterfowls and peacocks. Birds are kept in their natural habitat instead of being caged; a net fence at the perimeter keeps birds in the aviary. There are more than a thousand species of animals in the park. Lahore's biggest lake is also situated here for boating and fishing.
Jilani Park (formerly Race Course Park) is famous for its floral exhibitions and artificial waterfall. Annual horse racing competitions are held in this park.
Lahore has a number of hospitals, including Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital, Mayo Hospital, Nawaz Sharif Social Security Hospital, Lahore General Hospital, Jinnah Hospital, Gulab Devi Hospital, Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, Sheikh Zaid Hospital, Ittefaq Hospital,Punjab Institute of Cardiology and Sharif Medical Complex. The current government of Punjab has a comprehensive plan to establish new hospitals and medical colleges in the city.
Lahore is known as Pakistan's education capital, with more colleges and universities than any other city in the country. Lahore is Pakistan’s largest producer of professionals in the fields of science, technology, IT, engineering, medicine, nuclear sciences, pharmacology, telecommunication, biotechnology and microelectronics. 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), established in 1864; Forman Christian College, a chartered university established in 1864;University of the Punjab, established in 1882; Kinnaird College, established in 1913; and University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore (UET Lahore), established in 1921.
The University of Lahore is a new private sector university in Lahore. It is emerging as a university with strength in the areas of engineering sciences and technology, business & administrative sciences, and biotechnology.
University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore (UET Lahore) is Pakistan's oldest technical degree-awarding institute and its first university in the field of engineering and technology. Established as Mughalpura Technical College in 1921, it was upgraded to a university in 1961. UET Lahore is Pakistan's largest public-sector engineering university, offering bachelor's degrees in 29 specialties and Master of Sciencedegrees in 55 specialties.
Lahore's institutes in the fields of computer science, IT, and engineering include the National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences(FAST-NU) and Punjab University College of Information Technology (PUCIT).
Lahore boasts some of the finest high schools in Asia: Aitchison College, St. Anthony's College, Lahore College of Arts and Sciences andLahore Grammar School, which feed students to leading universities across the globe.
Other notable educational institutes situated in Lahore include Comsats Institute of Information Technology, National College of Arts; a regional campus of the National University of Modern Languages (NUML); Hajvery University (HU); and the University of Education (UE), established in 2002 as Pakistan's first specialized university in the field of education.
Khuda Kay Liye, a recent successful movie shot and based in Lahore.
Lahore is the core of Pakistan's media and arts scene. Pakistan's most prestigious art college,National College of Arts, is located here. Every year, it hosts the World Performing Arts Festival, in which artists from dozens of countries show off their talents. This festival is managed by the Peerzada group, which is also the largest puppetry theater company in Pakistan. Lahore is also home to the country's developing fashion industry, supported by numerous designer outlets and the country's most prestigious fashion school, the Pakistan School of Fashion Design, which has some of the best photo studios and photographers in the country.
Lahore has also been home to Pakistan's old classical music, ghazals and Qawwalis, with big names such as Noor Jehan, Arif Lohar, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Mehdi Hassan and Ghulam Aliresiding in the city. In recent years Lahore has produced some of Pakistan's greatest pop singers, such as Ali Azmat, Atif Aslam and Ali Zafar. The city is recognized as the birthplace of South Asia's modern rock scene thanks to popular bands like Junoon, Jal, Call, Roxen, Noori and Entity Paradigm, some of whose songs have been featured in Bollywood films.
Pakistan's film industry is based in the city and is called Lollywood. Many films are filmed in Lahore and the city has some of the oldest film studios in the country. Many actors and directors are based in Lahore, which brings many artists together to launch films. Cinema's popularity is on the upswing again in recent years and IMAX is building outlets in the city. Several FM radio stations and television stations have set up their operations here. Lahore is home to Geo TV's Infotainment Division and Pakistan's first children's television channel, Wikid, as well as Pakistan's first community channel, Asset Plus (available only in DHA Lahore) and lifestyle channel, Value TV. The television channel, City 42 broadcasts news and information about latest happenings and events in the city. The channel contains a variety of programs in Urdu, Punjabi and English which span from current affairs to general infotainment.
Cricket is the most popular sport in Lahore.
Gaddafi Stadium is a Test cricket ground in Lahore. Designed by Pakistani architect Nayyar Ali Dada, it was completed in 1959 and is one of the biggest cricket stadiums in Asia. After its renovation for the 1996 Cricket World Cup, the stadium now boasts a capacity of over 60,000. Nearby is an athletics stadium, a basketball pitch, the Al Hamra, open-air hall similar in design to the coliseum, and the world's largest field hockey stadium, Another Cricket Ground and Headquarters of Pakistan Cricket Board, all based in the city's Sports complex. In the same vicinity lie headquarters of the Pakistan Football Federation, as well as the multi-sport Punjab Stadium.
Lahore is home to Pakistan Premier League giants WAPDA FC, Pakistan Railways FC, PEL FC, and Wohaib FC. In addition to football, Kabaddi, a South Asian team sport, is also popular in Lahore. Many citizens play Kabbadi after work.
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. The Lahore race carries prize money of approximately US$100,000. More than 20,000 athletes from Pakistan and all over the world participate in this event. It was first held on January 30, 2005, and again on January 29, 2006. More than 22,000 people participated in the 2006 race. The third marathon was held on January 14, 2007.
Plans exist to build Pakistan's first sports city in Lahore, on the bank of the Ravi River.