alamgiri gate of shahi qila

Shahi Qila Lahore (Lahore Fort) – A Marvelous Structure With Vague Origin

Lahore Fort, locally known as Shahi Qila, is an UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the heart of Lahore, the second largest city of Pakistan. It is still a myth that who originally laid the foundations of the fort for the first time. The earliest known reference is in 1240s. However the current structure is primarily the work of Mughal Emperor Akbar during his reign  in last quarter of 16th century. The fort has also seen some up-gradations by Akbar’s successors and during Sikh and British rules.

The three most famous landmarks (Badshahi Mosque, Shahi Qila & Minar-e-Pakistan) of Lahore are in close vicinity. In fact, one can park his car somewhere at center of these places and roam around in one go but that makes a considerable walk. By that I mean at least 5~6 kms and I did it myself :). I visited Shahi Qila and Badshahi Mosque on same day.

Shahi Qila Opening Timings: Morning 10:00am to Evening Maghrib Prayer (say 06:00pm)

Shahi Qila Entrance Fee: Very nominal, 20PKR (20 US cents) per adult and 10PKR (10 US cents) per child below 6, yet getting a ticket on a weekend afternoon is really challenging. One may have to wait for half an hour in queue to get tickets.

Information Board at Entrance Lahore Fort. 

Shahi Qila Badshahi Mosque facts and figures

Entrance road of Shahi Qila.

Entrance of Shahi Qila Lahore fort

The structure in background is Diwan-i-Aam (Hall of Commons). It was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in 1628. The king regularly had meetings with the common people in this hall. Today, people enjoy picnic at this place.

diwan e aam in lahore fort shahi qila

Sheesh Mahal (Glass Palace), as the name suggests, is a small palace inside fort made of glass and mirrors. It is said that a single candle is sufficient to lit the whole hall at night.

Sheesh Mahal in Shahi Qila Lahore Fort

Naulakha Pavilion built by King Shah Jahan.

Naulakha Pavilion in shahi qila lahore fort

Khilwat Khana, residence of the royal ladies of the court. Thinking the same? Not as beautiful as Naulakha Pavilion above?

khilwat khana lahore fort badshahi mosque

A watch tower.

watch tower in lahore fort shahi qila

I forgot the name of following structure. But dd you notice something at bottom left corner of this photo? Perhaps a movie shooting was going on and the heroine is most prominent in this pic. 

structure inside shahi qila lahore fort

Paien Bagh (Orchard) and Shahi Hamam (Royal Bath) nearby this area.

paien bagh and shahi hamam in lahore fort shahi qila

There are many pavilions, small palaces and lush green lawns inside the fort.

Inside view of shahi qila lahore fort

The minarets of Badshahi Mosque and Samadhi of Maharaja Ranjit Sing (Mausoleum of Sikh King Ranjit Singh) – white building – can be seen from Lahore Fort.

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Rangeela rickshaw (tuc-tuc) inside fort, if anyone doesn’t want to walk. However it was limited to certain areas of fort. By the way, can you read what’s written on back of this tuc-tuc? Well, I will try to translate word to word: Innocent in looks…Bullet in speed :).

rangeela rickshaw in lahore fort shahi qila

The deteriorating mosaic of fort’s outside wall indicates how splendid it could be in its real state.

outside wall mosaic at shahi qila lahore fort

Location and Coordinates of Shahi Qila (Lahore Fort)

Coordinates of Shahi Qila: 31.587812,74.3140212

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