The Surviving Gates of the Thirteen Gates of Lahore
The residents of any city should know everything related to the place they live, for example, the monuments in the city or the history of the city. For example, Lahore is a city rich in culture and history. The city is most commonly known as the city of gardens or as the city of Mughals.
It is divided into two distinct parts, the old city and the new one. In the early days, there just used to be a small city protected by mud walls. These mud walls were joined by huge gates that are now known as the 13 gates of Lahore.
In this blog, we will tell you about these gates that protected the old city of Lahore, in a bit more detail.
Shall we begin?
Walled City of Lahore
Due to the presence of the nine-meter high brick wall, the old city of Lahore also used to be known as the walled city. The walls of the city were joined together by 13 gates, and together they protected the city from pillagers and invaders.
Presently, the wall has long gone and it can no longer be seen, in addition, some of the 13 gates have also dissolved with time. While there are things that have changed since the old times, there is one thing that remains the same, life inside the walled city. As soon as you enter the old city, you will find yourself in the old times.
13 Gates of Lahore
The Gates that protected the old city from invaders used to be:
- Bhati Gate
- Delhi Gate
- Kashmiri Gate
- Lohari Gate
- Roshnai Gate
- Sheranwala Gate
- Akbari Gate
- Masti Gate
- Mochi Gate
- Shah Alam Gate
- Taxali Gate
- Yakki Gate
Just as the brick wall has crumbled and is now lost to history, 7 of these gates have followed suit. Some have just crumbled against the times, while some were destroyed during British rule.
The next time you visit any of these gates, you would know all about it. Let us tell you about these in more detail.
While visiting the city of gardens, you can find the following gates still trying to protect the remaining walled city.
Let us first tell you the story behind the name of the gate. While the gate was being constructed, a Rajput tribe used to reside in the area, the tribe was called the Bhati tribe. The gate is located on the western side of the city and acts as an entryway into the city. During the British Raj, the gate was demolished and rebuilt.
The area around the gate is very well known amongst the Lahoris, due to the presence of many restaurants there that serve delicious cuisines. Apart from the many eateries around the gate, there are many historical sites present in the area as well, that are a must-visit for anyone who visits the city. The Fakir Khana museum is located inside the gate; one can find many historical artifacts and remnants inside the museum. A bazaar is also located within the vicinity of the area, Bazaar-e-Hakimian, which is reserved for the Hakims.
Data Darbar, one of the biggest and most visited darbars of the city is located right beside the gate, thus the gate is also synonymous with the Data Darbaar. If you are a fan of poetry and qawwali, you should visit the gate on a Thursday night.
One of the six gates that can still be seen standing tall after all this time is the Delhi gate. The gate is located on the east side of the old city and was constructed on the orders of the Third Mughal Empire, Akbar. The gate was heavily impaired by the riots during the time of independence; however, it has been repaired.
The gate is named the Delhi Gate, as it faces the city of Delhi in India.
If you visit the area inside the gate, you can find a gorgeous Shahi Hammam, a royal washroom. It can be found on the left side of the gate. The royal washroom was built by Hakim Ilmuddin. In addition to this historical building, there are many other ancient buildings also located within the vicinity. The gorgeous Wazir Khan Mosque, which was built during the Mughal era, was located in the area.
The tomb of Hazrat Meran Badshah is situated in the courtyard of the Wazir Khan Mosque, and there are many havelies located inside the gate. These havelis and all the historical artifacts have a huge impact on the popularity of the area and thus have increased the demand for houses for sale in Lahore.
In a circle around the gate, there is a huge cloth market, where you can find recycled clothes at a very affordable rate.
The gate is located close to the Delhi gate, and faces the valley of Kashmir, thus is named the Kashmiri Gate.
There is a bazaar located near the gate, which is known as the Kashmiri Bazaar. Upon entering the narrow alleyways of the old Kashmiri bazaar, you will find yourself transported back into the days of the Mughal ear. If you follow a specific alley of this bazaar, you will find yourself standing in front of the Wazir Khan Mosque.
Apart from the Kashmiri Bazaar, you will also find Azam Cloth Market, the biggest cloth market of Asia in the vicinity of the gate.
Now you might be thinking, what is the story behind the name of this gate? Well according to the locals there are two folklores behind the name of the gate.
- Similar to how the Kashmiri gate was named; the gate is named after the city Lahore.
- It relates to the number of blacksmiths (Lohar) sitting around the gate
One of the most famous mosques in Pakistan, Muslim Masjid is located near the Lohari gate. Near the mosque, you can find many flower shops. Apart from the Muslim Masjid, one of the most famous bazaars of the country, the Anarkali Bazaar is also located in front of the gate. Adjacent to the bazaar is the tomb of ‘Qutub-Ud-Din-Aibak’.
The area at any given time attracts a great number of food lovers, due to the presence of eateries around the gate. Mehar Basheer Halwae, Sheikh Chatara and Sweets and Haji Sahab Nihari Walay are some of the most well-known names amongst the Lahoris when it comes to food.
The Roshnai gate is located in between the Badshahi Mosque and the Lahore Fort, which is also known as the Shahi Qila.
The gate is known as Roshnai as the area in the vicinity lights up in the evening. The most unique thing about this gate out of the 13 gates is the fact that it is still in its original form and shape, as compared to the other gates that have been repaired or renovated somehow.
Built by the Maharaja Ranjit Singh, the Hazuri Bagh is right beside the gate. The bagh was built to celebrate the capture of Koh-i-Noor.
This gate is most commonly known as the Khizri Gate. It is named after Saint Ameer-Ul-Bahr, who was known as the commander of water. In order to protect the gate from invaders, the entrance of the gate had two lions (sher), thus it is called the Sheranwala gate.
This concludes our blog about the thirteen gates of Lahore, we have told you about the surviving gates still trying to protect the walled city of Lahore.
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