History of Walled City of Lahore – Andron-e-Lahore Ki Tareekh
The Gates of the Walled City
During the Moghul Era, access to the old Lahore walled city had effectively controlled and gained by thirteen gateways, at intervals throughout its peripheral run provided in the huge wall which is not almost invisible. During the period following 1859, outer defensive walls of the city were totally demolished while the height of the inner wall was reduced to nil during the British rule. The fortress of the city of Lahore has been there since the days of Jalal-ud-Din Akbar [1590 A.D] Every day, the gates used to be closed at sunset and opened early in the morning.
I. Lohari Gate or Lohari Gate: The “Lohari Gate” is very close to “Bhati Gate.” Like many other gates, it was built to keep enemies out. Although it is now surrounded by shops and stalls, it still has great architectural significance. In Urdu, loha means “iron,” and the gate is named Lohari because many blacksmiths workshops were based just outside this gate. The gate covers 35 sq. ft has big bastion on either sides of the gateway which probably was built on the original by the Britishers.
II. Shah Alami Gate: It was named after Muhammad Moazzam Shah Aalam, the son and successor of Emperor Aurangzeb. He was a mild and kind emperor who died in Lahore in 1712. This gate was damaged during 1947 and most of the building was reduced to ashes because of extensive fires which was rebuilt and broadened during 1948-50
III. Mochi Gate or Moti Gate: The Mochi Gate locally known as Mochi Darwaza used to exist next to the Laal Haveli, a prominent landmark at the entrance point. In Urdu, Mochi means cobbler, Cavalry Saddles and shoes repair person, which indicates that the bazaar was a market for shoe making and repair shops. Some quote that name seems to be a corruption of Moti. It was named after Moti Ram, an official who was the keeper of this gate during Akbar’s time.
IV. Akbari Gate: This is the most beautiful gate of Lahore named after the great Mughal emperor Akbar, who rebuilt the town and citadel. Close to this gate the Emperor also founded a market, which is named after him, “Akbari Mandi. Akbari Gate is the earliest structure built by Mughals in Fort. It is part of fortification architecture of Akbar’s era and the only example of its kind in Pakistan.
V. Delhi Gate: The “Delhi Gate” was once the main and only road that led from Lahore to Delhi. The gate was built during the Mughal era. Although the gate suffered greatly in the 1947 riots, it has since been renovated and today is in its former glory. Lahore’s Historic Delhi Gate is one of the most crowded parts of the walled city and faces the city of Delhi in India. The present two story structure was built during the British period in the 16th Century.
VI. Yakki Gate or Zaki Gate: Originally it was called Zaki due to its vicinity to the tomb of Saint Zaki. Yakki seems to be the wrong interpretation of Zaki who fouth against the Mughal infidels from the North.
VII. Kashmiri Gate: The “Kashmiri Gate” is so named because it faces the direction of Kashmir. Inside the gate, there is a shopping area called “Kashmiri Bazaar” . The current structure which was built during British period was repaired by Lahore Development Authority covering 159 sq. ft area and a girls’ college was created. This college, built upon an old haveli belonging to a shah, is a beautiful example of the Mughal architecture.
VIII. Shaianwala Gate or Khizri Gate: The “Shairanwala Gate,” also known as the “Gate of the Lions,” was made by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. After its completion, Singh placed two live lions in cages at the gate as a symbolic gesture to warn any invader. This gate opened towards the river side where there was a ferry. As Khawaja Khizar is the name of the patriot saint of running water and stress, so keeping in view its location it was named after him as Khizri Gate.
IX. Masti Gate or Masjidi Gate: Just behind the Lahore Fort is the entrance to the “Masti Gate,” also known as the “Gate of Merriment”. This name appears to be tainted of Masjidi as it is located in the immediate vicinity of the mosque known as Mariam Makani, named after the mother of Jahangir, Mariyam Zamani.. This area is dominated by wholesale shoe sellers who sell both traditional- and Western-style shoes.
X. Roshnai Gate: The “Roshnai Gate,” also known as the “Gate of Lights,” is located between the Lahore Fort and the Badshahi Mosque. As the gate was one of the main entrances into the city, it was constantly visited by Omerahs, courtiers, royal servants and retinues. In the evenings, the gate was lit up, hence its name. The gate was also referred to as the “Gate of Splendour.” It’s the only gate that is in good condition now and still retains its original looks.
XI. Taxali Gate or Teksali Gate: The “Taxali Gate,” also known as the Tixal (royal mint), was built during the Mughal regime by a Muslim emperor, Mohammedan. There is a very famous shoe market located here known as Sheikupurian Bazar. There are a variety of foods available in and around this gate – one of the most beloved being Sri Pai from Fazal Din aka “Phajja.” Taj Mehal and Shahbudin Halwi are a couple of the more popular sweet stores.
XII. Bhati Gate: It was perhaps named after Bhatties who lived there once but it is believed that they migrated to Rajasthan. The entrance to the “Bhati Gate” is located on the western wall of the old city. The area inside the gate is well known throughout the city for its food. Just outside of “Bhati Gate” is the Data Durbar, the mausoleum of the Sufi saint Ali Hajweri (also known as Data Sahib Ganjbaksh). Inside the gate there is a mansion which is known as Faqir Khana which is in fact a treasure of art.
XIII. Mori Gate: Located between the Lohari Gate and Bhati Gate, the “Mori Gate” is the smallest of the gates of the walled city. This gate was used to remove the waste and disposal material from the city. Mori Gate was never considered an official gate, but the residents of Lahore considered it to be the 13th gate.
History of Walled City of Lahore by Javed Chaudhry in Urdu Columns
Andron-e-Lahore Main Aik Din by Javed Ch Column 22 Jan 2015
Aur Han Baqi Sub Bulbula Hay Javed Ch 23 Jan 2015
Lahore Lahore Hay Javed Chaudhry 25 Javed 2015 Lahore Lahore Aye