Lahore is the capital city of Pakistani province of Punjab. It is the second-largest metropolitan area in Pakistan with an estimated population of 10,052,000, making it the 27th largest urban city in the world. The city is located in the north east part of Punjab province near the border with India. Lahore is ranked as a Gamma+ world city, and is one of Pakistan's wealthiest cities with an estimated total nominal GDP of $58.14 billion.
Lahore is the historic cultural centre of the Punjab region, and is the largest Punjabi city in the world. The city has a long history, and was once under the rule of the Hindu Shahis,Ghaznavids, Ghurids, Lodis,Marathasand the Delhi Sultanate. Lahore reached the height of its splendour under the Mughal Empire, which for a time ruled from the city. The city then became capital of the Sikh Empire, before becoming the capital of the Punjab under British rule. Lahore was central to the independence movements of both India and Pakistan, with the city being site of both the declaration of Indian Independence, and the resolution calling for the establishment of Pakistan. Following the Partition of British India, Lahore became capital of Pakistan's Punjab region.
Lahore is one of Pakistan's most liberal cities , and exerts strong cultural influence over Pakistan. The city is a major centre for Pakistan's publishing industry, and remains the foremost centre of Pakistan's literary scene. Lahore is also a major centre of education in Pakistan, with some of Pakistan's leading universities based in the city. Lahore is also home to Pakistan's film industry, Lollywood, is a major centre of Qawwali music, and is home to much of Pakistan's tourist industry. Lahore is also the centre of Pakistan's technology sector.
|TIME ZONE :||PKT (UTC+5)|
|RELIGION :||Muslim 94%|
|AREA :||1,772 km2 (684 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||217 m (712 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||31°32′59″N 74°20′37″E|
|SEX RATIO :|
|AREA CODE :|
|POSTAL CODE :||54000|
|DIALING CODE :||042|
Lahore is Pakistan's second largest city after Karachi, and the capital of the north-eastern Punjab province. It is widely considered the country's cultural capital. The heart of Lahore is the Walled or Inner City, a very densely populated area of about one square kilometre.
Founded in legendary times, and a cultural centre for over a thousand years, Lahore has many attractions for the tourist. The Mughal and Sikh legacy survives in the Lahore Fort, Badshahi Mosque and Gurdwara, the Mall is lined with colonial-gothic buildings from the British Raj, and the suburbs of Gulberg and Defence feature palatial mansions and trendy shopping districts.
Today, Lahore is certainly worth a visit - but don't come expecting a tranquil city overflowing with history, art and culture - these qualities do exist but are hidden under the surface of a sprawling, traffic clogged and polluted south Asian city. Forward planning is recommended if the tourist is going to get the most out of what Lahore has to offer - the time of year to visit, the choice of hotel, the restaurants to dine at, the art galleries and the shopping areas to frequent are all key to getting the most out of your stay.
Lahore is a relatively friendly and liberal city. There is an old saying, that in every Lahori, there is a Mughal prince. The city has known ages of cultural, intellectual, musical, literary and humanistic evolution, which has consequently led to the fermentation and over fermentation of this rich brew we call Lahore.
Legend has it that it was founded about 4,000 years ago by Loh, son of Rama, the hero of the Hindu epic, the Ramayana. Reminiscent of its hoary past are the remains of a subterranean temple attributed to Rama, in the northern part of the Royal Fort. Historically, it has been proved that Lahore is at least 2,000 years old. After Islam came to South Asia, it became a center of learning, and attracted some of the region's greatest mystics, writers and artists. The people of Lahore, when they want to emphasize the uniqueness of their town say "Lahore, Lahore aye" (Lahore is Lahore). Lahore is the city of poets, artists and the center of film industry. It has the largest number of educational institutions in the country and some of the finest gardens in the continent. Apart from being the cultural and academic center of the country, Lahore is the showcase for Mughal architecture in Pakistan. For more than 200 years, beginning from about 1524 AD, Lahore was a thriving cultural center of the great Mughal Empire. Mughal Emperors beautified Lahore, with palaces, gardens and mosques.
Hieun-tasng, the famous Chinese pilgrim gave a vivid description of Lahore, which he visited in the early parts of the 7th century AD. Lying on the main trade and invasion routes to South Asia, Lahore has been ruled and plundered by a number of dynasties and hordes. Muslim rule began here when Qutub-ud-din Aibak was crowned in Lahore in 1206 and became the first Muslim Sultan of the Subcontinent. It waxed and waned in importance during the Sultanate.
However, it touched the zenith of its glory during the Mughal rule from 1524 to 1752. The Mughals, who were famous as builders, gave Lahore some of its finest architectural monuments, many of which are extinct today.
It was Akbar’s capital for 14 years from 1584 to 1598. He built the massive Lahore Fort on the foundations of a previous fort and enclosed the city within a red brick wall boasting 12 gates. Jahangir and Shah Jahan (who was born in Lahore) extended the fort, built palaces and tombs, and laid out gardens.
Jahangir loved the city and he and his wife Noor Jahan are buried at Shahdara. Aurangzeb (1658-1707), gave Lahore its most famous monument, the Badshahi Masjid (Royal Mosque) and the Alamgiri gateway to the fort.
During the eighteenth century, as Mughal power dwindled, there were constant invasions. Lahore was a suba, a province of the Empire, governed by provincial rulers with their own court. These governors managed as best they could though for much of the time it must have been a rather thankless task to even attempt. The 1740s were years of chaos and between 1745 and 1756 there were nine changes of governors. Invasions and chaos in local government allowed bands of warring Sikhs to gain control in some areas.
Lahore ended up being ruled by a triumvirate of Sikhs of dubious character and the population of the city invited Ranjit Singh to invade. He took the city in 1799. Holding the capital gave him enough legitimacy to proclaim himself the Emperor. Descriptions of Lahore during the early 19th century refer to it as a “melancholy picture of fallen splendor.”
The British, following their invasion of Lahore in 1849, added a great many buildings in “Mughal-Gothic” style as well as bungalows and gardens. Early on, the British tended to build workaday structures in sites like the Fort, though later they did start to make an effort to preserve some ancient buildings. The Lahore Cantonment, the British residential district of wide, tree-lined streets and white bungalows set in large, shaded gardens, is the prettiest cantonment in Pakistan. Since Independence in 1947, Lahore has expanded rapidly as the capital of Pakistani Punjab.
All this makes Lahore a truly rewarding experience. The buildings, the roads, the trees and the gardens, in fact the very air of Lahore in enough to set the mind spinning in admiration.A poet has written about this phenomenon one experiences in the environs of Lahore. When the wind whistles through the tall trees, when the twilight floods the beautiful face of the Fort, when the silent canal lights up to herald the end of another chapter in history, the Ravi is absorbed in harmony, mist fills the ancient streets, and the havelis come alive with strains of classical music, the spirit of Lahore pervades even the hardiest of souls.
Lahore has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification BSh). The hottest month is June, when average highs routinely exceed 40 °C (104.0 °F). The monsoon season starts in late June, and the wettest month is July,with heavy rainfalls and evening thunderstorms with the possibility of cloudbursts. The coolest month is January with dense fog.
The city's record high temperature was 48.3 °C (118.9 °F), recorded on 30 May 1944. 48 °C (118 °F) was recorded on 10 June 2007. At the time the meteorological office recorded this official temperature in the shade, it reported a heat index in direct sunlight of 55 °C (131 °F). The record low is −1 °C (30 °F), recorded on 13 January 1967.The highest rainfall in a 24-hour period is 221 millimetres (8.7 in), recorded on 13 August 2008.On 26 February 2011, Lahore received heavy rain and hail measuring 4.5 mm (0.18 in), which carpeted roads and sidewalks with measurable hail for the first time in the city's recorded history.
Climate data for Lahore
|Record high °C (°F)||27.8|
|Average high °C (°F)||19.8|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||12.8|
|Average low °C (°F)||5.9|
|Record low °C (°F)||−2.2|
|Source #1: NOAA (1961-1990)|
|Source #2: PMD|
Lying between 31°15′—31°45′ N and 74°01′—74°39′ E, Lahore is bounded on the north and west by the Sheikhupura District, on the east by Wagah, and on the south by Kasur District. The Ravi River flows on the northern side of Lahore. Lahore city covers a total land area of 404 square kilometres (156 sq mi).
As of 2008, the city's gross domestic product (GDP) by purchasing 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 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 Lahore to the national economy is supposed to be around 13.2%. As a whole Punjab has $115 billion economy making it first and to date only Pakistani Subdivision of economy more than $100 billion at the rank 144. Lahore's GDP is projected to be 102 billion$ by the year 2025, with a slightly higher growth rate of 5.6% per annum, as compared to Karachi's 5.5%.
A major industrial agglomeration with about 9,000 industrial units, Lahore has shifted in recent decades from manufacturing to service industries. Some 42% of its work force is employed in finance, banking, real estate, community, cultural, and social services. The city is Pakistan's largest software & hardware producing centre, and hosts a growing computer-assembly industry. The city has always been a centre for publications where 80% of Pakistan's books are published, and it remains the foremost centre of literary, educational and cultural activity in Pakistan.
The Lahore Expo Centre is one of the biggest projects in the history of the city and was inaugurated on 22 May 2010. Defense Raya Golf Resort, also under construction, will be Pakistan's and Asia's largest golf course. The project is the result of a partnership between DHA Lahore and BRDB Malaysia. The rapid development of large projects such as these in the city is expected to boost the economy of the country. Ferozepur Roadof the Central Business Districts of Lahore contains high-rises and skyscrapers including Kayre International Hotel and Arfa Software Technology Park.