A Historic Journey of the Lahore City, to Attain Its Identity through Architecture
Lahore is a historical and the second largest city of Pakistan. It has a unique geographical location as it is located on the main trade and invasion routes to South Asia. Its history dates back to 1000BC, when its foundations were laid by the Hindu prince Loh, son of Rama Chandra. After the invasion of Mahmud of Ghazni in 1000AD, the city of Lahore has grown, flourished, suffered invasions and destruction, and yet survived through the Sultanate (1206-1524), the Mughal (1524-1712) and Sikh (1764-1849) periods with an uneven, yet unbroken, cultural evolution. This is evident in the form of monuments and artefacts that developed and evolved over time. The research paper discusses how architecture and contemporary arts in Lahore developed with time through the examples of representative buildings as case studies. It also discusses the impacts of cultural, religious and social factors on the art and architecture during different rules and how they are embodied in the city of Lahore to contribute towards its unique identity. The Mughals, who ruled for almost three centuries, were famous as great builders. They laid the infrastructure of Lahore and built finest architectural monuments. They were succeeded by the Sikh dynasty, but with minor architectural impacts. However on the palimpsest set by the Mughals, the British managed to transform the city of Lahore into modern lines. Hence, through the introduction of new building types, the British presented art and architectural style that was not known before to give Lahore a new identity.
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