Sep 29, 2014

Lahore Walled City Has Thirteen Gates

1. Raushnai Gate or the "Gate of Light" is between the Royal mosque ( Badshai Masjid ) and the Royal Fort ( Shahi Qilla). Roshnai Gate was the main entry point of the Rulers and the other nobles during the Mughal and Sikh Periods. Since river Ravi used to flow attached with the northern wall of the Lahore Fort and the Badshahi Mosque, to facilitate the travelers, the gate was profusely illuminated during night. It is for this reason that the gate has been named as “Roshnai Darwaza” or the “gate of light”. It is considered to be the oldest gate. This is only city gate that has been preserved in its original shape.

2. Kashmiri Gate faces Kashmir thus name follows the direction. Famous historian Kanhaia Lal wrote in “History of Lahore” about the gate, “This gate linked to Kashmiris(residents of Kashmir) therefore it faces Kashmir similarl. There was a time when furious waves of River Ravi used to hit the wall of Lahore. Rivers change their paths and cities change their maps; today there are only few signs left of the boundary wall of old city that was famous for its grandeur. History reveals that Mughal Emperor Akbar built 30 feet high wall surrounding Lahore, height was raised to 15 more feet high during Sikh era. The part of the city inside the Kashmiri gate is comparatively higher than rest of the city. Streets are dark and steep inside the gate. Cars can be parked outside the gate and only pedestrians can enter the gate.

3. Masti Gate is not the actual name but is rather twisted and pronounced instead of "Masjidi," which means a mosque. Just behind the Lahore Fort is the entrance to the Masti Gate, also known as the "Gate of Merriment". This area is dominated by wholesale shoe sellers who sell both traditional- and Western-style shoes. Located further down the street is one of the city's oldest Masjids, the Masjid of Mariyam Zamani Begum, named after the mother of Jahangir, Mariyam Zamani.

4. Shairanwala Gate or Khizri Gate is one of the four gates which once opened on the river front north of the Walled City of Lahore. It was named after Khawaja Khizr, the patron saint of running waters and rivers. The Gate & its neighbourhood were so named because there was a ferry on the River Ravi in front of it. It is also known as Sheranwala Darwaza, because Ranjit Singh is said to have kept two lions in cages in front of this gate. The Italian traveller Niccola Mannuchi, who visited Lahore in 1667, has named it as Qadri Gate but gives no reason for this.

5. Yakki Gate The original name was "Zaki," which was derived from the name of a martyr saint, who, according to tradition, fell fighting against the Moghal infidels from the north, while gallantly defending his city. Over time the name "Zakki" became distorted to what the gate is known as today: "Yakki".

6. Dehli Gate is one of thirteen gates of the Walled City of Lahore. The gate is named as Delhi gate because of its opening on the high road from Delhi to Lahore and is located within Walled City of Lahore. The area near the gate is historical place, in which a number of old buildings, havelis and markets are located. The Wazir Khan Mosque can be accessed from this gate.

7. Akbari gate is named after the death of Mughal Emperor Akbar, who rebuilt the town., Lahore Fort has two main gates and Akbari Gate is one of them. It was the eastern main entrance to the Lahore Fort, neglected these days. Close to this gate the Emperor also founded a market, which is named after him, "Akbari Mandi". (Akbari Market)

8. Mochi Gate is a historical gate built during the Mughal period and the name wrongly pronounced. It name was actually Moti meaning a pearl. It was called so after the name of Moti Ram, an officer of Akbar, who resided here at that time. Located at the entrance to Mochi Bagh (garden). In Urdu, Mochi means cobbler, which may indicate that the bazaar was once a market for shoes and repair shops. Today, the bazaar around the Mochi gate is renowned for its dry fruits, kites and fireworks. Mochi Gate is the entrance to the Mochi Bagh, where many renowned Pakistani leaders of past and present have delivered speeches.

9. Shah-Alami Gate is named after Mohomed Mo'azzam Shah 'Alam Bahadur Shah (the son and successor of Aurangzeb). He was a mild and generous Emperor, who died in Lahore on the 28th February 1712. Before his death, the gate was called the "Bherwala Gate". During the 1947 independence riots, the gate was burned. Today only the name survives. One of Lahore's biggest commercial markets, "Shah Alam Market" or Shalmi as locals call it, exists near the site of the gate.

10. Lahori Gate is one of the 13 gates of the walled city of Lahore. Being one of the oldest gates of the old city, Lohari Gate is also known as Lahori gate. According to some historians, the original (old) city of Lahore was originally located near Ichhra, and this gate opened towards that side. Hence the name, Lahori gate. The name also traces back its roots to the language of Urdu, in which, “Lohar” means Blacksmith. This could also be another reason behind naming it this way. However, there are no concrete evidences available that blacksmiths used to live or work here.

11. 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..

12. Bhatti Gate is located on the Western wall of the Old City. It is one of the two oldest entry points into the Walled City which controlled the only major north-south thoroughfare during Ghaznavid period. When the Emperor Akbar expanded the city eastward and divided it into nine districts or Guzars, Bhati Gate and its bazar marked the boundary between Guzar Mubarak Khan (east) and Guzar Talwarra (west).It was called Bhati gate because it opens in the direction of Sandal Bar named after Rai Sandal Khan a Bhatti Rajput who lived there in ancient times.The area inside the gate is well known throughout the city for its food. Just outside of Bhati Gate is Data Durbar, the mausoleum of the Sufi saint Ali Hajweri (also known as Data Sahib Ganjbaksh). Every Thursday evening musicians used to gather here to perform Qawwali music, but these days qawalies have been replaced with Naats and religious sermons.

13. Taxali Gate was named after the Taxal or royal mint, that used to be in its neighborhood during the period of the Mahomedan Emperors. There is a very famous shoe market located here known as Sheikupurian Bazar.

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