Lahore Fort or Shahi Qilla

Royal Fort is also called Lahore Fort or Shahi Qilla. It is a huge rectangular fortified palace complex located in the north western corner of Lahore, adjacent to the Walled City. It has 13 gates. The main gates are located alongside the centre of the western and eastern walls. Its elaborate Mughal architecture is straight out of a storybook of the Mysterious East. The impressive twin-domed entrance leads into elaborately decorated courtyards and pavilions with water features, some with still intact sumptuous wall decorations of inlaid semiprecious stones and painted designs.

The fort was initially constructed in 1566 AD by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, on the ruins of a mud fort which existed as early as 1021 AD. Every successive Mughal emperor besides the Sikhs, and the British added a pavilion, palace of wall to the Fort.  Jahangir, Shah Jehan and later Aurangzeb added modifications of massively fortified walls. Akbar got the Diwan-i-Aam (Hall for Commoners) built in the traditional Iranian style, all constructed in red sand stone imported from Rajistan. Shah Jahan also constructed the Diwan-e-Khas, that overlooked Ravi, in 1631. Emperor Jahangir extended the gardens and constructed the palaces in the Jehangir’s Quadrangle.

Sheesh Mahal is the most beautiful palace in the fort and is decorated with small mirrors. The Nau-Lakha Pavilion is a marble building located at the Sheesh Mahal courtyard. Its western face provides a panoramic view of the ancient city of Lahore.

The Sleeping Chamber of Mai Jindan houses a very interesting museum with relics from Mughal and the Sikh period.  Hazoori Bagh is an enclosure between the Alamgiri Gate of the Lahore Fort and eastern gate of the Badshahi Mosque.