Journal of Research in Architecture & Planning
NED University of Engineering & Technology

ISSN 2519-5050 (Online), ISSN 1728-7715 (Print)
Listed in HEC recognized Y category Journal
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  Saba Samee

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The north eastern side of the historic city of Lahore was always prone to floods, an alluvial area of river Ravi, fertile but destructive. The Mughals built several walls as barriers for the waters of river Ravi, still the area never attracted a permanent settlement. During his reign, Maharaja Ranjit Singh ordered his nobles to plant grand gardens in this area. The land was fertile, water was in abundance and the area had a large number of sweet water wells. Soon the entire area was converted into flourishing walled gardens with numerous trees and grasslands.

Nothing remains of these gardens, except some old Banyan, Peepal and Sumbal trees. Traces of the historicity of this area and the existence of these gardens now remain only in archival maps of Lahore.

During my research at IAC, my team could identify only three main streets which coincided with the historic streets of this area, and a handful of old surviving trees. Taking these as reference points, we traced the shrines which were historically located within various gardens, usually in proximity of a well, and under old Bunyan trees. Once these references were marked on the current map, the overlaying of old archival maps became possible. This approach showed us the exact locations of the gardens, if they had existed.

What we discovered was tragic. Once an area dominated by gardens, was now a scrap metal industry, and a tannery. The entire area became a victim of massive city expansion, inappropriate development schemes, sub-standard implementation and virtually no maintenance.


History, Misri Shah, Lahore
Volume 31 Issue 2
ISSN (P) 1728-7715 - ISSN (E) 2519-5050
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