Sights and Sounds of Pakistan: Lahore Old City Part-2
The Faqir Khana Museum is a private family collection housed in an ancient haveli in Old Lahore. A founding member of the family served as a prime minister and royal physician in the court of Emperor Ranjit Singh. Many of his gifts to the family are featured
in the museum. Treasures include royal robes worn by 18th century Mughal kings, a portrait of Queen Victoria, framed in gold and set in real turquoise, presented to Maharaja Singh by Lord Auckland, and a stone poison filter tested by a drug company,
proven to work.
Gates of Walled City: Another historical heritage of the Walled City was its wall and the 13 gates leading into the city. Over a period of time the wall has withered away along with some of the gates. The 13 gates are generally known in
the name of places they are facing or any important building in their vicinity. These gates are believed to be constructed during Emperor Akbar’s rein (1584 -1598). During Ranjit Singh’s times, the fast falling walls were rebuilt in 1812. During the British
era, the height of the walls was reduced from 30 to 15 feet. However, these walls gradually vanished, leaving their gates as the only reminiscent and glory of the past. See a 1912 Map of Lahore city.
Delhi Gate: It is so-called from its opening on to the high road from Lahore to Dehli. As part of the reconstruction of selected sites of Walled City, this gate has also been renovated. Many a historical places such as Shahi Hamam (Royal
Bath), Chitta Darvaza (White Door), a number of old havalies and the famous Masjid Wazir Khan are situated inside this gate. More Pictures.
Taxali Gate: The Taxali gate takes its name from "Taxal" or Mint located nearby. It once provided access through the wall that extended the western length of the city. It was heavily fortified and was designed to protect the city from any
attack from the west-ward." With the passage of time this gate has completely vanished.
"Bhatties" – one of the leading sub-caste of Rajputs once abounded the area of walled city, where this gate was constructed. Therefore the gate derived its name accordingly. This gate is situated at the south-western bend of the city in its renovated form.
For some unknown reasons, whenever referring to the Lahorites, mention of this gate is the first one that comes to the mind.
to be continued…