The city of Lahore is located at latitude 31 ° 35´ N and longitude 74° 13´ E. The city occupies an area of over 2000 km² and is expanding. It is situated one mile to the south of the river Ravi, and some 23 miles from the eastern border of the district. The city is built in the form of a parallelogram, the area within the walls, exclusive of the citadel, being about 461 acres. It stands on the alluvial plain traversed by the river Ravi. The city is slightly elevated above the plain, and has a high ridge within it, running east and west on its northern side. The whole of this elevated ground is composed of the accumulated debris of many centuries. The river, which makes a very circuitous bend from the East, passes in a semi-circle to the North of Lahore.


The climate of the Lahore is hot in summer and cold in winter. The maximum and minimum temperature recorded in the Lahore is 46ºC and 1.2ºC respectively. The Monsoon starts at the end of June and continues till the end of August. The average annual rainfall in the Lahore is about 490 mm.


Lahore lies in 'land of five rivers' Punj-aab and has been settled since modern humans arrived from Africa. The early history of Lahore is involved in so much obscurity that it is impossible to discover the exact date of its foundation. In the middle of the second century Claudius Ptolemeus, surnamed Ptolemy, the celebrated astronomer and geographer, in his geography he mentions a city called 'Labokla', situated on the route between the Indus and Palibothra, or Pataliputra (Patna), in a tract of country called Kasperia (Kashmir), described as extending along the rivers Bidastes (Jhelam), Sandabal or Chandra Bhaga (Chenab), and Adris (Ravi). This place, from its name and locality, is identify as Lahore. Lahore is also identufied with Sanghala, mentioned by Arrian and Curtius, the classical writers, as the stronghold of the Kathaean or Khatri tribe. This is the Sanghala of Alexander, mentioned also by Diadorus. But its position, 65 miles from the bank of the Hydraotes (Ravi), precludes the identity of its situation with that suggested by the enterprising traveller. Yet both Curtius and Arrian agree in stating that Alexander crossed the Hydraotes (Ravi) before advancing against Sanghala to punish the insurgent Kathaeans. There can, therefore, be no doubt that the Alexander crossed the Ravi in the immediate neighbourhood of Lahore, which “was most probably the position of his camp when he heard of the recusancy of the Kathaean.” But it must have been a place of no importance at the time of the Macedonian invasion, or it would have, doubtless, been mentioned by the Greek writers.When the celebrated Chinese pilgrim, Hwen Thsang, visited the Punjab in 630 A.D., he found the walls of Sanghala completely ruined, but their foundations still remained ; and-in the midst of the ruins he found a small portion of the old city, still inhabited. According to the Chinese traveller, Taki, or Asarur, about two miles to the south of the high road between Lahore and Pindi Bhatian (or 45 miles from the former and 24 from the latter), was the capital of the Panjab in A.D. 633.

Arab general Mohammad Bin Qasim conquered Indus valley in 712 A.D. from Karachi to Kashmir including Punjab and Lahore. Lahore came under Muslim rule in 713 CE when Umayyad Muslim Arab army led by Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Punjab, and the present Pakistan from Kashmir to the Arabian Sea. Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni placed it under the rule of his governor, Malik Ayaz. When Sultan Qutb-ud-din Aybak was crowned in 1206 here, he became the first Muslim Sultan of the South Asia. From 1524 to 1752 Lahore was part of the Mughal Empire. During Akbar's rule, Lahore was the capital of the empire from 1584 to 1598. During this time a massive fort, the Lahore Fort, was built on the fundaments of an older fort in the 1560s. This fort was later extended by Jahangir, a Mughal emperor who is now buried in the city. Shah Jahan, his son, was born in Lahore and is famous for building the world-renowned Taj Mahal in India. He, like his father, extended Lahore Fort and built many other structures in the city, showering more affection on his hometown than any other city. The last of the great Mughals, Aurangzeb, ruling from 1658 to 1707, built the city's most famous monuments, the Badshahi Masjid and the Alamgiri Gate next to the Lahore Fort. The Muslim technocrats, bureaucrats, soldiers, traders, scientists, architects, teachers, theologians and sufis flocked from the rest of the Muslim world to Islamic Sultanate in South Asia and many settled in Lahore. The Sikhs ruled it in the 18th and 19th centuries, making Lahore the capital of Sikh state. During the barbaric Sikh rule Muslim were persecuted and the Badshahi Mosque was used by the Sikhs as stable of their army. However the last bloody Anglo-Sikh war resulted in a British victory thus bringing Lahore under the rule of the British crown. The British defeated the Sikhs in 1849 and Muslims of Punjab hailed them as liberaters from the barbaric Sikh rule. The people Lahore supported the Muslim League and the establishment of the Muslim state. The 23 March 1940 resolution for the struggle for Pakistan was passed in Lahore by the Muslim League.


The population of Lahore was estimated to be more than 9 million in 2005. Linguistically, approximately 85% are Punjabis, 5% Seraikis, 5% Urdu speakers and the rest are Kashmiris and Pakhtuns. Religiously, nearly 99% are Muslim and there is small minority of Christians and Ahmadis.

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Page last updated:  Thursday, November 10, 2005 04:22:25 PM -0500