Lahore, second largest city of Pakistan and the capital of Punjab province. It lies 811 miles (1,305 km) northeast of Karachi in the upper Indus plain on the Ravi River, a tributary of the Indus.
Lahore consists of an old city area flanked on the southeast by newer commercial, industrial, and residential areas that are in turn ringed by suburbs. The old city was at one time surrounded by a wall and a moat, but these structures have been replaced, except in the north, by park lands.
A circular road around the rampart provides access to the old city by 13 gates. Notable structures within the old city include the Mosque of Wazīr Khān (1634) and Lahore Fort. A walled complex that covers some 36 acres (14.5 hectares), the fort is a splendid example of Mughal architecture; it was partially built by Akbar (reigned 1556–1605) and extended by the next three emperors. The mosque and the Fort are decorated in marble and kashi, or encaustic tile work.
Other historic landmarks include the Bādshāhī (Imperial) Mosque, built by Aurangzeb and still one of the largest mosques in the world; the 14-foot- (4.3-metre-) long Zamzama, or Zam-Zammah, a cannon that is immortalized (along with other details of the city) in Rudyard Kipling’s novel Kim (1901); Ranjit Singh’s buildings and mausoleum; the Shāhdara gardens, containing the tomb of the Mughal emperor Jahāngīr; and the magnificent Shālīmār Garden, laid out east of the city in 1642 by Shāh Jahān as a refuge for the royal family. Jahān’s refuge consists of about 80 acres (32 hectares) of terraced, walled gardens, with about 450 fountains. The fort and Shālīmār Garden were collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1981.
An important educational centre, Lahore is the seat of the University of the Punjab (1882), which is the oldest university in Pakistan. Near the university is the Lahore Museum (1864), which houses eclectic collections of art and historical items. The University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore (1961), and numerous other colleges and institutes also are located in the city.
Lahore is a leading commercial, banking, and industrial center. Textiles are the single most important industry, but there are many rubber factories, as well as iron, steel, and other mills. Railways and air services link Lahore with other major cities of Pakistan.
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