Here is my first UNESCO World Heritage Site postcard from Pakistan. In the UNESCO World Heritage Site List they are mentioned as “Fort and Shalimar Gardens in Lahore”. Since the sites are located right in the middle of the second largest city of Pakistan – Lahore, thus at present, most of the area in the surroundings of the Lahore Fort and the Gardens is covered with civilian population. Even most of the portion of the fort is being used by civilian population. The main parts of the fort including main entrance and the important buildings have been kept in a better condition by the concerned departments. It is still a worth visiting place and a must-see for any foreign or local tourist visiting Lahore City.
Shalimar Garden is located at some distance form the Fort. The gardens are as beautiful as they are shown in the postcard. The gardens were built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. The construction started in 1641 AD and completed in 1642 AD. The gardens measure 658x258 meters in size. The gardens are laid out in the shape of an oblong paralellogram and is surrounded by a high brick wall.
The garden consists of three terraces which are elevated by 13-15 feet above each other. The three terraces are named in Urdu. Their names and meanings are as follows:-
- Top-most Terrace is named Farah Bakhsh meaning Bestower of Pleasure
- Middle Terrace is named Faiz Bakhsh meaning Bestower of Goodness
- Lowest Terrace is named Hayat Bakhsh meaning Bestower of Life
The site was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site List in 1981. In 2000, the site was included in the Endangered UNESCO Sites List. I shall soon be sharing a postcard featuring Lahore Fort as well.