Participating in the Engifest at the Delhi College of Engineering (DCE) that celebrates the spirit of Delhi, compelled me to make Delhizens (and DCEites) aware of the capital’s long-forgotten twin city — Lahore, the capital city of Punjab in Pakistan.
Even today, one look at the two cities can help establish common characteristics easily. While Jama Masjid built by the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan, resides in the heart of Chandni Chowk in Delhi, the Badshahi Mosque, its architectural twin plays the same role in Lahore’s Walled city. The latter is built by Shah Jahan’s son Aurangzeb, both house personal belongings attributed to Prophet Mohammad.
Delhi 6’s Shish Ganj Gurudwara, highly revered by the Sikh community due to its association with Guru Tegh Bahadur’s martyrdom, too, finds its long-lost cousin in Lahore’s Dera Sahib. It is here that the Samadhi of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh is housed.
Once inside the Lahore Fort, you may be forgiven to think that you are in Delhi’s Red Fort. Both have been built by Mughal rulers and bear unique symbols and patches of their royal lifestyle from the era.
Ironically, the similarity doesn’t end here. The iconic Meena Bazaar finds its resemblance in the Anarkali Bazar across the border. If Delhi has the Yamuna, Lahore has the Ravi running through it. The latter not nearly as filthy though! Also, the Minar-e-Pakistan stands no taller than our India Gate.
Both cities have grown into megacities and are the respective administrative and cultural capitals of their countries.
The writer is an avid HT City reader.