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Tuesday, Nov 19, 2019

Art display to relive Lahore Fort's history

The Lahore Fort Cultural Week will see the basement chambers of the historic fort thrown open to the public for the first time.

india Updated: Jun 17, 2006 13:17 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

The basement chambers of the historic Lahore Fort will be thrown open to the public for the first time during a week-long exhibition of photographs and paintings at the 16th century Mughal monument in Lahore.

The exhibition, part of the Lahore Fort Cultural Week, is being observed at the World Heritage site under UNESCO in collaboration with the Punjab Archaeology Department (PAD).

At the July 10-16 exhibition, a large number of paintings and photographs of Lahore and its culture will be on display.                                                  

  A view of the  Lahore Fort

The basement chambers of the Lahore Fort were never open to the public under the Mughals, who used the fort as their residence. The chambers were never opened later too under either Sikh or British rule, according to the Daily Times.

The chambers are spread over the entire northern area of the fort under the Shish Mahal, Deewan-e-Khas, the backyard gardens and the Jehangir quadrangle.

There are other basement chambers below the fort, but only these four are being opened to the public.

An auditorium is being set up in the basement chambers for functions, especially for school children. Some US archaeological experts have offered to help set up the auditorium.

Chairs, stage tables and other kinds of furniture for the auditorium are being constructed. The auditorium would also screen documentaries on the Lahore Fort and Shalimar Gardens.

Two such documentaries are currently being produced. Both are funded by the budget provided by UNESCO for the conservation of world heritage sites, sources added.

The history of the basement chambers goes back to the times of Mughal emperor Jehangir. Shish Mahal, the famed residence building for Queen Mumtaz Mahal, was erected on the huge underground chambers.

Later during British rule, the chambers were occupied by the civil defence who made alterations and changes to suit their needs. The chambers were vacated on the eve of the Islamic Summit Conference held in Lahore in February 1974.