Hiran Minar is a historic site located in the Sheikhupura district of Punjab. It is named after a deer that was once kept there and is known for its beautiful Mughal architecture. The tower is a popular tourist attraction in Pakistan and is a testament to the country’s rich cultural and historical heritage.
Graana.com gives an overview of Hiran Minar below, including its location, history, architecture and more.
Hiran Minar: Location
The Hiran Minar complex is located in the city of Sheikhupura which is just 40 Km northwest from Lahore. It is home to a beautiful tower, which was built in the early 16th century.
The famous Sheikhupura Fort is also nearby, which dates back to the early 17th century. Both are important cultural and historical landmarks with a rich history.
History of Hiran Minar
Hiran Minar was built in 1606 by Mughal Emperor Jahangir as a memorial to his pet antelope, Mansraj, who saved the emperor’s life once. He had been hunting when a wild animal attacked him and Mansraj, who was accompanying him, intervened and fought off the animal.
As a token of his gratitude, the Emperor built Hiran Minar to honour it. The deer also happened to be a gift from the king of Mewar, Raja Suraj Mal of Udaipur. The place also served as a place of recreation and relaxation for the Mughal emperors. They would often visit the site to hunt and enjoy the beauty of the surrounding gardens.
In 1638, Shah Jehan made significant changes to the structures of this iconic landmark. He ordered the construction of a baradari, or octagonal pavilion, surrounded by a water pool. These are just a few features that make Hiran Minar a unique and interesting destination.
Architecture of Hiran Minar
As mentioned earlier, this stunning structure, constructed as a royal hunting resort, features a minaret built near the grave of the emperor’s pet antelope. It has a circular design with a flat top and parapet wall, which tapers towards its peak.
Its outer surface is adorned with 210 square holes arranged in 14 rows, and a spiral staircase of 1018 steps. The exterior and interior of the Minar both feature lime plaster, with the bottom tier divided into decorative panels and horizontal bands with arched niches.
Hiran Minar is an excellent example of Mughal-era architecture, with its glazed tiles and intricate carvings. The tower is made of red sandstone and stands on a platform that is surrounded by a garden. The garden is divided into four quadrants, each with its own fountains and water channels.
The garden is surrounded by a wall that was once used to keep the deer inside. The minaret, pool and pavilion were each constructed by different Mughal emperors.
The minaret stands 110 metres tall and was built by Jahangir in 1606 to mark the tomb of the emperor’s pet antelope. The sides of the minaret are inscribed with a eulogy.
Located just east of the Hiran Minar tower is a large rectangular tank measuring 300 feet in diameter. The corners of the tank are adorned with small pavilions, each featuring a pyramidal roof and entrances on all four sides.
The tank is also equipped with shallow ramps on each side, allowing wildlife in the surrounding hunting park to access the water easily. The site utilises a series of channels and catchment basins to ensure that the water level remains constant.
The octagonal pavilion, located at the pool’s centre, is two storeys tall and topped with a stone chhatri or gazebo. Its architecture is similar to the Sher Mandal at Delhi’s Purana Qila and is believed to have been used for recreational purposes. The pavilion is a beautiful and ornate structure that is a popular spot among tourists.
Hiran Minar Park
Hiran Minar Park is home to the unusual Hiran Minar monument. A sizable man-made lake and numerous cascading fountains are among the park’s many water attractions. Picnics, kayaking, and bird viewing are just a few outdoor pursuits visitors to Hiran Minar Park can engage in. The park is a well-liked vacation spot that draws tourists from around Pakistan and beyond.
Preservation of Hiran Minar
The Archaeology Department of Pakistan is responsible for the preservation and maintenance of historical places in Pakistan and monuments in the country, including Hiran Minar.
The department works to educate the public about the history and significance of the Minar, which helps create awareness about preserving these sites for future generations. The preservation of Hiran Minar is also supported by the local community, which ensures the site is well-maintained and protected.
How to Reach Hiran Minar
If you’re planning to visit Hiran Minar, here are some travel options to consider:
If you’re driving from Lahore, you can take the Lahore-Sheikhupura Road to reach Hiran Minar. The distance between the two is about 50 kilometres, and the journey takes about an hour by car.
You can also take a bus from Lahore to Sheikhupura, which takes around two hours. If you’re travelling from Islamabad, on the other hand, you can take the M2 Motorway.
Several trains operate between Lahore and Sheikhupura, including the Lahore Express, Sheikhupura Express, and Multan Express. The journey takes about an hour by train.
Once you reach Sheikhupura Railway Station, the nearest station to Hiran Minar, you can take a taxi or local bus to reach the site, which is about 15 kilometres away.
Timings and Ticket Prices
Following are the ticket prices and timings for visiting Hiran Minar.
Friday and Saturday: 8 am till 8 pm
Sunday: 8 am till 12 am
Ticket Prices: Rs. 20 per person.
Why is Hiran Minar famous?
Hiran Minar is famous for its unique architecture and historical significance. It was built by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir in the early 17th century as a hunting reserve for deer and features a tall tower adorned with stone antlers. The monument was constructed as a memorial for Jahangir’s beloved pet deer named Mansraj and is considered to be a symbol of the emperor’s love for animals.
Who is buried in Hiran Minar?
No one is buried in Hiran Minar. It is a monument constructed by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir as a memorial for his pet deer, Mansraj.
What is the ticket price of Hiran Minar?
The ticket price varies depending on the visitor’s nationality and age. For Pakistani citizens, the ticket price is Rs. 20 for adults and Rs. 10 for children. For foreign tourists, the ticket price is Rs. 500 for adults and Rs. 300 for children.