Lahore is a city rich in tradition and culture, with a history dating back to around 1,000 years ago. It used to be a fortified city, with thirteen gates known as the “13 Gates of Lahore” by historians, located near the Ravi River. Today, only six of these gates remain, including Sheranwala Gate, also known as Khizri Gate.
Graana.com has prepared a detailed guide on Sheranwala Gate, including its history, present state, and future plans.
History of Sheranwala Gate
Sheranwala Gate was initially known as Khizri Gate after a respected saint associated with rivers and water. Yet, it was later renamed by Sikhs during the 1800s under Maharaja Ranjeet Singh’s rule.
It is believed that Singh, who had a fondness for lions, kept two caged lions on either side of the gate for protection, leading to the gate being referred to as the “Gate of Lions” (Sheranwala Gate).
During the British Raj, most of the 13 gates in the Walled City were demolished, with Roshni Gate being the sole standing gate.
Some gates were later rebuilt but were destroyed again during the riots in 1947, but the gate managed to survive and still stands today, albeit in a poor state. Visitors can still see the remains of the sculptures of leaping lions, which serve as a reminder of the gate’s history.
Present State of Sheranwala Gate
Sheranwala Gate is one of the six remaining gates in the Walled City of Lahore, and today, the area surrounding the gate is largely commercialised with shops found throughout the area. The remaining structure of Sheranwala Gate includes a balcony, an upstairs wall, and a guard room.
Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif made efforts towards restoring the Walled City of Lahore, including Sheranwala Gate. This helped bring back some of the gate’s former grandeur.
Visitors can take a 10-minute walk from Sheranwala Gate, located near Circular Road, to the 17th century Wazir Khan Mosque, and the Minar-e-Pakistan just 3 km away. Badshahi Mosque, a religious site and popular tourist attraction is only 2 km from Sheranwala Gate.
Future Plans of Government
Sheranwala Gate, located in the heart of Lahore, is surrounded by some of the city’s busiest roads. It often experiences heavy traffic congestion, particularly during rush hours. A study conducted by authorities found that, on average, 121,421 vehicles pass through the route from Naulakha Police Station to Sheranwala Gate daily.
In an effort to improve traffic flow in the city, the Lahore Development Authority has planned several major development projects, one of which is the construction of a 10-kilometre long four-lane dual carriageway flyover at Sheranwala Gate.
This project also includes improvements to the Circular Road section from Australia Chowk to Lahore Fort. Moreover, it also includes upgrading the drainage system and addressing other infrastructure-related issues.
The total cost for building the flyover at Sheranwala Gate is reportedly Rs. 4.9 billion, which also includes the cost of purchasing 22 Kanal of private land.
The Walled City of Lahore is a treasure trove of history, and the centuries-old structures such as the Lahore Fort, Badshahi Mosque, Wazir Khan Mosque, and the 13 gates of Lahore, have stood the test of time.
These places not only hold historical significance but also serve as an inspiration to architecture. They are a testimony to the city’s rich heritage and offer a glimpse into the past. The restoration and preservation of these structures are crucial to maintaining the city’s cultural identity and promoting tourism in Pakistan.
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