Ranjit Singh’s Lahore

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The partition of India in 1947, didn’t just divide the land. It ripped the nation and also drove a deep wedge in our history, throwing a thick veil over chapters of our shared heritage, with what is now Pakistan. Take the ancient city of Lahore. Legends trace the origins of this city to the Indian epic, the Ramayana. Much more recently, at the turn of the 19th century CE, Lahore was the grand capital of the Sikh Empire from 1799 CE to 1849 CE. Today there are just fragments left of Lahore’s Sikh past. If the monuments that still stand there could speak, what stories they would tell!
The city of Lahore has ancient origins. Mythology and folklore trace it to ‘Lavapuri’ or the city of Lava or Luv, the son of Lord Ram. Ptolemy, the noted Egyptian astronomer and geographer, in his text Geographia written in 150 CE mentions the city of Laboca, which is believed to be a reference to Lahore. However, the current walled city dates back to the Mughal times, when it reached the height of its glory. It was during the Mughal rule between the 16th to 18th centuries CE that some of the grandest monuments were built in Lahore. But the decline of the Mughal authority and successive Afghan invasions, in the 18th century CE, meant that the city was ravaged, many times over.

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