The city of Lahore is drenched in history, which dates back about 1,000 years. Centuries ago, it was once a walled city, with thirteen entry points, now referred to as the “13 Gates of Lahore” by historians, near the Ravi River. Today, only six gates are left. Sheranwala Gate, also known as Khizri Gate, is one of them.
Lahore is not only famous for its beautiful parks and gardens, stretching over thousands of acres, but also for its historic sites, almost all of which are present in or close to the Walled City of Lahore aka the “Old City.” The Walled City is the same we mentioned above that had 13 gates. It also had a 9-meter high brick wall that was built for protection and security. One of the most important gates that opened to the Ravi River was Khizri Gate.
Let us explore all about Sheranwala Gate and its importance among the thirteen gates of the city.
History Of Sheranwala Gate
Sheranwala Gate was originally named Khizri Gate after a revered saint Khawaja Khizar, whose legacy was associated with waters and rivers. The gate got its current name when Sikhs took over the city in the 1800s under Maharaja Ranjeet Singh’s leadership. It is said that Ranjeet Singh loved lions and he had kept two caged lions on either side of the gate for protection and that’s when Khizri Gate got its new name – Sheranwala Gate, which means the gate of lions.
Under the British Raj, the Walled City went through many changes, which included the demolition of most of the 13 gates, except for Roshani Gate. Some of these structures were erected once again but during the riots that took place in 1947, most of the gates were once again either pulled down or burnt to the ground. Sheranwala Gate, however, survived the test of time and still stands tall, albeit in a dilapidated condition.
One can still see the remains of the sculptures of leaping lions that now serve as a reminder of the history of Sheranwala Gate.
Present State Of Sheranwala Gate
After most of the gates were destroyed in the 20th century, the structures of only six gates remain and Sheranwala is one of them. Today the area has been commercialized, for the most part, and there are shops almost everywhere around the gate. The remaining structure of Sheranwala Gate consists of a balcony, upstairs wall and guard room.
During his tenure, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif paid special attention to the restoration of the Walled City of Lahore, which included Sheranwala Gate. These renovations helped restore much of the structure’s former glory.
From Sheranwala Gate, which is located near Circular Road, the beautiful Wazir Khan Mosque, which was built in the 17th century, is just a 10-minute walk. Minar-e-Pakistan, which is one of the most iconic landmarks of Lahore, is just 3 km away. Badshahi Mosque, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Lahore, is barely 2 km away from Sheranwala Gate.
Future Plans Of Government
Sheranwala Gate is surrounded by some of the busiest roads in Lahore. The surplus of vehicles on the roads especially during rush hours causes bottlenecks and traffic congestions. A study conducted by authorities identified that on average, 121,421 vehicles travel daily on the route starting from Naulakha Police Station to Sheranwala Gate and 60,942 and 77,012 vehicles turn left and right respectively.
In order to maintain a smooth flow of traffic in the city, Lahore Development Authority has planned 5 mega development projects in Lahore and the construction of a 10-kilometre-long four-lane dual carriageway flyover at Sheranwala Gate is one of them. The project also includes making improvements to the Circular Road section starting from Australia Chowk and ending at Lahore Fort. The scope of work further extends to upgrading the drainage system and fixing other issues related to infrastructure. The total fund allocated for building a flyover at Sheranwala Gate is reportedly PKR 4.9 billion, which also includes the cost of buying 22 kanal of private lands.
The Walled City of Lahore tells thousands of stories of many eras. Lahore Fort, Badshahi Mosque, Wazir Khan Mosque and 13 gates of Lahore are some of the centuries-old structures in Lahore that have stood the test of time. These places not only tell the tales of history but also serve as an inspiration for students of architecture.
This brings us to the end of our blog on Sheranwala Gate. Subscribe to Zameen News Letter or keep following Zameen Blog for regular updates on the real estate of Pakistan.