Hiran Minar – A grave of beloved Antelope
Almost all of the historic buildings in Lahore are attributed to Mughals. This one is another masterpiece of Mughal’s era architecture. Mughals were very fond of hunting and Sheikhupra was their favourite spot for it. Mughals were famous for their love of nature and animals. The construction of Hiran Minar is different from other Mughal’s architecture. It followed a unique theme of ‘baradari’ and a pond with a tower.
Hunting has been the most favourite hobby of Mughals and Shiekupura had the status of royal hunting city in the reign of Emperor Salim.
The fertile jungle of Sheikhupura was the favourite spot of Mughal Emperor Jahangir for hunting because the physical environment of Sheikhupura was very suitable for hunting. He usually came here with his friends for hunting. Once, he tried to kill a deer but accidentally killed his very own favourite deer ‘Mansraj’.
Jahangir gets so depressed over the death of his favorite deer. He ordered to build a tower on the grave of his antelope. This later called the great Hiran Minar. After the death of his beloved deer, the hunting was prohibited in that area. This is definitely a rare example of love with the animals. Later, Jahangir gifted the entire area to Sikandar Moin.
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Hiran Minar has a breathtaking view. It is a fascinating spot for a picnic. It is situated in Sheikhupura. This Minar is 43 km away from Lahore.In this highest Minar, there are 108 stairs. The shape of these stairs is spiral. Now the door of these stairs is closed though. The total height of this tower is 10 feet. The top of this Minar gives a panoramic view of the entire area.
Emperor Shahjahan who was the son of Emperor Jahangir, stayed three days at this favorite hunting place of his father and later he ordered to build a baradari and pond which was linked to this tower.
The construction of Hiran Minar is different from other Mughal’s architecture. It followed a unique theme of ‘baradari’ and a pond with a tower.
The completion of baradari enhanced the beauty of this place. Baradari was surrounded by a water tank. On each side of the tank there were slopes for water so that royal animals can access water. Baradari is standing in the water tank for centuries but surprisingly, it stood and nothing got severely damaged.
The boating facility made this place more attractive for picnickers. In the garden, there are some swings and canteen shop for the children.
According to some historians, this Hiran Minar was also used as a hiding place for looters during the 17th century. In the 18th century, During the British rule, Maharaja’s last queen, Rani Jindan the mother of Maharaja Duleep Singh was house arrested in this fort.
In 1947 with the creation of Pakistan, some immigrants used this place for a little stay. Now, this whole picnic sight is in the possession of the Department of Archaeology, Pakistan.