Lahore Fort, Amritsar
About Lahore Fort
Though the site is known to have been inhabited for millennia, the origins of Lahore Fort are obscure and traditionally based on various myths.
The first historical reference to a fort at the site is from the 11th century during the rule of Mahmud of Ghazni. The fort was made of mud, and was destroyed in 1241 by the Mongols during their invasion of Lahore. A new fort was constructed in 1267 at the site by Sultan Balban of the Turkic Mamluk dynasty of the Delhi Sultanate. The re-built fort was destroyed in 1398 by the invading forces of Timur, only to be rebuilt by Mubarak Shah Sayyid in 1421, In the 1430s, the fort was occupied by Shaikh Ali of Kabul. and remained under the control of the Pashtun sultans of the Lodi dynasty until Lahore was captured by the Mughal Emperor Babur in 1526.
The Mughals lost the fort to the Afghan Durranis, who in turn briefly lost the fort to Maratha forces before being recaptured by the Durranis. The fort was then captured by the Bhangi Misl - one of the 12 Sikh Misls of Punjab that ruled Lahore from 1767 until 1799. The fort fell to the army of Ranjit Singh, who took Lahore from the Bhangi Misl in 1799. Maharaja Duleep Singh was born at the fort's Jind Kaur Haveli in 1838. Duleep Singh had signed the Treaty of Bhyroval in 1847 that brought the Sikh empire to an effective end. The fort and the city had remained under the control of Ranjit Singh's family until the fall of the Sikh empire in 1849.During their occupation of the fort, the Sikhs repurposed portions of the fort for their own use. Ranjit Singh used the fort's Summer Palace as his own residence. The Sehdari pavilion, or "Three-doored" pavilion, was added to the fort during Sikh rule. The fort's Naag Temple was also constructed during Sikh rule, while the Mai Jindan Haveli was extensively modified during Sikh rule. The fort's Diwan-i-Aam was destroyed in 1841 when the son of Ranjit Singh, Sher Singh bombarded the fort in his fight against Chand Kaur.
Excavations in 1959 in front of Diwan-i-Am led to the discovery of a gold coin dated 1025 CE belonging to Mahmud Ghaznavi. The coin was unearthed at the depth of 25 feet (7.6 m) from the lawn. The cultural layers were continuous to the depth of 15 feet (4.6 m) indicating that the fort was inhabited by people even before his conquest. While relaying the deteriorated floor of Akbari Gate in April 2007, three floors in the fort were unearthed belonging to the British, Sikh and Mughal period. The floor of the British, Sikh and Mughal periods were constructed with bricks, burnt bricks and pebbles respectively. The latter either built during Jahangir's or Shah Jahan's era was the hallmark of Mughals.