Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Pakistan)
Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore (Pakistan) will be discussed during the UNESCO World Heritage Committee Meeting this year. This site was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1981.
We welcome you to take part with your comments and information on the conservation of this site. OurWorldHeritage will moderate the forum according to the rules described here. You can write in your own language, but we encourage you to use English to facilitate the dissemination of your ideas.
The Shalamar Gardens (Shālāmār Bāgh in Urdu) in Lahore are among the largest among those that were built in Central Asia and India during the centuries of the domination of the Moghul Muslim dynasty (1526-1857). The Shalimar gardens of Lahore, probably the most complex of all those created by the Mughals, were built in 1641 by the emperor Shah Jahan, measure 658 meters by 258, divided into three levels of terraces, each of which has a height of about 5 meters higher than the previous one. At the end of the Mughal domination the gardens suffered looting and the removal of the marble but starting from the mid-nineteenth century they were r restored to their former glory. Today they are owned by the state and managed by the Directorate-General for Archeology of Punjab. In 1999, construction work on a nearby highway caused major damage to some hydraulic systems. and to the perimeter walls of the gardens, requiring, in 2000, the inclusion of the property in the list of world heritage in danger, made even more necessary following the construction of an elevated underground line, with a strong visual impact. In addition to this, uncontrolled urbanization had led to a partial invasion of the protected areas. Under pressure from the World Heritage Committee, it has been possible to put a halt to these threats, with the imposition of some mitigation works. Although not all the corrective measures envisaged have so far been implemented, the site was removed from the list of heritage in danger in 2012. Today, important restoration works are underway in the Lahore Fort. It is important that these major initiatives be duly reported to UNESCO in order to facilitate cooperation and exchanges.
At Lahore, sustainable urban development plans and actions are needed for the long-term conservation and care of the ancient Shalimar Gardens. The State Party and the community should be applying the UNESCO Recommendation on the Historic Urban Landscape for community based, integrated empowerment, planning, regulation and finance.