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Notes on the Geography of Pakistan: Lahore: British

What's left of the British period in Lahore?  Plenty: bricks stick around.

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Pakistan: Lahore: British picture 1

We're at Charing Cross, a name that has survived the British Raj by more than 50 years. In a patch of grass, a marble pavilion by Bhai Ram Singh Mistri, at one time the deputy principal at the Mayo School of Arts. Did it just sit here?

Pakistan: Lahore: British picture 2

A closer view. Maybe you can see the glass-enclosed Qur'an. It's a late-comer.

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Here's the figure that used to be in the pavilion: a bronze statue of Victoria, cast in 1900, and moved to the Lahore Museum in 1951.

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This museum is where Lockwood Kipling, Rudyard's father, worked for some years.

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Completed in 1893, the museum was built as part of the Victoria Jubilee Institute.

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The marble entrance, hinting at Shah Jahan, was added in 1905. The museum, while still popular, has fewer visitors than it used to: in recent years it's had about 250,000 visitors annually, down from about 400,000.

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Across the street is the only statue of a human figure left in its original place in Lahore. Woolner was a long-serving professor of Sanskrit, as well as vice-chancellor of Punjab University between 1928 and 1936. One of the university buildings is behind him. The University, by the way, was created in 1870 with its first stated aim being the "the diffusion of European science as far as possible through the medium of the vernacular languages of the Punjab...." (Quoted in Aijazuddin, Lahore Recollected,2003, p. 106. The university, in other words, departed from the famous policy, enunciated by Macauley, of Anglicizing education in India.)

Pakistan: Lahore: British picture 8

A campus building.

Pakistan: Lahore: British picture 9

Lahore Cathedral was completed in 1887 to a design by Oldrid Scott, son of Gilbert; the towers were added in 1913. Photographs from 1925 show additional spires, but they apparently didn't last, because they're missing from photographs from 1930. (Aijazzudin, 2003, pp. 131-2.)

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Roof repairs, done the hard way.

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The interior.

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The Punjab High Court, completed in 1889 to a design by J.W. Brassington.

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A detail showing the care given to the construction of this building.

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You may have noticed a stone high atop the facade of the High Court; it's a replacement. Here's the original, propped against a wall at the Lahore Museum.

Pakistan: Lahore: British picture 15

The headquarters of the Punjab Irrigation Department. Originally this was the Public Works Department, but the more powerful part of that department was hived off and housed in a new building called WAPDA House, for Water and Power Development Authority.

Pakistan: Lahore: British picture 16

The General Post Office, 1903.

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A commercial building.

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Another.

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Another.

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Tollinton Market, built in 1864 as the Punjab Exhibition Building and opened as such by Sir Robert Montgomery, the Punjab's Lieutenant-Governor and "Monty's," or General Montgomery's, grandfather. Later it served as the Lahore Museum, in which incarnation a young Kipling saw it and in Kim refers to it as the Ajaib Ghar, or House of Wonders. That was the common name for the museum and not an invention of Kipling's. When the new museum opened in 1893, this building became the municipal market. It's recently been rehabilitated, though in early 2006 it was still fenced off.

Pakistan: Lahore: British picture 21

The classic hotel of the British Raj, now closed.

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Another view. Aijazzuddin, 2003, p. 64, quotes a postcard from around 1930: "Left Karachi at 8:20 [p.m.] and travelled comfortably in air-conditioned train to Lahore. Ripe cornfields, woods, flat country. Arr. Lahore 6 p.m. Wide roads, trees, grass, flowers particularly roses everywhere. Faletti's Hotel cool, shut up, dull. comfortable. Gardens with flowers and birds."


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