Delhi Gate witnessed seasons of harmony, serenity and commotion. Once it enjoyed the status of the reception gate to the Royal City with the soldiers and guards welcoming people. Later during the Sikh British rule it functioned as the court of a magistrate, jails, and local police station. As per history books the gate had wooden doors similar to the ones fixed in Lohari Gate. The doors were probably destroyed during the independence riots. During the Mughal era, the doors in these gates were closed after sunset when the city would go to sleep, thus disallowing access into the city. After partition a girl’s school was housed inside the gate building which is still there. Recent governments have tried to relocate the school but all efforts failed. The locals of the area also use the upper storey of the gate for marriages and religious ceremonies. I wish the gate was a museum or a cultural centre!
The building of the gate is double storey and almost ten to twelve rooms are serving as class rooms. The most interesting part of the building is the staircase leading to the roof top of the gate. The stair cases in most of the huge mansions and monuments were made at 90 degree angles in order to protect the buildings from sudden attacks. While going up the stairs, one looses the momentum and speed to climb. This shows the cleverness and techniques of defence in those days. Going to the upper storey one can see the roof of the Royal Bath “Shahi Hamam” on the right side. The roof of the gate is even, which gives a marvellous view of the old city and Delhi Gate’s vibrant bazaar. In history books we find that once the Wazir Khan Mosque could be seen from the roof top of the gate. Next to the gate was once the “Sarai” (guest house) of Wazir Khan which was demolished during a flood that struck the city during the Sikh era. After that the streets were made and the locals started settling there.
The ground floor of the gate, which is the entrance into the Delhi Gate bazaar, has six rooms which are now converted into tourism offices and crafts centre. These rooms were used by the chobdars in Mughal times, magistrate and police in later eras. For some time after 1947, the rooms served as dispensary and health centres for the local community.
Tagged: , Pakistan , Punjab , Lahore , Delhi-Gate , Delhi-Darwaza , NikonD4S , NikkorAF-S-FishEye-mmf3.5-4.5E-ED , Imran , Sohail.