The country where we are independently living is Pakistan. The British rule subcontinent from 1857 to1947. During this era, the British left an impact in this region. Their rule brought changes in the life of a common man. It changed their norms, values and customs. The British regime also changed the architecture of buildings in Lahore and other prominent cities too.
Pakistan came into existence on 14th August 1947 and since then almost 74 years have passed and we still witness the British colonial-era architecture in Lahore, Faisalabad, Karachi and other cities of Pakistan.
Here we will go through the buildings that built in Lahore by the English during their control on the subcontinent.
General Post Office
The General Post Office (GPO) located at GPO Chowk, Mall Road, Lahore. Moreover, it is the largest General Post Office of Pakistan. According to an estimate, it handles 20,000 pieces of mail every day.
Sir Ganga Ram designed and built this building and he was the leading architect at that time.
TThe Lahore Museum was also built and designed by Sir Ganga Ram. It is located on Mall Road, Lahore, Pakistan. It was founded in 1865 and was built during the colonial era of the British. This museum is one of the most famous museums of the world.
The famous Zamzama Gun is placed in front of the Museum which is also known as Kim’s Gun or Bhangianwali Toap. This museum owns an extensive collection of Buddhist art from the ancient Ghanadara and Indo-Greek kingdoms. The collection of Mughal Empire, the British Empire and Sikh Empire is also the part of the Lahore museum.
Government College University
Government College University is an ancient university located in Lahore and was built in the colonial era of the British. Formerly, it was known as Government College but it was elevated to university in 2002.
Government College University (GCU) was established in 1861 by the British Government in India. This university has very strong and deep historical roots as it produced students that change the model of world including Allama Iqbal, Abdus Salam, Patras Bukhari, Aitzaz Ahsan, Major Shabir Sharif, Dr Samar Mubarakmand, Dev Anand, Aftab Iqbal, Justice Javed Iqbal, Rameez Raja, and the list goes on.
The Quaid-e-Azam Library is located within the Bagh-e-Jinnah at Mall Road, Lahore. The construction of this library dates back to the mid of 19th century during the British Raj in Indian Subcontinent. This library has a huge collection of English, Persian, Urdu and Arabic books.
The old Gymkhana Club of Lahore was present here before 1972 and later Lahore Gymkhana Club was shifted to Upper Mall and the building was used for the administrative training under Government of Pakistan. Later on December 25, 1984, the building was converted to Quaid-e-Azam library.
Lahore Railway Sation
Lahore Railway Station is the largest railway station of Pakistan. The structure of this station is highly militarized that was constructed by the English after the happenings of 1857 Sepoy Mutiny. Currently, the station is owned by Ministry of Railways and it serves as its headquarters.
Tollinton Market is one of the busiest places on the Mall Road, Lahore. None other building on the Mall is as old as the building of Tollinton Market. This was the place where the forces of Maharaja Ranjit Singh stationed before attacking and conquering Lahore and amazingly in 1846, the Army Garrison of East India Company stationed here.
Source: Sonia malik, tribune.com
The primary objective to construct this building by the British was to exhibit their industrial prowess. The first exhibition that was carried out in this building was called as the Great Punjab Exhibition of 1864. Later this market served as the place where vegetables, minerals, animals and pets were sold. Now, the building is expected to gain its original purpose of exhibition place soon.
Aitchison College is another institution build by the English Government in India. It came into being on 2 January, 1886 and the building of this educational institute was designed by Bhai Ram Singh and built by the leading architect of that time Sir Ganga Ram. The college was named after the Lt. Governor of Punjab, Sir Charles Umpherston Aitchison.
Currently, Aitchison College is working as an independent, semi-private boys school for boarding. This Pakistani institute is the only educational institute in Pakistan that’s a member of the G20 Schools of the World. Some notables alumni of this college are Former Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, Current Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr Imran Khan, former President Farooq Leghari, notables lawyer such as Aitzaz Ahsan, Salman Akram Raja and former Cheif Minister of KPK Parvez Khatak and many more.
Lahore High Court
Lahore High Court is located on Mall Road, Lahore and it was established on 21 March 1882 during the British Raj in India. The other benches of Lahore High Court are situated in Rawalpindi, Multan and Bahawalpur.
Henry Meredyth Plowden was the first Cheif Justice of Lahore High Court. Mr Muhammad Qasim Khan is the current Chief Justice of Lahore High Court.
The list of British architecture mentioned above is just of Lahore city. Other than Lahore, many cities of Pakistan have buildings that show the elegancy of the British architecture. The need of the hour is to take care of these structures as they are beautiful history of Pakistan.