Archive for History of Lahore



Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and is the second largest city in Pakistan after Karachi. It is popularly known as the Heart of Pakistan, due to its historical importance in the creation of Pakistan, and also being a cultural, political and educational centre of the country. It is also often called the Garden of the Mughals or the City of Gardens because of the heritage of the Mughal Empire. It is located near the Ravi River and Wagah, close to the Pakistan-India border.
Much of Lahore’s architecture from the Mughal and colonial eras has been preserved. Mughal structures such as the Badshahi Mosque, Ali Hujwiri, Lahore Fort, Shalimar Gardens and the mausoleums of Jehangir, and Nur Jehan are popular tourist spots in the city. Colonial British structures such as the Lahore High Court, General Post Office (GPO) and many of the older universities still retain their Mughal-Gothic style.
Punjabi is the native language of the province and is the most widely-spoken language in Lahore and rural areas. Urdu and English, however, are becoming more popular with younger generations since they are officially supported, whereas Punjabi has no official patronage. Many people of Lahore who speak Punjabi are known as Lahori Punjabi due to their use of a mixture of Punjabi and colloquial Urdu. According to the 1998 census, Lahore’s population was nearly 7 million. Mid-2006 government estimates now put the population at approximately 10 million This makes Lahore the fifth largest city in South Asia and the 23rd largest city in the world.
Ptolemy, the celebrated astronomer and geographer, mentions in his Geographia a city called Labokla[situated on the route between the Indus River and Palibothra, or Pataliputra (Patna), in a tract of country called Kasperia (Kashmir), described as extending along the rivers Bidastes or Vitasta (Jhelum), Sandabal or Chandra Bhaga (Chenab), and Adris or Iravati (Ravi). This city may be ancient Lahore.
A legend, based on Hindu oral traditions, states that Lahore was named after Lava, son of the Hindu god Rama, who supposedly founded the city. To this day, the Lahore Fort has a vacant temple dedicated to Lava (also pronounced Loh, hence “Loh-awar” or The Fort of Loh. Likewise, the Ravi River that flows through northern Lahore was named for the Hindu goddess Durga.
The oldest authentic document about Lahore was written anonymously in 982 and is called Hudud-i-Alam It was translated into English by Vladimir Fedorovich Minorsky and published in Lahore in 1927. In this document, Lahore is referred to as a small shahr (city) with “impressive temples, large markets and huge orchards.” It refers to “two major markets around which dwellings exist,” and it also mentions “the mud walls that enclose these two dwellings to make it one.” The original document is currently held in the British Museum. Lahore was called by different names in history, and to date there is no evidence to suggest the actual time, when the city was made, some historians trace the history of the city as far as 4000 years ago.
Few references to Lahore exist for times before its capture by Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni in the eleventh century. In 1021, Mahmud appointed Malik Ayaz to the throne and made Lahore the capital of the Ghaznavid Empire. The sultan took Lahore after a long siege and battle in which the city was torched and depopulated. As the first Muslim ruler of Lahore, Ayaz rebuilt and repopulated the city. He added many important features, such as city gates and a masonry fort, built in 1037-1040 on the ruins of the previous one, which had been demolished in the fighting (as recorded by Munshi Sujan Rae Bhandari, author of the Khulasatut Tawarikh in 1695-96).[citation needed] The present Lahore Fort stands in the same location. Under his rule, the city became a cultural and academic center, renowned for poetry. The tomb of Malik Ayaz can still be seen in the Rang Mahal commercial area of town.
After the fall of the Ghaznavid Empire, Lahore was ruled by various Muslim dynasties known as the Delhi Sultanate, including the Khiljis, Tughlaqs, Sayyid, Lodhis and Suris.When Sultan Qutb-ud-din Aybak was crowned here in 1206, he became the first Muslim sultan of the Indian subcontinent[citation needed]. It was not until 1524 that Lahore became part of the Mughal Empire.
From 1524 to 1752, Lahore was part of the Mughal Empire, and from 1584 to 1598, during the rules of the emperors Akbar and Jahangir, the city served as its capital. Lahore reached a peak of architectural glory during the rule of the Mughals, whose buildings and gardens survived the hazards of time. Lahore’s reputation for beauty fascinated the English poet John Milton, who wrote “Agra and Lahore, the Seat of Great Mughal” in 1670.[9] During this time, the massive Lahore Fort was built. A few buildings within the fort were added by Akbar’s son, Mughal emperor Jahangir, who is buried in the city. Jahangir’s son, Shah Jahan, was born in Lahore. He, like his father, extended the Lahore Fort and built many other structures in the city, including the Shalimar Gardens. The last of the great Mughals, Aurangzeb, who ruled from 1658 to 1707, built the city’s most famous monuments, the Badshahi Masjid and the Alamgiri Gate next to the Lahore Fort. This area attracts many tourists and is used by the government for public speeches and social events.
During the 18th century, as Mughal power dwindled, Lahore was often invaded. The city was a suba, a province of the Afghan Empire, governed by provincial rulers with their own court.
The 1740s were years of chaos, and the city had nine different governors between 1745 and 1756. Invasions and chaos in local government allowed bands of warring Sikhs to gain control in some areas. In 1799, all Sikh Misls joined into one to form a sovereign Sikh state ruled by Maharaja Ranjit Singh.[10]
After the death of Ranjit Singh, the empire of Lahore fell into disorder. The second and final Anglo-Sikh war brought Lahore under the rule of the British. During their reign (1849-1947), British construction in Lahore combined Mughal, Gothic and Victorian styles. The GPO and YMCA buildings in Lahore commemorated the golden jubilee of Queen Victoria, an event marked by the construction of clock towers and monuments all over India. Other important British buildings included the High Court, the Government College University, the museums, the National College of Arts, Montgomery Hall, Tollinton Market, the University of the Punjab (Old Campus) and the Provincial Assembly. Even today, Mall Road retains a variety of Gothic and Victorian style buildings built during the British Raj. At one end of The Mall stands the university, one of the most prestiguous universities of Pakistan. The British also launched the city’s first horse-racing club in 1924, and today function’s under the Lahore Race Club.
Lahore enjoys a special position in the history of India’s freedom-struggle. The 1929 Congress session was held at Lahore. In this Congress, the Declaration of the Independence of India was moved by Pandit Nehru and passed unanimously at midnight on 31 December 1929. On this occasion, the contemporary tricolour of India (with a chakra at its centre) was hoisted as a national flag, and thousands of people saluted it.
Lahore prison was a place to detain revolutionary freedom fighters. Noted freedom fighter Jatin Das died in Lahore prison after fasting for 63 days in protest of British treatment of political prisoners. One of the greatest martyrs in the history of Indian independence, Shaheed Sardar Bhagat Singh, was hanged in Lahore Jail.
The most important session of the All India Muslim League, later the Pakistan Muslim League, the premier party fighting for Indian independence and the creation of Pakistan, was held in Lahore in 1940. Muslims under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam demanded a separate homeland for Muslims of India in a document known as the Pakistan Resolution or the Lahore Resolution. During this session, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, leader of the league, publicly proposed the Two Nation Theory for the first time.
At independence, Lahore was made capital of Punjab province in the new state of Pakistan. After 1947, Lahore was affected by large-scale riots among Muslims, Hindus, and Sikhs that led to huge structural damage to historic monuments such as the Lahore Fort, Badshahi mosque and other colonial buildings. Among all cities of India, Lahore suffered the greatest loss due to the Partition of Punjab in 1947. However, with United Nations assistance, the government was able to re-build Lahore. The second Islamic Summit Conference was held in the city. In 1996 the ICC Cricket World Cup final match was held at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, and Lahore along with Colombo is to host the semi finals of the 2011 Cricket World Cup.
Geography and climate
Lying between 31°15′ and 31°45′ North latitude and 74°01′ and 74°39′ East longitude, Lahore is bounded on the north and west by the Sheikhupura District, on the east by Wagah, and on the south by Kasur District. The Ravi River flows on the northern side of Lahore. Lahore city covers a total land area of 404 km² and is still growing.
The weather of Lahore is extreme during the months of May, June, and July, when the temperatures soar to 40-45 °C. In August, the monsoon seasons starts, with heavy rainfall throughout the province. December, January, and February are the coldest months, when temperatures can drop to -1 °C.[citation needed] The city’s highest maximum temperature was 48.3°C,[17] recorded on June 6, 1921, and again on June 9, 2007.[18] At the time the meteorological office recorded this official temperature in the shade, it reported a heat index in direct sunlight of 55 °C, lowest temperature recorded is -2.2°C.
Civic administration
Main Boulevard, Gulberg, is one of the most prestigious areas of Lahore
The City-District of Lahore comprises nine administrative towns and one separate military cantonment, but Lahore also has some historic neighbourhoods.
As of 2005, the city’s gross domestic product (GDP) by purchasing power parity (PPP) is estimated at $28 billion with an average growth rate of 5.9 percent,[21]ranked 122nd in the world. This makes Lahore’s GDP to equal 51% of Karachi’s, in line with it having 51% of the population of Karachi. Thus the contribution of Lahore to the national economy comes up to 13%. Which is 51% of the figure of Karachi contributing 25% of Pakistan’s total GDP. Central to Lahore’s economy is the Lahore Stock Exchange (LSE), Pakistan’s second largest stock exchange. Lahore has offices of all Pakistani government corporations including the Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA) and the Water and Sewage Authority (WASA). It also hosts the country’s largest information technology (IT) companies, most of which are located in the IT park, which accounts for nearly 70 percent of Pakistan’s software exportsFood and restaurant businesses remain open all night. The shopping markets are usually open late into the nightLahore is the second largest financial hub of Pakistan and has industrial areas including Kot Lakhpat and the new Sundar Industrial Estate (near Raiwand).
As Lahore expands, former residential areas are being turned into commercial centres, and the suburban population is constantly moving outwards. This has resulted in the development of the Liberty Market, the MM Alam Road, the new Jail Road (which has some of the largest office buildings in Lahore), and the new eight-lane Main Boulevard, which has some of Lahore’s largest and finest shopping centres
The suburban population’s move from commercial areas to less busy areas supports a thriving construction industry and several large housing projects including Bahria Town, Lake City, Eden Villas, and a project by the Dhabi Group (a joint Pakistan-UAE partnership) to construct a new city on the outskirts of Lahore
Lahore is famous as the hub of hand-made carpet manufacturing in Pakistan.[23] At present, hand-knitted carpets produced in and around Lahore are among Pakistan’s leading export products, and their manufacturing is the second-largest cottage and small industry. Lahore-based carpet exports make up nearly 85 percent of all carpet exports from PakistanCraftsmen in Lahore can produce any type of carpet using popular motifs such as medallions, paisleys, traceries, and geometric designs. The Lahore Design Centre at the Punjab Small Industries Corporation maintains a separate section of carpet designing to experiment with new designs. Lahore is famous for single-wefted designs in Turkoman and Caucasian style and double-wefted Mughal types.
Lahore’s economic importance depends also on many government institutes and international companies headquartered in the city, including WorldCALL Telecom Group,Pakistan Railways, Pakistan Cricket Board, Punjab University, NCA,Deluxe Shoes Idustry Timber Market , Bata shoes, Haier, Wateen Telecom, Warid Telecom, Honda, Reebok, Daewoo, Nestle, Coca Cola, Tetra Pak, Monsanto, Delaval, Metro Cash & Carry, Mr Cod, Porsche, and Rolls Royce.
The economy is also enhanced by Lahore’s historic and cultural importance, even though, unlike other smaller cities, its industrial estates are far fewer and smaller. Being the capital of the largest province in Pakistan brings the city the biggest development budget in the country.
Lahore is one of the most accessible cities of Pakistan. In addition to the historic Grand Trunk Road (G.T. road), a motorway was completed in 1997 from Lahore to Islamabad. The government has built underpasses to ease congestion and prevent traffic jams, and according to official figures, Lahore has the highest number of underpasses in Pakistan.
The Pakistan Railways headquarters is located in Lahore.[citation needed] Pakistan Railways provides an important mode of transportation for commuters and connects distant parts of the country with Lahore for business, sight-seeing, pilgrimage, and education. The Lahore Central Railway Station, built during the British colonial era, is located in the heart of the city.
To accommodate increased air travel, the government built a new city airport in 2003.It was named Allama Iqbal International Airport after the national poet of Pakistan, Allama Muhammad Iqbal, and is served by international airlines as well as the national flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines. The previous airport now operates as the Hajj Terminal to facilitate the great influx of pilgrims traveling to Saudi Arabia to perform the hajj every year. Lahore also has a general aviation airport known as Walton Airport.
Despite these improvements, Lahore struggles for safety on its roads, which are dangerous because the number of vehicles overwhelms the road space. Massive congestion occurs every day as millions of Lahoris travel through disorganised, fast-moving traffic, and accidents are rife.[citation needed] The government is trying to improve traffic conditions by constructing overhead bridges, underpasses, and conducting public safety campaigns. Plans exist for a mass-transit system in the city and a high-speed railway between Lahore and Rawalpindi.
According to the 1998 census, Lahore’s population was nearly 6.8 million. Mid-2006 government estimates put the population at somewhere around 10 million, which makes it the second largest city in Pakistan, after Karachi.[24] It is considered to be one of the 30 largest cities of the world. Also according to the 1998 census, 86.2%, or 6,896,000 of the population are Punjabis and 10.2% or 816,000 are Muhajir. Finally, the Seraikis at 0.4% number about 32,000. Figures are unavailable for the many Afghan refugees and migrants from Iran who have permanently settled in Lahore but were not included in the census.
Many languages are spoken in Lahore, including Punjabi, Urdu, Pashto, Persian, and English. According to the 1998 census, 96% of Lahore’s population is Muslim, up from 50.1% in 1941. Other religions include Christians and a small number of Bahá’ís, Hindus, Parsis, and Sikhs.[citation needed] In 1941, Lahore had 36.3% Hindus and 18.4% Sikhs. Due to Lahore diverse culture, there are many mosques, shrines, Hindu and Jain temples, gurdwars, and churches across the city. Some of the most famous mosques include, Badshahi Masjid, Dai Anga Mosque, Data Durbar Complex, Shia Masjid, Suneri Mosque, Wazir Khan Mosque, Moti Masjid, Masjid-e-Shuhda (Martyr’s Mosque) and Mosque of Mariyam Zamani Begum. Some of the famous shrines include, Tomb of Muhammad Iqbal, Bibi Pak Daman, Samadhi of Ranjit Singh, Tomb of Shah Jamal, Tomb of Lal Hussain, Tomb of Anarkali, Tomb of Jahangir, Tomb of Empress Nur Jehan and Tomb of Abdul Hasan Asaf Khan. Some of the well-known churches include, Regal Church, Hall Road Church, Convent of Jesus & Mary and Saint Anthony’s Church.
Lahore’s culture is unique. Known as the cultural capital or Heart of Pakistan, the city has been the seat of the Mughal Empire and the Sikh Empire as well as the capital of Punjab in Mahmud Ghaznavi’s 11th century empire and in the British Empire.
Lahore played an important role in Pakistani history, as it was in this city where the independence declaration for Pakistan was made. The city was the only known major city of the British Empire that would come into the new Muslims state.[citation needed] It was the largest city in the newly formed Pakistan at the time of independence and provided the easiest access to India, with its porous border near the Indian city of Amritsar only 30 miles (48 km) to the east. Large numbers of Hindus, Sikhs, and Muslims lived closely in Lahore in the pre-Partition era, and the city suffered many revolts and demonstrations, as well as bloodshed and mobs, at the time of independence.[citation needed] Lahore was also wanted by the Sikhs since it used to be their capital before the British. Initially, Lahore was planned to be made the capital of the newly-formed Pakistan, but the idea was dropped due to the city’s close proximity to India; Karachi was chosen instead.Lahore’s culture — its history, institutions, food, clothing, films, music, fashion, and liberal community lifestyle — attract people from all over the country.
Lahore is an extremely festive city. The people of Lahore celebrate many festivals and events throughout the year, blending Mughal, Western, and current trends. Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha are celebrated. Many people decorate their houses and light candles to illuminate the streets and houses; roads and businesses are lit for days during these public holidays. In Lahore is located the mausoleum of Ali Hujwiri also known as also known as Data Ganj Bakhsh or Data Sahib and an annual Urs is held every year as a big festival.
Basant is a Punjabi festival marking the coming of spring. Basant celebrations in Pakistan are centered in Lahore, and people from all over the country as well as abroad come to the city for the annual festivities. Kite-flying competitions traditionally take place on city rooftops during Basant. Courts have banned the kite-flying because of casualties and power installation losses. The ban was lifted for two days in 2007, then immediately reimposed when 11 people were killed by celebratory gunfire, sharpened kite-strings, electrocution, and falls related to the competition.
The Festival of Lamps, or Mela Chiraghan, is an important and popular event in Lahore. This is celebrated at the same time as Basant, every spring on the last Friday of March, outside the Shalimar Gardens.
The National Horse and Cattle Show is one of the most famous annual festivals, held in spring in the Fortress Stadium. The week-long activities include a livestock display, horse and camel dances, tent pegging, colourful folk dances from all regions of Pakistan, mass-band displays, and tattoo shows in the evenings.
On August 14, the people of Pakistan celebrate the day Pakistan gained its independence from the British Raj. There are lots of celebrations in Lahore, the streets are full of people singing and dancing. Parades of the Pakistan Army and Pakistan Air Force are held early in the morning. Concerts are held with many pop and classical singers.
The World Performing Arts Festival is held every autumn (usually in November) at the Alhambra cultural complex, a large venue consisting of several theatres and amphitheatres. This ten-day festival consists of musicals, theatre, concerts, dance, solo, mime, and puppetry shows. The festival has an international character with nearly 80 percent of the shows performed by international performers. On average 15-20 different shows are performed every day of the festival.
Lahoris are known for their love of food and eating. While Lahore has a great many traditional and modern restaurants, in recent years Western fast food chains, such as McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Subway Sandwiches, Dunkin Donuts, Nando’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken have appeared all over the city. Recently the food streets in the historic locales of Lahore (Gawalmandi, Anarkali, and Badshahi) have attracted tourists. Food streets have undergone restorations and are cordoned off in the evenings for pedestrian traffic only; numerous cafés serve local delicacies under the lights and balconies of restored havelis (traditional residential dwellings). Some of the trendiest restaurants in Lahore are concentrated on the M M Alam Road in Gulberg. Here, dozens of high-class culinary outlets, ranging from Western franchises to traditional, ethnic, or theme restaurants, attract all classes of Lahore’s citizens. New restaurants are constantly opening, and the business is extremely competitive. Many boisterous restaurants of Lahore are open late into the night. One of Lahore’s unique café restaurants is “Coocoo’s Den”, located in the old city just behind the Badshahi Mosque and Lahore Fort at the edge of Lahore’s red light district.[citation needed] The restaurant is housed in a 300-year-old Kothi-style dwelling of a famous artist and was once a brothel. At different times in the life of this property, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, and Muslim families have owned it. Another famous Lahore landmark is the Pak Tea House in Anarkali, long a favoured haunt of intellectuals and artists.
For traditional shopping, the Anarkali and Ichhra bazaars are the most popular of many in the city.[citation needed] The alleys and lanes of these bazaars are full of traditional wares like leather articles, embroidered garments, glass bangles, beaten gold and silver jewelry, and creations in silk. Anarkali is named after the famous courtesan of Akbar’s time, Anarkali (Pomegranate Blossom). The grave of Sultan Qutbuddin Aibak, who died falling off his horse while playing polo, is located in Anarkali on Aibak Road. Mahmud Ghaznavi’s general, Malik Ayaz, lies buried in the commercial area of Rang Mahal.[citation needed]. Rang Mahal is part of old Lahore and today’s houses a largest wholesale and retail cloth markets in Punjab. Lahore’s technology markets include the Hall Road Electronics market adjacent to the Mall Road and the Hafeez Centre located on the Gulberg Main Boulevard. Pace, a shopping centre once thought to be owned by Imran Khan, is also located on the Main Boulevard beside the Hafeez Centre. Other well-known and popular shopping areas are the Liberty Market in Gulberg and at the Fortress Stadium, as well as malls in Gulberg, Model Town, MM Alam Road, and Cantonment. Apart from these, shopping areas are being developed in many of Lahore’s new suburbs such as Bahria, Lake City, and Cantonment.
Lahore is known as the City of Gardens. There were many gardens in Lahore during the Mughal era, and although some have since been destroyed, many have still survived. The Shalimar Gardens were laid out during the reign of Shah Jahan and were designed to mimic the Islamic paradise of the afterlife described in the Quran. The gardens follow the familiar charbagh model (four squares) with three descending terraces. The Lawrence Gardens were established in 1862 and were originally named after Sir John Lawrence, late 19th century British Viceroy to India. The gardens were organized in an area covering 112 acres (0.5 km²).[citation needed] The British East India Company vowed that it would provide for the garden 80,000 saplings of 600 different species from every corner of the world. After money was collected from the sale of Badami Bagh, the soldiers’ bazaar at Anarkali, and from a grant by the Company Bahadur (an extension of the East India Company), the land was purchased in the year 1860. Today it is known as Bagh-e-Jinnah.[citation needed] The many other gardens and parks in the city include Hazuri Bagh, Iqbal Park, Mochi Bagh, Gulshan Iqbal Park, Model Town Park, Race Course Park, Nasir
Lahore is known as the education capital of Pakistan, with more colleges and universities than any other city in the country. Most of the reputable universities are public, but in recent years there has also been an upsurge in the number of private universities.[citation needed] LUMS, the Lahore University of Management Sciences, is the most renowned business school in Pakistan. Lahore School of Economics is another famous business school in the city. Cathedral School Lahore is one of the oldest and most famous schools in Lahore it is present there since 1850’s and has a great ranked faculity and administration staff. The University of the Punjab is the oldest institute of higher learning in the country.[29] NCA, the National College of Arts, is the oldest and most renowned arts college of Pakistan.[citation needed] The oldest institution of Pakistan, Government College Lahore (now Government College University), established in 1864, is also situated in Lahore. Forman Christian college(F.C)is also one of the oldest educational institute of was established in 1864.Now it becomes a Chartered University.
UET, Lahore is the one of the most highly regarded engineering universities in Pakistan. COMSATS is also a well-known institute recently awarded the university charter. Lahore Chitrkar is the only private institute which offers classes in painting, various music instruments and Kathak dance.
Lahore is the core of Pakistan’s media and Arts scene. Pakistan’s most prestigious Art college National College of Arts is located here. Every year it becomes the center for ‘World performing Arts festival’ in which artists from dozens of countries show off their talents’. This festival is managed by the Peerzada group, which is also the largest puppetry theater company in the Pakistan. Lahore is also home to the country’s developing fashion industry supported by numerous designer outlets and the country’s most prestigious Fashion school, the Pakistan school of Fashion and Design which has some of the best photo studios and Photographers in the country.
Lahore has also been home to Pakistan’s old classical music, ghazels and Qawalis, with Big names such as Noor jehan, arif lohar, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Mehdi hassan, Ghulam Ali etc all residing in the city. In recent years Lahore has given out Pakistan’s largest pop singer such as Atif Aslam and Ali Zafar, while the city is recognized as the birth place of modern rock scene in south Asia by bands such as Jal, Call the band, Roxen, Noori and Entityparadigm, which were hugely popular and lead many in the Indian film industry to import their songs.
Pakistan’ film industry is also based in the city and is called Lollywood. Many films are filmed in Lahore and the city has some of the oldest film studios in the country. Many actors, directors are based in Lahore which bring many artists together to launch films. Cinema is on the incline again in recent years and IMAX is also building outlets in the city.
Lahore is developing into the media hub of Pakistan. Several FM Radio stations have setup their operations here and some of the TV channels are also working from this city. Adding to this media boom, City News Network (Pvt.) Ltd. is brining Pakistan’s first City specific satellite TV channel. They are launching a City Channel of Lahore with the name City42. City42 will be a satellite channel beaming its broadcast to entire Pakistan, Asia, Middle East and some European countries. City42 will be a NEWS and INFOTAINMENT based channel covering everything that happens in the city of Lahore.
Lahore is also home to Geo TV’s Infotainment Division and the headquarters of Pakistan’s first Kids television Channel Wikid and the first community Channel of Pakistan for [DHA].
Gaddafi Stadium is a Test cricket ground in Lahore. Designed by Pakistani architect Nayyar Ali Dada, it was completed in 1959 and is one of the biggest cricket stadiums in Asia. After its renovation for the 1996 Cricket World Cup, the stadium had a capacity of over 60,000 spectators for high-profile matches or events. Nearby is an athletics stadium, a basketball pitch, the Al Hamra, open-air hall similar in design to the coliseum, and the world’s largest field hockey stadium, Another Cricket Ground and HEadquarters of Pakistan Cricket Board, all based in the city’s Sports complex. In the same vicinity lie headquarters of the Pakistan Football Federation, as well as the multi-sport Punjab Stadium.
Lahore is home to Pakistan Premier League giants WAPDA FC, alongside Pakistan Railways FC, and Wohaib FC.
The Lahore Marathon is part of an annual package of six international marathons being sponsored by Standard Chartered Bank across Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. The Lahore race carries prize money of approximately US$100,000. More than 20,000 athletes from Pakistan and all over the world participate in this event. It was first held on January 30, 2005, and again on January 29, 2006. More than 22,000 people participated in the 2006 race. The third marathon was held on January 14, 2007