Lahore (Pakistan)

2017-04-15 13:27:11 , Source : The Government Website of Shaanxi Province

Lahore is the capital city of the Pakistani province of Punjab. It is the second most populous city in Pakistan and the 32nd most populous city in the world. The city is located in the north-eastern end of Pakistan's Punjab province, near the border with the Indian state of Punjab. Lahore is ranked as a gamma+ world city, and is one of Pakistan's wealthiest cities with an estimated GDP of $58.14 billion (PPP) as of 2014.

Lahore is the historic cultural centre of the Punjab region, and is the largest Punjabi city in the world. The city has a long history, and was once under the rule of the Hindu Shahis, Ghaznavids, Ghurids, and the Delhi Sultanate. Lahore reached the height of its splendour under the Mughal Empire, serving as its capital city for a number of years. The city was captured by the forces of Persian Safavid Emperor Nader Shah during his invasion of the Mughal Empire. The city was then contested between different powers before it became capital of the Sikh Empire, and then the capital of the Punjab under British rule. Lahore was central to the independence movements of both India and Pakistan, with the city being the site of both the declaration of Indian Independence, and the resolution calling for the establishment of Pakistan. Following the independence of Pakistan in 1947, Lahore became the capital of Pakistan's Punjab province.

Lahore is one of Pakistan's most liberal and cosmopolitan cities. It exerts a strong cultural influence over Pakistan. Lahore is a major centre for Pakistan's publishing industry, and remains the foremost centre of Pakistan's literary scene. The city is also a major centre of education in Pakistan, with some of Pakistan's leading universities based in the city. Lahore is also home to Pakistan's film industry, Lollywood, and is a major centre of Qawwali music. The city is also much of Pakistan's tourist industry, with major attractions including the old Walled City, and the Badshahi and Wazir Khan mosques. Lahore is also home to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Lahore Fort and Shalimar Gardens.

Economy

As of 2008, the city's gross domestic product (GDP) by purchasing power parity (PPP) was estimated at $40 billion with a projected average growth rate of 5.6 percent. This is at par with Pakistan's economic hub, Karachi, with Lahore (having half the population) fostering an economy that is 51% of the size of Karachi's ($78 billion in 2008). The contribution of Lahore to the national economy is estimated to be 13.2%. As a whole Punjab has $115 billion economy making it first and to date only Pakistani Subdivision of economy more than $100 billion at the rank 144. Lahore's GDP is projected to be 102 billion$ by the year 2025, with a slightly higher growth rate of 5.6% per annum, as compared to Karachi's 5.5%.

A major industrial agglomeration with about 9,000 industrial units, Lahore has shifted in recent decades from manufacturing to service industries. Some 42% of its work force is employed in finance, banking, real estate, community, cultural, and social services. The city is Pakistan's largest software & hardware producing centre, and hosts a growing computer-assembly industry. The city has always been a centre for publications where 80% of Pakistan's books are published, and it remains the foremost centre of literary, educational and cultural activity in Pakistan.

The Lahore Expo Centre is one of the biggest projects in the history of the city and was inaugurated on 22 May 2010. Defense Raya Golf Resort, also under construction, will be Pakistan's and Asia's largest golf course. The project is the result of a partnership between DHA Lahore and BRDB Malaysia. The rapid development of large projects such as these in the city is expected to boost the economy of the country. Ferozepur Road of the Central business districts of Lahore contains high-rises and skyscrapers including Kayre International Hotel and Arfa Software Technology Park.

Festivals

The people of Lahore celebrate many festivals and events throughout the year, blending Mughal, Western, and other traditions. Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha are celebrated. Many people decorate their houses and light candles to illuminate the streets and houses during public holidays; roads and businesses may be lit for days. The mausoleum of Ali Hujwiri, also known as Data Ganj Bakhsh or Data Sahib, is located in Lahore, 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 centred in Lahore, and people from all over the country and from 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, sharp kite-strings, electrocution, and falls related to the competition.

Tourism

Lahore remains a major tourist destination in Pakistan. Particularly the Walled City of Lahore which was renovated in 2014 is popular due to presence of UNESCO World Heritage Site's. Among the most popular sights are the Lahore Fort, located to adjacent to the Walled City, is home to Sheesh Mahal, Alamgiri Gate, Naulakha pavilion, and Moti Masjid. The fort along with the adjoining Shalimar Gardens has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1981.

The city is home to several ancient religious sites including prominet Hindu temples, the Krishna Temple and Valmiki Mandir Samadhi of Ranjit Singh, also located near the Walled City, houses the funerary urns of the Sikhruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh. The most prominent religious building is the Badshahi Mosque, constructed in 1673; it was the largest mosque in the world upon construction. Another popular sight is the Wazir Khan Mosque which is known for its extensive faience tile work was constructed in 1635.

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