Lahore Fort and Badshahi Mosque

We spent the late afternoon at Lahore Fort, a remnant of the old Muslim rule of the Mughals which finally ended with the fall of the 'King of Delhi during the mutiny of 1857 against the British. It reminds you how Lahore and India have so much in common, despite the separation caused by the creation of Pakistan. The Mughal culture was almost the highpoint of the last thousand years of culture in this part of the world, they seemed to embrace a form of Hinduism and Islam that they mixed with Sufisim, poetry, science and philosophy, preserving the latter and giving children in the Madrassas the best education of the time anywhere in the world.

It was only with the Hindu soldiers (sepoys) rebellion against the British in the 1850's and the consequent blame attached to the Muslim Mughal emperors by the ridiculously ignorant British, that the Muslims were marginalised in India and the power transferred to the Hindus. This led in the end to the rise of 'Hinduism' and the eventual creation of India swiftly followed by Pakistan, as a response to fears for the safety and rights of Muslims in India. It also left fertile ground for conservative back to basics Wahabi Islam to spread from Afghanistan as a response to the glitz and glamour of the Mughal emperors, and ended with the conservative Islam now found in Pakistan.

The fort is pretty well preserved/refurbished and gives a good idea about the opulence amongst which the Mughals lived. Huge harem's, extended families, hundreds of children all living in the fort along with Eunochs, armies, poets etc.

Next to the fort is the Badshahi mosque which is one of the biggest in the world and can be viewed from the top of Cooco's Den, a restaurant on the roof of one of the old Haveli's of Lahore – the old buildings left from the Mughal era.

India and Amritsar