Photo Gallery

Sheikhupura Fort (traditionally, built 1607 onward)

The construction of Sheikhupura Fort is traditionally accredited to Emperor Jahangir, but there is no conclusive evidence of this. The fort certainly dates from at least the early Mughal era or earlier, and is the product of numerous modifications over the centuries. In its present form, the fort is a rough square measuring 128 meters north to south and 115.5 meters east to west, with walls averaging 11.5 meters in height. It presents a formidable appearance, and rises easily above the cityscape in southeastern Sheikhupura where it remains a distinctive landmark.

The traditional attribution of the fort to Jahangir is partly due to the proximity of the Hiran Minar tower and hunting retreat which was definitively built by Jahangir beginning in 1606. The Badhshah Nama records multiple visits to the area by Jahangir and his son, the Emperor Shah Jahan. All of these visits took place between 1606 and 1646, after which the area was briefly held by Shah Jahan's son, prince Dara Shikoh. The fort would likely have been used as a camp for the Emperor and his retainers, providing more suitable accomodations than the exposed baradari and other pavilions at Hiran Minar. One remnant of this period may be the ruined halls and basement chambers at the northeast corner of the fort, which Jahangir and Shah Jahan may have used as a royal residence.

The most impressive buildings inside the fort are the magnificent havelis (mansions) that were largely the product of the Sikh period and the latter Mughal era (the mid 17th to early 19th centuries). One famous occupant of the havelis was Maharani Datar Kaur (died 1838), the wife of Maharaja Ranjit Singh of the Sikh Empire.

Site Plan

Approximate and not to scale. Image drawn by Timothy M Ciccone based on photographs and sketch plan in "Islamic Architecture of South Asia" by Ahmad Nabi Khan.

Sheikhupura Fort Site Plan


The approximate location of the fort is 31.708891' N, 73.990347' E (WGS 84 map datum).


All images copyright 2012 Aown Ali

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  Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992.

Khan, Ahmad Nabi. Islamic Architecture of Pakistan: An Analytical Exposition.
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Khan, Ahmed Nabi and Robert Wheeler. Islamic Architecture in South Asia.
  Oxford Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Koch, Ebba. Mughal Architecture.
  New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Michell, George (editor). Architecture of the Islamic World: Its history and Social Meaning.
  London: Thames and Hudson, 1978.

Mumtaz, Kamil Khan. Architecture in Pakistan.
  Singapore: Concept Media Pte Ltd, 1985.

Nadiem, Ihsan H. A Witness to History; Sheikhupura Fort.
  Quarterly Punjab dey Rang, (Jan-March 2011): pages 5 - 8.

Rajput, A. B. Architecture in Pakistan.
  Karachi: Pakistan Publications, 1963.

Ruggles, D. Islamic Gardens and Landscapes.
  Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008.

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yasir posted on Thu Oct 02, 2014 6:08 pm:

very nice information about the place where I spent my childhood ....

ali salman posted on Sat Feb 15, 2014 10:37 am:


sahil posted on Mon Dec 16, 2013 7:58 pm:

thanks for the provide info _ cary on

Muhammad Umar posted on Sat Aug 03, 2013 1:53 am:

Thanks for providing such useful information for those who are interested in the monument of Pakistan