Lahore-Sargodha Road Sheikhupura (Punjab)
Sheikhupura, also called The Rice Valley, is an industrial city at the distance of 38 Km from Lahore on the northwest side in Punjab on the old G. T. Road. Its old name was Jahangirpura developed by the Mughal Emperor Jahangir in 1607, as it was a major area to stay at the time of the Mughal Empire while visiting the military headquarters in Lahore Fort.
Its name is also mentioned in the Tuzk-e-Jahangiri, an autobiography of the Jahangir. Its name was derived from a nickname of Jahangir, who was known as Sheikhu called by his mother, wife of Akbar the Great. Sheikhupura was also known as Virkgarh due to the large number of Virk Jatts living there.
There is a number of buildings constructed by the Jahangir during his reign. In which, Sheikhupura Fort and Hiran Minar are important historical places to visit. Hiran Miran was an area for royal hunting and its name was given due to his beloved pet deer.
After the Mughal Empire, the city was under the Bhatti tribe, who were defeated by the Sikh and then the city was governed by Lehna Singh, who was strong allies of Ranjit Singh. After that the British had captured the city in 1857 from the Sikh.
Sheikhupura Fort was built by the Emperor Jahangir in 1607. It was just use for the purpose of temporary stay while the Royal movements from Lahore to Dehli. It was used by the Emperor Jahangir, while he was on hunting in this region. It is located in the center of the old Sheikhupura city. During the reign of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, fort was used by his wife and his mother. He had also constructed some of the buildings in fort and grant. Then it was used as house arrest of his last wife after the getting the control of sub-continent by the British. Fort is in ruin and not in good condition. Most of its inner buildings are converted into ruin except the outer walls. Now fort is not opened for public to visit.
Hiran Minar was also built by the Emperor Jahangir in 1620 as a monument for his beloved pet deer. The complex was build in the area reserved for the Royal hunting. Some part of that jungle is still part of the Hiran Minar, that is available for tourist to explore the history of the Mughal Empire. In the front of minaret, there is a pavilion inside the center of large sized water pool. It is a good place for one-day picnic and there are large number of families on holidays.
Number of popular industries are in operation in the city. Two major industrial areas, Rachna Industrial Park and Quaid-e-Azam Business Park Sheikhupura, are developed there to encourage the people to establish industries in the area.
The weather of Sheikhupura is hot and dry. Summer season is much hot and warm, whereas winter season is pleasant. So if you want to explore the historical buildings of the Mughal time, then you have to plan it in winter season.
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