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Ranjit Singh's Tomb [Lahore].

Ranjit Singh's Tomb [Lahore].

Photographer: Craddock, George

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1880

Shelfmark: Photo 50/2(10)

Item number: 50210

Genre: Photograph

Photograph of the Samadhi of Ranjit Singh at Lahore, Pakistan, taken by George Craddock in the 1880s, part of the Bellew Collection of Architectural Views. Lahore, the capital of Punjab province, is considered the cultural centre of Pakistan. Islam came here after the advent of Mahmud of Ghazni in 1021 AD, and it was subsequently ruled by a succession of dynasties of the Delhi Sultanate, followed by the Mughals, the Sikhs and the British. It reached its apogee under the Mughals, known as the Garden City and with enough architecture to rank it with other great Mughal centres like Delhi, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri. Lahore suffered with the decline of the Mughal empire in the 18th century, frequently coming under attack. It was finally taken by the Sikhs, who under their leader Ranjit Singh (ruled 1799-1839), were masters of the Punjab region by 1818. During Sikh rule, although some repair and reconstruction of Mughal buildings did take place, many of the Mughal monuments were stripped of their marble and other decorative elements. Buildings in the Sikh style were erected, and the tradition of gardens at Lahore was continued. The grandest edifice in the Sikh style is the mausoleum of Ranjit Singh, begun by his son Kharak Singh and completed in 1848. It blends Hindu and Muslim elements, the square roof features a central fluted dome and is embellished with several chhatris or pavilions. Its interior is decorated with marble arches and glass mosaics.

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