Street scene, Lahore
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph from the Macnabb Collection of a street scene in Lahore, taken by an unknown photographer, most likely during the 1890s. The city of Lahore is situated on the Ravi River where it meets the road from Afghanistan to Bengal. It rose to prominence under the Mughal Empire after Babur (ruled 1526-1530) defeated Ibrahim Lodi, a Sultan of Delhi, in 1526 and it became the capital city of Emperor Akbar (ruled 1556-1605) from 1584 to 1598. Akbar rebuilt the fort and enclosed the city within a high defensive wall set with 12 gates. Under the rule of Ranjit Singh (1780-1839), the famous Sikh leader, it became the capital of Punjab (modern Pakistan) from 1799 to 1839. Its reputation as a ‘city of gardens’ is a result of the Mughal prominence in style, as they created gardens on a grand scale and left an architectural legacy in Lahore that includes the fort, its palaces, and tombs. This photograph is a view of ornate balconies projecting from the facades of houses with shop awnings below and was probably taken in the narrow streets of the old city. It captures people in motion with a horse-drawn cab in the foreground.