Until the time of Mughal’s rule, this city had no boundaries and “Emperor Akbar” was the first emperor who took notice of that and constructed Defense Wall around the city and fort to protect the city from enemy’s attack. This Defense wall was made very wide and strong with the help of stones. Whole city has 12 large gates and 1 small gate for entry and exits on which guards were assigned in different duty timings who kept record of all in comings and out goings of people as well as material. All gates were built with stones and were incredibly strong. Guard posts were especially built on all gates.
Maharaja Ranjit Singh, at his time, always took special care of the Wall and Gates especially due to threats of attack on City. He went one step forward to make city more safer than Akbar. He constructed large trenches on all corners of Wall and after that, he went for the trenches in front of doors along with another door in front of previous one. Both of the gates were joined together with the help of bridges built over the trenches.
Each gate was connected to another gate with the help of wall and in between each gate, 10 Grand Guard Towers were also built on which guards were assigned to keep the city out of danger.
This great wall was present till “Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s” rule after which colonial administration took control of the city and considered a huge wall as spam. So colonial administrator first ordered to destroy half of this wall as it was too huge, secondly they ordered about destruction of whole wall covering the city and instead of that wall, they constructed a new wall which was lower in height and was built with blocks. After that, they came toward city gates .First they destroyed extra gates built by Maharaja Ranjit Singh, and used trenches lands as parks, which were constructed by bricks collected by the destruction of extra gates and trenches.
This city had twelve huge entry gates along with one small gate known as “Mori Gate”
1. Dehli Gate:
This gate was built on the East side of City and to travel Dehli one had to travel to east at that time. That is why this gate was named Dehli Darwaza. This gate was considered as main gate of the city because of two reasons, usage of the people travelling to Amritsar and Jalindhar at that time, and there was a road leading towards fort directly from this Gate. Until colonial rule, this gate’s building was wear out, so colonial administration ordered to reconstruct the gate and gave contract to Sultan Muhammad, a well known construction contractor of that era who built new building of the Gate.
2. Akbari Gate;
This gate was Named after emperor Akbar on his will and Akbar also allocated a space for market inside that gate which was also named after Akbar and known as Akbari Mandi till now, Till Colonial era the building of the gate became old and was aging so Colonial Administration ordered to Reconstruct the gate carrying original style in which it was built in Akbar’s era.
3. Moto Darwaza aka Mochi Gate:
This gate was named after the Gate’s Guard Moti Ram who spent his life guarding this Gate. In Rnjit Singh’s era, Moti Gate became Mochi gate and till now it is called by this name. By the orders of Colonial administration, this gate with its nine guard tower was destructed which unfortunately never been rebuilt.
4. Shah Alami Gate:
This gate was named after Emperor Aurangzaib Alamgir’s Son Shah Alam, when Shah Alam came to Lahore he announced this gate Shah Aalmi gate, which is till now known and famous. In Colonial era, this gate’s building was also reconstructed in old style.
5. Lahori Gate aka Lohari Gate:
This gate is prominent due to its history. when Sultan Mahmood Ghaznawi attacked this city, emperor of that time Raja Jay Pal tried to resist and when he failed, he burnt the city and ran away. When Sultan took the controls of the City, he ordered to resettle the locals of the city so Malik Ayaz with the order of Sultan starts resettling locals of the city and this was the starting point for the resettles that is why this Gate was known as Lahori Darwaza but as time passed it became Lohari darwaza for few people. Colonials also reconstructed this gate in its old Style.
6. Mori Gate:
This Gate is situated in between Bhati gate and Lahori gate. This gate was too small so it was impossible for any rider to cross the gate with his horse, In Colonial Era, this Gate too was reconstructed and scale of the gate was also redesigned.
7. Bhaati Gate:
This gate was named after Bhaat tribes. When Malik Ayaz was resettling Lahore, Bhaat tribes shifted there and so that it was named Bhatai Gate. In colonial era, this gate was destructed and reconstructed in colonial style.
8. Tiksaali Gate
This gate was named due to Mughal’s Coins that were made inside this gate and Tiksal in Mughal era was situated at this place.
9. Roshnai Gate:
This Gate was built between Badshahi Mosque and Lahore Fort. It was named Roshnai because with the orders of the emperor, this gate was lit with lighting elements as workers of Fort used this gate for their in comings and out goings. This gate is also counted as one door of Lahore Fort but as it was built out of the fort, so it was counted as City’s gate instead of Fort’s gate.
10. Kashmiri Gate:
This gate is named due to its direction towards Kashmir. In Colonial era, it was reconstructed following the design of Bhati Gate.
11. Khizri Gate aka Sheranawalan Gate:
This gate was built near Ravi River as in old times Ravi’s route was near this gate and according to Muslim’s School of Thought Hazrat Khizir A.S has special connection with rivers, so it was named Khizri gate. However, in Sikh rule Raja Ranjit Singh used to place two cages in which he used to keep two lions that is why this gate was renamed as Sheran wala Gate. In Colonial era, only cages were removed but Gate remained at its place.
12. Zakki (Yakki) Gate aka Makki Gate:
This Gate was named after a famous Sufi who was martyred at this place and was buried here. His name was Peer Zakki Shaheed. This is somehow renowned as Makki Gate. This gate was demolished by Colonial administration.