Fort and Shalimar Gardens in Lahore

The magnificent Shalimar Gardens were built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in 1641 A.D. in the style of the Persian gardens. An important feature of this style of enclosed garden is water; the Shalimar Gardens have a total of 410 fountains in marble pools spread across the three descending terraces. The ingenious Mughal engineers were able to operate the fountains in a way that today’s scientists still cannot understand. The Shalimar Gardens used a canal that brought in water from present-day Madhpur, India, over 161 kilometers away. Sharing its spot on the list with the Shalimar Gardens is the Lahore Fort, a citadel in Lahore, Pakistan that was built by the Mughal emperor Akbar between 1556 and 1601. Representing a complete history of Mughal architecture, the fort has contributions from each successive Mughal emperor, as well as from the Sikhs and the British. The site has been placed on the UNESCO list as part of an effort to increase appreciation for the architectural masterpiece, and to help prevent further deterioration.

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