Few cities in the Indian subcontinent can be said to have had a more chequered history than Lahore, a city ruled by Hindu kings, Mughal emperors, Sikh monarchs and British sovereigns. There was something strikingly unusual about this golden land of dreams and legends. An embodiment of fabulous wealth and splendor, Lahore had captured the imagination of mighty men from far and near. For centuries, the city had attracted trade caravans, plundering hordes and conquerors in search of wealth and power. Scholars, historians and travelers passing through the city were enchanted by its majesty and grandeur. In the heyday of its glory as the imperial capital of Mughals, a proverbial saying often heard was that
“Isfahan and Shiraz together would not equal even half of Lahore”.
Jon Milton (1608-74) mentions Lahore among the cities seen by Adam from the hill of Paradise:
His eye might there command wherever stood
City of old or modern fame, the seat
Of mightiest empire, from the destined walls
Of Cambalu, seat of Cathaian Can,
And Samarchand by Oxus, Temir’s throne,
To Paquin of Sinaean Kings, and thence
To Agra and Lahore of great Mughal….
(Paradise Lost, Bk. XI, 385-9)
Source: Lahore, A sentimental Journey by Pran Neville