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Capital of Punjab
Lahore is the capital city of the Pakistani province of Punjab and is the country’s second-most populous city after Karachi. The city is located in the north-eastern end of Punjab province. Lahore is one of Pakistan’s wealthiest cities with an estimated GDP of $127 billion (PPP) as of 2017. Lahore is the historic cultural centre of the Punjab region and is one of Pakistan’s most socially liberal, progressive, and cosmopolitan cities.
Lahore’s origins reach into antiquity. The city has been controlled by numerous empires throughout the course of its history, including the Hindu Shahis, Ghaznavids, Ghurids, and Delhi Sultanate by the medieval era. Lahore reached the height of its splendour under the Mughal Empire between the late 16th and early 18th century and served as its capital city for a number of years. The city was captured by the forces of Persian Emperor Nader Shah in 1739 and fell into a period of decay while being contested between different powers. Lahore eventually became capital of the Sikh Empire in the early 19th century and regained much of its lost grandeur. Lahore was then annexed to the British Empire and made capital of British Punjab. Lahore was central to the independence movements of both India and Pakistan, with the city being the site of both the declaration of Indian Independence and the resolution calling for the establishment of Pakistan. Lahore experienced some of the worst riotings during the Partition period preceding Pakistan’s independence. Following independence in 1947, Lahore was declared capital of Pakistan’s Punjab province. It is also the largest city of the entire Punjab region of both Pakistan and India.
Lahore exerts a strong cultural influence over Pakistan. Lahore is a major centre for Pakistan’s publishing industry, and remains the foremost centre of Pakistan’s literary scene. The city is home to the annual Lahore Literary Festival, considered to be one of South Asia’s premier cultural events. The city is also a major centre of education in Pakistan, with some of Pakistan’s leading universities based in the city. Lahore is also home to Pakistan’s film industry, Lollywood, and is a major centre of Qawwali music. The city also hosts much of Pakistan’s tourist industry, with major attractions including the famed Walled City, numerous Sikh shrines, and the Badshahi and Wazir Khan mosques. Lahore is also home to the Lahore Fort and Shalimar Gardens, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.