As the renowned historical and cultural city of Pakistan, Lahore is not only the second largest city in the country, but it is also the capital city of Punjab Province. For over 1,000 years, Lahore has served as the administrative, business and cultural centers both for Punjab Province and for the neighboring regions. With a population of over 6.4 million, it covers an area of 332 square kilometers.
Located in the upstream river plain of the Indian River and to the left bank of the Ravi River, a branch of the Indian River, the city is only 27 kilometers from the border between India and Pakistan. Being in the semi-tropical continental semi-arid climate zone, the city is hot in summer while cool in winter, with an average temperature of 23℃ and an annual rainfall of 500 mm.
According to Hindu legend, Roche or Lava, the son of Rama, first built the Lahore City, and in 630 A.D, Hiuen Tsang, China’s great monk paid a visit to the city Lahore, as the capital of Ghaznavid Dynasty from 1152 to 1186, still retains a lot of buildings of the Mughal era as well as Islamic art and culture. Many ancient buildings still stand in the city, including the Rajah Castle built in 1617, and the Badshahi Mosque, the biggest mosque in the country, completed in 1634, both of which have become the symbols of Lahore. Sally Garden, built in 1637 and located 8 miles south to the city, and Sand Dara Cemetery, built in 1628 and located 3 miles northwest to the city, all of these places have become famous tourist attractions in Pakistan.
After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, Lahore has grown further as the modern industries develop and Indian Islamic immigrants surge after the separation of India and Pakistan. The city is prosperous with advanced industries and commerce, the employee proportion accounts for 55% of the city’s total workforce and the factory number amounts to 18% of the country’s total. The main industries include textile, agricultural and sideline products processing, chemical industry and agricultural machinery, as well as Magarlpur Locomotive Motor Vehicle Factory which is famous nationwide. Handicraft industries such as medical equipment, tanning, silk, embroidery, ceramics and carpet also occupy an important position.
Lahore is also one of the important educational and cultural centers in Pakistan. Gathered here are Punjab University, Lahore University and many other colleges. There are over 400 primary schools in the city. There are also several libraries, museums, theaters, clubs and many other cultural groups, newspapers and magazines in English and Urdu are available in the whole country. There are also two radio stations and television stations in the city.
Lahore is also the transportation hub of Pakistan, with railways, highways and airlines connecting the country’s major cities. From the city, one can reach Rawalpindi and Peshawar to the northwest, Multan and Lallpur to the southwest and the Indian capital of New Deli to the southeast.
The old city of Lahore, adjoining closely to the Ravi River, was surrounded by high stone walls which were later built into the major ring road and the park. The city has narrow streets and packed buildings. Anarkali Boulevard region was established as high class residential area built up from the end of 19th century to the early 20th century. With its British style, organized planning and orderly roads, it has become the administrative, cultural and business zone, where the government organizations, Punjab University and other types of commercial facilities are available. The east part of the city functions as the railway junction, newly-built industrial zone, worker residential area and the barracks.
On June 20, 1992, Lahore established sister-city relationship with Xi’an.The other sister cities include Belgrade of Serbia, Bogot of Columbia; Buxoro shahri and Samarkand of Uzbekistan, Chicago, Illinois and California of America, Coimbra of Portugal, Cordoba of Spain, Dushanbe of Tajikistan, Fez of Morocco, Glasgow of the UK, Isfahan and Mashhad of Iran, Istanbul of Turkey, Kortrijk of Belgium, Krakow of Poland and Sariwon of North Korea.