Gateway of Gulabi Bagh (Rose Garden) – Lahore c. 1890s
This beautiful tile-decorated gate located on Grand Trunk Road was entrance to Gulabi Bagh (Rose Garden) from southern side, built in 1655 by a Persian noble, Mirza Sultan Beg who was Admiral of the Fleet under the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. The numerical value of the garden name gives its date as 1066 AH, or 1655 AD (Latif, 1892, 134; Schimmel, 1993).
Inside, the tomb of Dai Anga dates to 1671, which suggests that a residential garden was probably converted to the tomb-garden after her death. The garden was originally square, with the tomb placed in the center. The square measured 250 Mughal yards (gaz) on a side, slightly smaller than the tomb-garden of Asaf Khan in Shahdara, but larger than those of the great nobles Ali Mardan Khan and Mahabat Khan which lie to the south and east along the Grand Trunk Road.
Extensive residences, villages, shrines, and tomb-gardens began to line the new alignment of the Grand Trunk Road in the mid-seventeenth century—villages like Kot Khwaja Saeed, Bhogiwal, and Begumpura (Woman’s Town).
Gulabi Bagh Gateway (built 1655)
The Gulabi Bagh Gateway is the last remnant of a pleasure garden built by the Persian noble Mirza Sultan Baig in 1655. In its heyday the garden measured 250 gaz on a side (according to the scholar Ebba Koch, 1 gaz is likely equal to 0.81 or 0.82 meters). The site could not have functioned as a garden for long, as it was converted in 1671 into a tomb for Dai Anga with her mausoleum occupying the center of the property. Gradually over the centuries the garden was encroached upon by urban development so that the only remaining portion of the garden is the narrow yard running from Gulabi Bagh to Dai Anga’s Mausoleum.
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