Chauburji is one of the most popular monuments among the beautiful buildings and structures of the Mughal period in the city of Lahore, Punjab.
In the oldest city of Lahore, on the route that directs southwards to Multan, the Chauburji gateway remains of an extensive garden famous to have an existence from Mughal times. The development of this garden is devoted and attributed to Mughal Princess Zeb-un-Nisa, in the year 1646 AD, which occurs in one of the inscriptions on the gateway. The gateway contains 4 towers and consists of much of the remarkable tile work with which the overall entrance was covered once.
Chauburji reflects a powerful combination of Mughal architecture with ancient Muslim design of building. Its unique features are the minarets which extend from the top, not depict anywhere in the region sub-continent. Some, although, consider that there were cupolas upon these minarets which were diminished with the passage of time. Arches are of the so-called style of Tudor, adapted to Islamic design, specifically in Mughal mausoleums and mosques. The red brickwork is very common sign in the Muslim buildings of the sub-continent; the gateways and windows running through the internal corridors are instances of the living style that characterized the Mughal infrastructures. Although, the main intention of complex Chauburji seems to be strictly monumental. The decrepit infrastructure, which has not lost its beauty, stands alone enclosed by hoardings and bustling traffic on the busy road i.e. Multan Road.
Truly, it was doorway to the astonishing Garden of Zeb-un-Nisa or Zebinda Begum, the accomplished daughter of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. This garden is considered to have been expanded from Nawankot in the south to the central city of Lahore towards north. Although, no traces of such an extensive garden are now present. A fragmentary inscription on the eastern archway monitors and records that the garden was established in the time period AH. 1056 i.e. 1646 AD.
However, most of the inscriptions have been disappear or lost, on the upper-most portion of the construction Ayat-ul-Kursi can be observed in Arabic script in color blue and worked in porcelain. Others involved 2 couplets written in Persian language above the arch.
It is, thus, easily understood and comprehended that it was commissioned by Sahib-e-Zebinda, Begum-e- Dauran and was bestowed upon Mian Bai Fakhrunnisa the favorite woman attendant of the graceful princess.
During an intensified earthquake in the year 1843, the north-western minaret was damaged and cracks appeared in the middle arch. This has although been renovated as much as was suitably possible and the doorway now seems to be look quite good as it might have been during the era of its Mughal patroness. The renovation was executed by the Department of Archeology in the late 1960’s.