GUL BEGUM BAGH GARDEN: THE BEAUTIFUL ANCIENT HERITAGE OF PAKISTAN

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GUL BEGUM BAGH GARDEN: THE BEAUTIFUL ANCIENT HERITAGE OF PAKISTAN

Gul Begum was the wife of Maharaja Ranjit Singh, whom she married in the year of 1831 when he was 51 years old. Gul Begum had 1st attracted the attention of Maharaja when he saw her performing a dance for his guests. When coming to know that she was from Amritsar, the Maharaja rode there personally and requested that the girl appear before him, which she did. Even though when learning that she was a Muslim (the Maharaja was a Sikh), he was so impressed by her that he selected to defy social convention by marrying her. He first went to the Golden Temple at Amritsar to pray forgiveness for his actions then proceeded with his plan. He declared that Gul Begum would be his queen but that her faith would be respected. For the next some years after their marriage Gul Begum–who was henceforth termed as Maharani Gulbahar Begum–cooperated closely with the Maharaja and even rode on the same elephant as him when appearing in public. While living in the city of Lahore, Gul Begum was provided with a detached palace between the Rang Mahal and Haveli Mian Khan, not far from the location of the Gul Begum Bagh garden shown here which she had constructed in the year of 1856 (17 years after the Maharaja’s death). She spent the remaining days of her life in this area (termed as Mozang) and constructed a tomb-like building on the south side in which she was interred in the year of 1865 or 1866. However, she had no kids she was survived by her adopted son Sardar Khan who cared for the Gul Begum Bagh garden and is also buried here.

Additionally, however the Gul Begum Bagh garden was relatively small by Lahore standards, almost a square kilometer of current-day Lahore is known as the Bagh Bul Begum neighborhood. One expects that this now-dilapidated garden may one day be refurbished to make it a core part of the neighborhood that has taken its name.

 

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