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Hiran Minar and Tank, Sheikhupura

Date of Submission: 14/12/1993
Category: Cultural
Submitted by:
Pakistan National Commission for UNESCO Ministry of Education
Coordinates: 31°45' latitude north / 73°57' longitude east
Ref.: 1281

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Constructed in brick, the minar (tower) is circular and tapers towards the top, which is flat, with a parapet wall. There are 210 square holes on the outer surface of the minar, arranged at regular intervals i~ 14 rows. A spiral straircase consisting of 108 steps has been provided ins-.de the minar. Along6ide the staircase, there are 11 ascending rectangular arched openings provided for air and light The minar is divided into six tiers of different height. The base of each tier has projected moulding and the lowest tier has an arched opening for an entrance. The entire exterior as well as interior of the minar has lime plaster, apparently with some floral or lineal fresco paintings. The thick lime plaster applied over the surface of the lowest tier has been divided into decorative panels or arched niches and horizontal bands in high relief. Facing the grand minar on the east side is a big tank with a causeway leading to the octagonal baradari (pavilion) built in the middle There is a square pavilion at each corner with a gateway to the baradari. The tank is rectangular in shape, each side has a ramp and a parapet wall and is flanked by four staircases of 8 6teps. During Mughal days, a channel was cut from the Aik rivulet and connected with the tank at its north-west corner ; in addition, an elaborate system for filling up the tank with rain water from the catchment area was devised. The main gateway to the baradari is a rectangular vestibule with a pointed arch flanked by four other similar but smaller openings, built one upon the other. Inside the vestibule are two platforms. The inner walls have been decorated with recessed niches, while the soffit of the domeshaped ceilings has honeycomb decoration. The two flights of 13 stops cons-tructed at both the corners lead to the roof. The outer and inner sur-face has been plastered in the usual way and decorated with fresco paintings. A causeway, standing on 21 pointed arched pillars, connects the main baradari with the gateway. A square-shaped projected platform has been provided in the middle of thc causeway. In the centre of the tank has been erected an octagonal platform with a low parapet wall on all sides. Over the platform stands the beautiful baradari in the same plan, The baradari was constructed under the orders of the Emperor Jahangir in 1620 A.D. for use as a royal residence.