Anarkali's tomb

Anarkali (Urdu: انارکلی; Anārkalī ) was a legendary slave girl from Lahore, Punjab, which now part of Pakistan. During the Mughal period, she was supposedly ordered to be buried alive between two walls by Mughal emperor Akbar for having an illicit relationship with Prince Nuruddin Salim later to become Emperor Jahangir. Due to the lack of evidence and sources, the story of Anarkali is widely accepted to be either false or heavily embellished. Nevertheless, her story is cherished by many and has been adapted into literature, art and cinema.

Anarkali's tomb

A tomb, thought to be that of Anarkali, is situated on the premises of the Punjab Civil Secretariat in Lahore and now houses the Punjab Records Office. Previously, it had been transformed into a Christian church by the invading British. A bazaar (market) located nearby on The Mall Road is named Anarkali bazaar after Anarkali. It is one of the oldest surviving markets in Pakistan, dating back at least 200 years

Anarkali's Legacy

Whether Anarkali existed or not, her legend has mesmerised the people of Pakistan and India. Drama Writer Syed Imtiaz Ali Taj's version for the stage is considered a masterpiece. Abdur Rehman Chughtai's rendition of Anarkali, which was used as a cover for Taj's play is one of the most famous paintings of the courtesan. She has also been the subject of a number of Indian and Pakistani films. The earliest is Loves of a Moghul Prince released in 1928. Bina Rai portrayed Anarkali in Anarkali, a 1953 Indian film. In Pakistan, another Anarkali film was released in 1958 with the legendary Noor Jehan in the lead role.Later on in 1960, K. Asif's magnum opus Mughal-e-Azam was released in India based on the story of Anarkali and Prince Salim. Both the Indian films, Anarkali (1953) and Mughal-e-Azam (1960) were major hits in India and Pakistan. Originally, only parts of the film were in colour. Mughal-e-Azam was re-released in 2004 as a completely colour film. Iman Ali also portrayed Anarkali in Shoaib Mansoor's short music video series on the theme Ishq (love) in 2003.
Anarkali Tomb
The tomb, to the south of Lahore's Old City, has lost most of its original decoration. Octagonal in plan, its sides alternately measure 44 feet and 30 feet. It stands on an octagonal platform. On each corner there is a domed octagonal tower, and in the centre, a large dome on a high cylindrical neck. A notable feature of this massive structure is its upper storey gallery and bold outlines. It is one of the earliest existing examples of a double domed structure in Pakistan. The lower shell of the dome is constructed of small bricks in five stages or rings. The central dome is supported inside by eight arches 12 feet 3 inches thick. It is a masterpiece of solid masonry work of the early Mughal period.