Lala Rattan Chand Temple

Lala Rattan Chand Temple

Lahore, the capital of Punjab province, is considered the cultural centre of Pakistan. Islam came here after the advent of Mahmud of Ghazni in 1021 AD, and it was subsequently ruled by a succession of dynasties of the Delhi Sultanate, followed by the Mughals, the Sikhs and the British. It reached its apogee under the Mughals, known as the Garden City and with enough architecture to rank it with other great Mughal centres like Delhi, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri. Lahore suffered with the decline of the Mughal empire in the 18th century, frequently coming under attack. It was finally taken by the Sikhs, who under their leader Maharajah Ranjit Singh (ruled 1799-1839), were masters of the Punjab region by 1818. During Ranjit Singh's rule in Lahore, he became fond of a small boy at his court who grew to serve him with distinction and the Maharajah called him Rattan Chand ‘dhariwala’ to distinguish him from a namesake. He was officially called Lala Rattan Chand Dhariwala.

Lala Rattan Chand, was awarded a prime plot of land by the Sikh ruler Maharajah Ranjit Singh where he erected a temple to Shiva. Lala Rattan Chand prospered even with the change of power to the British in Lahore from 1849. When the British took over in 1849, he worked for them and became the honorary magistrate of Lahore in 1862. He then went on to become a member of the Municipal Committee and was made a Dewan in 1865, where after he was described as Dewan Lala Rattan Chand Dhariwala. Joining the British administration, he was able to develop the area around the temple with gardens filled with fruit trees and a huge tank or reservoir, making it a well-known feature of the city.

The temple and its gardens were irretrievably damaged in the riots which followed the partition of India in 1947.

In year 1992 locals demolished Rattan Chand Temple completely in reaction to Babri Mosque demolition in India.

📷 1: George Craddock, 1880
2&3: unknown
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