Lahore is a powerful militaristic city-state, as it provides the Suzerain with a new unique unit, the Nihang. Even if you are not a domination-focused civilization, you should compete for Lahore's Suzerainty to prevent it from falling into the hands of an aggressive neighbor.
Lahore is, today, a major world city, and a commercial and cultural center in the Punjab region, an arid stretch south of the Himalayas and split between India and Pakistan. The city played significant roles in the Mughal Empire, the short-lived Sikh Empire, British India, and is presently the second largest city in Pakistan. In addition to its importance as a crossroads of inland trade routes across Asia, Lahore remains a significant cultural capital for Pakistan and beyond.
Lahore was likely first settled in the first millennium A.D., but its real height came during the Mughal Empire, that remnant of the Mongol hordes that converted to Islam, settled, became acculturated, and ruled South Asia from the 16th century to the 19th. Mughal rulers built lavishly in Lahore, including the massive gates at the roads leading out of the city and its holy sites: saints’ graves and royal mosques. By the 18th century, Lahore’s wealth became world-famous; Lahore even secures a mention in Milton’s Paradise Lost as a city of wealth and power, "the Seat of the Great Mughal," revealed to Milton’s Adam as a wonder of the earth. Other British writers were similarly enamored of the city: the colonial British author Rudyard Kipling describes Lahore as "full of beauty even when the noonday heat silences the voices of men and puts the pigeons of the mosque to sleep," and raptured at having seen Lahore’s great, Armenian-made "Zam-Zammeh" cannon as a child.
As the Mughal Empire went into decline, new powers arose in the region and fought over Punjab. First to take Lahore were the Hindu armies of the Maratha, who took the city from the Mughals in 1758. But the Maratha were not as long-lived as the Mughals, and Lahore again changed hands, falling to Sikh and Afghan forces. In 1799, the city became the seat of the Sikh Empire under Ranjit Singh. Singh, the "Lion of Punjab," sought to build a new army for a new empire, and in so doing reached out both to international and local sources of power, bringing soldiers from Napoleon’s army to train his troops and co-opting the fierce Nihang warrior-priests into his forces. But the Sikh empire could not last without Singh, and after Singh’s death the region was entirely annexed into the British empire.
Lahore under the British saw the development of an entirely new quarter of the city, as colonial officials abandoned the Mughal district for new construction. Punjab, for the British, presented some problems: it was close to a fractious frontier and away from the ports where the British concentrated. And, indeed, Lahore became an important center for the Indian independence movement as, in 1929, the site where Pandit Nehru declared "complete independence" from Britain and raised the Indian tricolor flag.
But after independence came the bloody affair of partition. As Pakistan, declaring itself a Muslim nation, split from India, riots erupted. Hindus and Muslims killed each other in a frenzy of mass violence. Lahore was no exception, and saw the widespread slaughter of Hindus. Indira Kumar, a Hindu resident of Lahore, wondered as she, as a child, fled into the mountains from the violence, "What price Freedom and to what end?"
The end of partition did not mean the end of violence. Lahore was damaged during another bout of violence, as India and Pakistan fought again in 1965. Today, Lahore persists. It is the capital of Pakistani Punjab, and hosts over 10 million residents.
- Lahore's city-state symbol is the gate of Lahore Fort.
|Civilization VI City-states |
|1 Requires DLC|