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SAMMAN BURJ

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SAMMAN BURJ, also called Musamman Burj, an octagonal tower commanding a wide range of buildings within the Lahore Fort, was built by Emperor Akbar, who made the city his capital for some time. Within the Fort was situated the royal palace which was enlarged by Jahangir and, then, by his successor. Shah Jahan. ShahJahan is also said to have laid out the gardens in the Chinese style and to have constructed inside the Musamman Burj a marble pavilion of refined architectural design and beauty. 

Popularly called Samman Burj, this octagonal tower of the Lahore Fort overlooked the River Ravi, which then flowed closely by its side.The Mughal rulers of Lahore used it as the audience hall and carried out from here their daytoday administration.The Afghan invader, Ahmad Shah Durrani, also held his darbarin the Samman Burj. When in 1799, the Sikhs occupied Lahore, Maharaja Ranjit Singh found the Samman Burj in a state of disrepair.

Some of the alterations and additions made showed up poorly as against the superb original Mughal architecture. He made efforts to have the Burj restored to its former glory. He held his daily court in it and transacted business of state from here. The Samman Burj figures prominently in the chronicles and diaries of the Sikh times.

References:

1. Suri, Sohan Lal, `Umdat ut-Twarikh. Lahore, 1885-89
2. Hoti, Prem Singh, Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Amritsar, 1918
3. Hasrat, B.J., Life and Times of Ranjit Singh. Nabha, 1977
4. Latif, Syad Muhammad, Lahore. Lahore, 1892

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