Lahore is the second largest
city of Pakistan and the provincial capital of the Punjab.
Historically, it is believed to be about 2000 years old. In
ancient times, it was an outpost of Kangra hill Kingdoms and was
a cut-off township on the trade route to Delhi and A It had
hardly any reputation in the Pre-Muslim era. Lahore came to
eminence with Islam in South Asia.
Under Malik Ayaz, the first Muslim Governor in the time
of Sultan Mahmood (971-1030), Lahore became renowned for poetry. Lahore
has always been a seat of learning and knowledge. Sufism and speculative
mysticism became its major discipline. Schools were opened and scholars
from Baghdad, Iran and other oriental and occidental regions came to
this historical city and settled here. The city flourished academically
during the four centuries of the Delhi Sultanate. It became the second
imperial capital in 1580 under the Mughal Emperor Akbar the Great.
Lahore touched the peak of glory during the rule of the
Mughals. The Mughal emperors beautified the city with some of the finest
architectural buildings and gardens that have survived the hazards of
time. It was this reputation of Lahore that fascinated the English poet
John Milton who wrote in 1670: "Agra and Lahore, the Seat of great
Mughal." In earlier 17th century, Lahore was the pole-star and
trend-setter for all the cities of the Empire. In mid 17th century,
there were more than ten thousand schools in the city.
Literary education and poetry were the distinction of the
city during the reigns of Mughal Emperors Shahjahan and Aurangzeb. The reputation of the city
continued even during the anarchy of 18th century and it remained to be
remembered as the Mughal capital even under the Sikh rule
During the British rule in the Sub-Continent, many
impressive buildings were raised in Lahore, which blended beautifully
the traditional Mughal with the Western Gothic and Victorian styles of
architecture. The British, who occupied the Punjab in 1849, had
practically revived the old view of Lahore. Thus when they founded
Government College Lahore (Now G.C. University) in 1864 they did not
ignore Lahore's academic background. They selected Dr. G.W. Leitner as
its first Principal who was an Arabic scholar and had studied Islamic
learning at Constantinople (Istanbol) in Turkey. It was Dr. Leitner who
had managed the building of a mosque at Woking in England after his
The spirit of Lahore sustained throughout the history of
Government College University (GCU). Almost all the great intelligentsia
who have richly contributed to the academic,literary and cultural life
of the city, some how or other, shares a sense of belonging to GCU.
Mohammad Hussain Azad and Allama Mohammad lqbal are just two to mention.