About 25miles North-west of Emperor Jehangir's
mausoleum in Lahore stands Haran Minar (Deer
Tower), monument to an antelope that he loved
dearly. In beauty and grandeur, it surpasses the
tomb of his beloved queen Noor Jehan. Ironical
though it may seem, it is not surprising, for
Jehangir had no hand in building Noor Jehan's
Emperor Jehangir, known as Prince Salim before he
ascended the throne, was affectionately called
"Sheikhu" by his father, the Great
Mongol, Akbar. He was great lover of beauty and
his romantic disposition gave birth to many
legends like that of his love for Anarkali and Noo
Jehan. But Haran Minar perpetuates yet another
legend, his love for animals.
From the 130 feet high, brick-built monument, one
could have panoramic view of the era, which was
once fertile jungle across River Ravi, favorite
hunting ground of Jehangir.
Artificial lake, covering 648000 Sq. ft, reflects
the image of the tower, its three-tiered octagonal
"Baradari" and four small pavilions at
the corners of the lake.
Haran Minar is another testimony of Mongol genius
for construction. Unique in design, pattern and
setting, Haran Minar adds to the glorious chapter
of Mongol's love for building, edifices of great
strength and grandeur, of noble simplicity and
elegance. Sometimes they reflected their gracious
way of life or their journey to the other world.
On other occasions they were erected as an
apotheosis of masculine chivalry or feminine
The spacious Baradari stands in the center of
artificial lake. A causeway supported by 20 arches
lead to Baradari built on platform emerging from
the deep blue waters. It is artfully designed to
beat off the heat and humidity outside.
Unfortunately, much of its interior decoration was
damaged during Sikh occupation. The surviving
floral arabesque stand out for their skillful
design and glitter in their original polish.
According to popular legend, Emperor Jehangir had
ordered the construction of these buildings to
commemorate the death of his pet antelope, Mansraj.
The antelope had no equal in fighting with tame as
well as wild antelopes, and also served as an
excellent bait for hunting wild animals.
On Northern side of Minar's base, there is small
octagonal brick building, which is believed to be
the grave of Mansraj.
Emperor Jehangir, however, recorded in his Tuzuk,
"On my return from Kashmir in 1620 AD, royal
standards alighted at Jehangirpura (Sheikhupura).
During my prince hood, I loved this spot and it
was my favorite hunting ground. Upon my orders, a
building has been constructed and a village set
up. Sikander Mubeen was given this pargana as a 'jageer'
and made responsible for the upkeep of these
buildings. After his death, this jageer was given
to Iradat Khan, who completed these buildings.
These buildings have been constructed at a cost of
Rs. 150,000. The place is now worthy of
It is believed that in the old days Haran Minar
served as an excellent watch-tower to spot and
shoot game and a lot of shooting takes place