The Lahore Gymkhana
Originally founded as The Lahore & Mian Mir Institute in 1878, the Lahore Gymkhana was based in the Lawrence and Montgomery Halls in the expanse of Lawrence Gardens, opposite the sprawling estate of the Governor’s House. It aimed to provide social and recreational activities to residents of Lahore and its Cantonment. Its current name was adopted on 23rd March 1906. The Halls were taken over the Punjab Government in 1972, which shifted the club to its present picturesque premises on the Upper Mall – previously the Golf Club of Lahore Gymkhana spread over an area of 117 acres. The two Halls have been adapted for re-use as the Quaid-e-Azam Library since the 1980’s.
Bagh-e-Jinnah itself a historical garden, provided a befitting setting for the new-classical Lawrence and Montgomery Halls. These were built in memory of Sir John Laird Mair Lawrence, first Chief Commissioner (1853-57) and Viceroy of India (1863-69) and Robert Montgomery, second Lt. Governor of the Punjab (1859-65).
Lawrence Hall, the building fronting the Mall, was built in 1861-62 as a tribute to Lawrence’s role in ensuring a regular supply of troops from the Punjab to Delhi during the First War of Independence in 1857. The coice of design, prepared by G. Stone, then Chief Engineer, was deliberate as the British East India Company shaken by the events of The First War of Independence, was eager to re-establish a position of power and authority through the use of a classical architectural vocabulary earlier successfully employed in the subcontinent by the ‘Kampany Bahadur’ to portray its might. Lawrence Hall, with a hall size of 65’ x 32.5’ (costing Rs. 34,000/-) was used for public meetings and theatrical entertainment, and for all intents and proposes was Lahore’s town hall until the construction of Jubilee Town Hall.
The foundation stone of the existing Gymkhana building was laid on 5th March, 1968, by Nawab Muzaffar Ali Khan Qizilbash, the then Chairman of Lahore Gymkhana. The building was completed and occupied on 16th January, 1972, the cost of which was borne by its members. The Lahore Gymkhana Cricket Ground arguably the most beautiful in the country, is located in the Bagh-e-Jinnah on 73 Kanals of land leased by the Punjab Government.
The second building at the rear of Lawrence Hall facing the central avenue of the sprawling Bagh-e-Jinnah, is Montgomery Hall. It was built in 1866 from contributions made by the native chiefs. The conformity of style with the earlier building was ensured by Mr. Gordon, Chief Engineer, who, in order to present a single unified whole, linked the space between the two halls by a covered corridor. Montgomery Hall, 106’x46’ in size, constructed and refurbished at a cost of Rs. 108,000 and Rs. 66,000 respectively, was re-roofed and a ‘splendid teak floor for rinking and dancing’ was laid in time for the visit of the Prince of Wales in 1876. These halls became the center of festivities for the rulers, particularly during the Christmas and winter months.
“Lahore Lahore Hai”
Lahore, the magical City of the Twelve Gates, has a glorious past, adorned with countless epics, legends and romantics tales. Its greatness is a culmination of centuries of happenings and experiences, its culture and people combined with the physical form of the city. Its awesome maturity is reflected in its monuments, bazaars, trees, gardens and in the old buildings lining the Mall. With its unrivaled universe and saturated by the greate Lahori Spirit, it is not just a city but a whole universe in itself. Few cities of the world, if indeed any, can lay claim to such a wonderful past or present.
Origin to Loh, the son of Rama Chandra, the Hero of the Ramayana, but history records that it began as a dependency of the 8th century AD Hindu ruler, Lalitditya. Later it was governed by Mahmud of Ghazni (1021-1186) and the Ghazniavid dynasty, the Ghoris and varios Sultans of Dehli during which period it evolved as a center of Islamic culture and learning as well as trade and commerce. In the 13th century it was depopulated and razed to the ground by the Tarter-Mongol hordes of Genghis Khan.
During the period of the MOghul Empire the City attained its full glory and flourished. aAkbar the Great (1584-1598) made Lahore his capital, during which Lahore Fort was built and the old city demarcated, which practically remained the same size ever since. Jahangir (1605-1627), Akbar’s son, expanded the fort and retained a strong link with the city, choosing to be buried here in 1627. His beloved wife Noor Jehan is also buried at Shahdra Close by. Emperor Shah Jahan (1647) embellished the city with elegant architechtural monuments, Sheesh Mahal and the Shalamar Gardens being two of his special projects. He also encouraged his noblemen to patronize the city, for which Hakim Alimuddin, populary known as Wazir Khan would always be remembered for his most enduring contribution the the city, the bejeweled Wazir Khan Mosque. It is to Emperor Aurangzeb’s piety and largesse that the city owes it’s most glorious and imposing monument The badshahi Mosque (1694-1695). After the collaps of the Mughal Empire following Aurangzeb’s death, the second renaissance of Lahore occurred during the rule of Maharaja Ranjit Sing (1780-1839) who restored the city of Lahore to the level of a stat capital.
During the 19th Century, Lahore developed into the cultural center of the area, becoming visible through the manifestation of buildings such as Aitchison College, Lawrence and Montgomery Halls, Lahore Museum and General Post Office because of the British concern with social uplift and improvement. The aesthetic sense of British architects and artistic brilliance of Indian workers gave birth to a new form of architecture, the fine blend of ‘Moghul, Gothic and Victorian architechture’. The buildings of Supreme Court, the High Court and the Government College are the legacies of the same fine art.
The creation of Pakistan left and indelible mark on the city of Lahore. The Lahore Declaration in march, 1940 at the Annual Meeting of the All India Muslim League started a movement which eventually led to the partition of the Sub-Continent in August 1947. Since independence, Lahore has continued to thrive, graduating from being a commercial enterprises to one with a widespread industrial base, encompassing textile, medium and light engineering, footwear and packaging factories. The city has modernized in recent years with dozens of satellite colonies and development schemes stretching its peripheral limits to several kilometers on all side of the old city. This continues to further enrich the architectural format of Lahore. It remains a centre of excellence in education, of which University of the Punjab, University of Engineering & Technology, King Edward Medical College, Lahore University of Management Sciences, Government College Lahore, Aitcheson College and National College of Arts are the prime examples.
Monday Thru Saturday 08:30 a.m to 04:30 p.m
Fridays: 08:30 a.m to 12:30 p.m
Secretary’s Office: 35756689
Guest Rooms: 35756696-9 , 35756795
Golf Club: 35750301
Manager Admin: 35756698
Exchange: 35756690-95 , 35750302
Manager F&B: 35750305
For Quick Contact
1st June to 30th Sep 2012 At Main & Ladies Swimming pools Timming Gents/Boys: 09:00 to 12:00 Noon & 02:30pm to 5:30pm Ladies/Girls: 09:00 to 12:00 Noon & 03:00pm to 6:00pm