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Lahore

Lahore is the capital of the Pakistani province of Punjab and is the second largest city in Pakistan after Karachi. It is popularly known as the Heart of Pakistan, due to its historical importance in the creation of Pakistan, and also being a cultural, political and educational centre of the country and economic centre of the country's biggest province, Punjab. It is also often called the Garden of the Mughals or the City of Gardens because of the heritage of the Mughal Empire. It is located near the Ravi River and Wagah, close to the Pakistan-India border.

Much of Lahore's architecture from the Mughal and colonial eras has been preserved. Mughal structures such as the Badshahi Mosque, Ali Hujwiri, Lahore Fort, Shalimar Gardens and the mausoleums of Jehangir, and Nur Jehan are popular tourist spots in the city. Colonial British structures such as the Lahore High Court, General Post Office (GPO) and many of the older universities still retain their Mughal-Gothic style.

Punjabi and Urdu are the native languages of the province and is the most widely-spoken language in Lahore and rural areas. Urdu and English, however, are becoming more popular with younger generations since they are officially supported, whereas Punjabi has no official patronage. Many people of Lahore who speak Punjabi are known as Lahori Punjabi due to their use of a mixture of Punjabi and colloquial Urdu. According to the 1998 census, Lahore's population was nearly 7 million. Mid-2006 government estimates now put the population at approximately 10 million. This makes Lahore the second largest city in Pakistan, fifth largest city in South Asia and the 26th largest city in the world.

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