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Bagh-e-Jinnah, formerly Lawrence Garden, Lahore, Pakistan
My favourite park in Pakistan
Bagh-e-Jinnah is the first park I visited when I went to Pakistan in 2005. I visited also many times when I went for my second visit in 2008.
I will first tell some of the history of the park. From 1864 to 1869 John Lawrence was the Viceroy of India and he built the garden as a botanical garden which was modelled on Kew Gardens in England. It was originally named Lawrence Garden after him and his statue used to stand there but it is now at Foyle and Londonderry College in Northern Ireland where he went to school.
It originally covered 176 acres but some land was given for the Lahore Zoo and some of the roads nearby which are also planted with trees. Nowadays, Bagh-e-Jinnah (Jinnah's Garden) has a botanical garden, a mosque and a library which is housed in a large Victorian building which used to be for assembly rooms and theatrical performances in former years. It is now the Qaid-e-Azam Library named after Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan.
The botanical garden has many hundreds of varieties of trees and shrubs, there are also almost all varieties of flowers to be found in Pakistan in the park. Among the trees are 30 kinds of palm trees. Bagh-e-Jinnah was the first place to grow Chrysanthemums and flower shows are held regularly in the park. Unfortunately, there was no flower show at the times that I visited Pakistan. Hopefully, on one of my future visits it will coincide with one of the Chrysanthemum shows.
This park has a playground for the children too and man made hillocks to climb. It is a pleasant and peaceful park, perfect for a stroll or a picnic. It is a popular place with families.
I wrote about Shalimar Garden and how peaceful that is but that was a private park, meant only for the use of the King and his family. Bagh-e-Jinnah was intended as a park for the public and to show off the flora and fauna of the country, and imported plants. For me, this gives it more value and anyone who visits cannot fail to be charmed.