Open main menu

The Lahore Museum (Punjabi: لاہور میوزیم; Urdu: عجائب گھر لاہور‎; “Lahore Wonder House”), is a museum located in Lahore, Pakistan. Founded in 1865 during the British colonial period, Lahore Museum is now one of Pakistan’s most visited and highly regarded museums. The museum, along with the Zamzama Gun located directly in front of the building, were made famous in the celebrated British novel Kim, written by Rudyard Kipling - whose father was one of the museum’s earliest curators. The museum is now also renowned for its extensive collection of Buddhist art from the ancient Indo-Greek and Gandhara kingdoms.

Lahore Museum
عجائب گھر لاہور
View of entrance to the Lahore Museum
Entrance to the museum
Lahore Museum is located in Lahore
Lahore Museum
Location within Lahore
Established1865, later shifted to present site 1894
LocationThe Mall, Lahore
Coordinates31°34′06″N 74°18′29″E / 31.568226°N 74.308174°E / 31.568226; 74.308174
TypeArchaeology, art, heritage, modern history, religious
Collection sizePre & Proto, Coins, Hindu Buddhist & Jain, Gandhara, Islamic, Manuscripts, Miniature Paintings, General Collection, Arms, Ethnological, Postage & Stamps, Arts & Crafts, Contemporary Paintings, Pakistan Movement Gallery
Visitors250,000 in 2005[1]
WebsiteOfficial website



The Tollinton Market building was the first in which the museum’s collection was displayed.
The current museum building was designed in the syncretic Indo-Saracenic Revival architectural style by renowned architect Sir Ganga Ram.

Lahore Museum was originally established in 1865-66 on the site of the current Tollinton Market - a hall built for the 1864 Punjab Exhibition.[2] The museum’s collection was later shifted in 1894 to its present location on The Mall, in Lahore’s British-era core. The present building was designed by the well-known Lahori architect, Sir Ganga Ram.

Rudyard Kipling’s father, John Lockwood Kipling, was one of the museum’s first curators, and was succeeded by K. N. Sitaram. Over 250,000 visitors were registered in 2005.[1]


The museum has a number of Greco-Buddhist sculptures, Mughal and Pahari paintings on display. The collection contains important relics from the Indus Valley civilisation, Gandhara, and Graeco-Bactrian periods as well. The Fasting Buddha, dating from the Gandhara period, is one of the museums most prized and celebrated objects. The ceiling of the entrance hall features a large mural by renowned Pakistani artist Sadequain.

The museum also contains fine specimens of Mughal and Sikh carved woodwork and has a large collection of paintings dating back to the British period. The collection also includes musical instruments, ancient jewellery, textiles, pottery, and armory, as well as some Tibetan and Nepalese work on display


The museum displays archaeological materials from pre-historic times to the Hindu Shahi period. It has one of the largest collections of archaeology, history, arts, fine arts, applied arts, ethnology, and craft objects in Pakistan. It also has an extensive collection of Hellenistic and Mughal coins. There is also a photo gallery dedicated to the emergence of Pakistan as an independent state.


Our Directors From First Day[3]
Name of Directors Position Duration
Percy Brown Curator 1899 - 1912
Hugh Lionel Heath Curator 1912 - 1929
Rai Bahadur (S.N. Gupta) Curator 1929 - 1942
Mr. K. B. Molvi Zarar Hasan Curator 1942 - 1947
Malik Shams Curator 1947 - 1965
Syed Muhammad Taqi Curator / Director 1965 - 1974
Fred. Henry Andrews Curator 1893 - 1899
J.L. Kipling (C.I.E) Curator 1875 - 1893
Saifur Rehman Dar Director 1974 - 1993
F.M. Anjum Rehmani Officiating Director 1993 - 1995
Saifur Rehman Dar Director 1995 - 1998
F.M. Anjum Rehmani officiating Director 1998 - 2001
Mansoor Sohail Director Additional Charge 2000 - 2001
Liaquat Ali Khan Niazi Director 2001 - 2004
Syed Gulzar Mashhadi Director 2004 - 2005
Naheed Rizvi Director 2005 - 2008
Asghar Nadeem Syed Director 2008 - 2009
Kamran Afzal Cheema Director 2009 - 2009
M.Siddique Sheikh Director 2009 - 2010
Humera Alam Director 2010 - 2012
Sumaira Samad Director 2012 - 2016
Himayun Mazhar Director Current

Timings & Entry FeeEdit

Lahore Museum observes working hours as follows:

Winter (October 16 to April 15): 9.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m.

Summer (April 16 to October 15): 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m.

Adults: Rs.20/-

Children: Rs.5/-

Students: Rs.5/-

Foreigners: Rs.400/-

Camera Charges: Rs.25/-


The museum is closed on Fridays, and on the first Monday of each month to for collection and building maintenance. It is also closed on Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Azha, Eid-i-Milad-un-Nabi, and on the 9th and 10th of Muharram.

Popular cultureEdit

  • Rudyard Kipling's novel, Kim (pub. 1901), was set in the vicinity of the old/original Lahore Museum and the Mall areas.

Further readingEdit

  • Shaila Bhatti (2012), Translating museums: a counterhistory of South Asian museology, Walnut Creek, Calif: Left Coast Press, ISBN 9781611321449
  • Whitehead, Richard Bertram (1914). Catalogue of Coins in the Panjab Museum, Lahore; Indo-Greek Coins : Volume 1. The Panjab Government at The Clarendon Press, Oxford.
  • Whitehead, Richard Bertram (1914). Catalogue of Coins in the Panjab Museum, Lahore; Coins of Mughal Emperors: Volume 2. The Panjab Government at The Clarendon Press, Oxford.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Areas of Attraction - Government of Pakistan Archived 2007-06-10 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ Which later became the Tollinton Market after the completion of the new/present museum building, see "Murray's Handbook of the Punjab", pub. 1883. Mention also made in Peter Hopkirk, "Quest for Kim", London, 1996, pp.46-47 ISBN 0-7195-5560-4
  3. ^ "Our Directors | Lahore Museum". Retrieved 2018-04-04.

External linksEdit