Some 43 kilometers northwest from Lahore and 9 kilometers from Sheikhupura is located the well-known 100 foot high Hiran Minar, above left, built by the Emperor Jahangir in the 17th Century for a beloved antelope, by mistake killed by Jahangir during hunting with friends. Sheikhupura then had the status of a royal hunting ground. Hunting grounds were essential part of the physical environment of Mughal emperors. The place where the town stands today was one of Jahangir’s (Prince Saleem) princely dominions during his father Akbar’s reign. The town was founded by Jahangir, near village Sahu Malli, during his rule in 1607. The king declared the barren jungles adjoining the place as royal hunting ground. After the death of king’s darling deer Mans Raj, this hunting ground was changed into a protected sanctuary and hunting was prohibited. In the memory of his favorite antelope, the king has also constructed an octagonal tower in 1607 at the foot of the grave of the deer and in 1620 a square beautiful lake like pond and Baradari were added to the monument. After the death of king’s dearest deer Mans Raj, this hunting ground was changed into a protected sanctuary and hunting was prohibited.
A unique feature of this beautiful Hiran Minar is its location and environment: the top of the Minar is maybe the best place in the province of Punjab to get a sense for the broader landscape and its relationship to a Mughal site. The bereaved emperor ordered a minaret to be built at his grave; therefore the name is called Hiran Minar. The Hiran Minar originally measured 110 feet in height, but after sometime, its canopy collapsed, leaving it in its present headless state. The Hiran Minar has 108 steps on a spiral staircase lead to its summit, where rest the remains of Mansraj. The cost incurred on the construction of the minaret was Rs150, 000, which was considering hefty amount in those times.