Lahore Diaries: Paying our Respects to a Deer at Hiran Minar

Hiran Minar is located in Sheikhopura, about an hour away from Lahore. It was built by Emperor Jahangir (Shah Jahan’s father) in 1606 as a monument for his favorite pet deer. It is made up of a water tank and a minaret containing the deer’s remains. Apparently, the emperor accidentally killed his favorite deer, and then built a monument for it to pay his respects (really? all this for a lame deer…). The grounds were also used for hunting.

We decided to drive to Sheikopura, the roads were in good condition, and there was barely any traffic. Along the way, we got to see the Ravi river.

Finding Hiran Minar is very easy, there are signs everywhere guiding you to the right location.

Sheikhopura is a very conservative area so you have to dress appropriately, they also charge an entrance fee of a couple rupees per person. Make this a day trip, in the evening, wild dogs like to come out.


This was one of the most unkempt historic sites in Pakistan. Most of the intricate designs were no longer visible, and there was a lot of graffiti. There needs to be some work done to restore this area to what it once was.

The heat was unbearable, but once we got inside the monument, there was a great ventilation system which cooled us off with air.


The water tank is enclosed with these walls

We managed to get stuck on the huge steps while trying to go inside, luckily, there was a man who offered to give us a ride on his boat. Although the boat was very shady, we decided to give it a try and got some amazing pictures in the process

Thanks for the lift


We also took a look at the minaret which held the deer’s grave, but it was closed off. There was a legend that an old empresses ghost was roaming around, even though we tried, we couldn’t get her to send us a sign

Although this was an enjoyable trip, it was sad to see the deteriorated state of this site, I really hope the government works to restore Hiran Minar to its original beauty.

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