Among the earliest extant Mughal tombs, Anarkali's sepulchre is also one of the most significant Mughal buildings of the period. The tomb, to the south of Lahore's Old City, is part of the compound of Punjab Secretariat on Lower Mall, and is located at the rear of Chief Secretary's Office. Since the tomb is utilized as the Punjab Archives, access to the building is restricted. Make sure that you plan the visit to it during office hours, otherwise you will find the gates to the secretariat locked and the sentry at the gate unwilling to allow even a peep.
Not only is it a "most ingeniously planned octagonal
building", it is a memorial to the love-legend
centering around prince Salim (ater emperor
Jahangir), and Anarkali (pomegranate blossom) who
belonged to the harem of emperor Akbar, Salim's
father. Although Mughal sources are silent about
Anarkali, European contemporary travelers such as
William Finch related the popular gossip rife at the
time, mentioning her as Akbar's "most beloved wife."
Today the monument appears as a simple, whitewashed massive brick structure, robbed of its decorative veneer, and its apertures and aiwan profiles filled in to serve its varied usage. However, the internal spaces, inspite of the alteration, are exciting, viewing of which coupled with the amazing treasure of archival material of Punjab Archives—set up as Punjab Record Office in 1891, when the cathedral was shifted to its new premises—is wonderfully rewarding. For those interested in history of the British Punjab, it is a treasure trove, for, along with rare images and other documents, files dating back to the earliest days of British administration are carefully and meticulously maintained here.