SAMMAN BURJ, also called Musamman Burj, an octagonal tower commanding a wide range of buildings within the Lahore Fort, was built by Emperor Akbar, who made the city his capital for some time. Within the Fort was situated the royal palace which was enlarged by Jahāṅgīr and, then, by his successor, Shāh Jahāṅ. Shāh Jahāṅ is also said to have laid out the gardens in the Chinese style and to have constructed inside the Musamman Burj a marble pavilion of refined architectural design and beauty. Popularly called Samman Burj, this octagonal tower of the Lahore Fort overlooked the River Rāvī, which then flowed closely by its side. The Mughal rulers of Lahore used it as the audience hall and carried out from here their day-to-day administration. The Afghān invader, Ahmad Shāh Durrānī, also held his darbār in the Samman Burj. When in 1799, the Sikhs occupied Lahore, Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh found the Samman Burj in a state of disrepair. Some of the alterations and additions made showed up poorly as against the superb original Mughal architecture. He made efforts to have the Burj restored to its former glory. He held his daily court in it and transacted business of state from here. The Samman Burj figures prominently in the chronicles and diaries of the Sikh times.
Harī Rām Gupta