Lahore pigeon (also known as Sherazi and Siraji) is one of the most popular pigeon breeds in the world. They are one of the pigeon breeds that make the best pets. In fact, Queen Elizabeth II (late) also had Lahore pigeons among several other breeds. 
The specialty of the Lahore pigeon is its beautiful color pattern, large size, and long muffs. It has a white base with a secondary color pattern that starts from the juncture of the beak, spreads around the eyes, and covers the wings, and back. A good marking Lahore pigeon has a very smooth border of secondary color and it does not touch the eyes.
Lahore pigeons were once used as utility pigeons, they were bred for meat. But today, the traditional Lahore pigeons are used for pigeon racing and fostering while the European line is used for exhibitions.
The appearance and breed standard of Lahore pigeons
The overall size, weight, and structure are also important but it varies between the original Lahore pigeons, and the European line Lahore pigeons. However, in the USA and most countries, the only known Lahore pigeon is the larger version and the traditional version is limited to only India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
Different colors of Lahore pigeons
Lahore pigeons are most commonly available in black, and red color but over the past few decades, more colors have been developed in this breed. Today, they also exist in yellow, lavender, silver, chocolate, stencil, cream, and blue color.
There are further classifications in these colors like bars and checked patterns. For example, a Lahore pigeon can be blue, have black bars, or can have a blue checked pattern.
|Breed Name||Lahore Sherazi|
|Breed Speciality||Specific pattern with white base|
|Life Span (years)||10-15|
|Pair Price in USA (USD)||$300-500|
|Pair Price in India (USD)||$10-20|
The history of Lahore pigeons
There is very limited information available about the origin of the Lahore pigeon but according to literature, it originated in Lahore (formerly in India, today in Pakistan). Some sources also claim it belongs to Shiraz (Iran). However, it has always been most common in Pakistan and it is famous even today.
Mughal emperors had clean-legged Lahore pigeons
The exact year of its origin is unknown but its recorded history starts from the 17th century. A painting (present at the British museum), dated 1670 shows fancy pigeons beside a traveling dovecote from a Mughal miniature showing Lahore pigeons. The painting is evidence that the Lahore pigeons existed during the Mughal era or probably centuries before that. An interesting fact about the painting is, the depicted Lahore pigeons do not have any muffs.
The earliest Lahore pigeons did not have any muffs. In fact, until the 19th century, the traditional Lahore pigeons in India had almost no or very few muffs. The muffs were worked on when the breed was exported to Europe. Interestingly, even today, clean-legged Lahore pigeons exist in Pakistan and India.
The export of Lahore pigeons to Europe and America
According to a book, the breed was exported from India to Germany in 1880, and in the early 1960s, it finally gained the attention of pigeon keepers. This is when they started working on the Lahore pigeon and produced the first European line Lahore Sherazi pigeon. 
Similarly, some birds were exported to Vienna in mid-1875 and from there, exported to England. This led to the further development of the European line Lahore Sherazi pigeon and the foundation of the Lahore Club in England. 
Later, the American pigeon breeders also imported Lahore pigeons and worked on them. The version developed by American breeders is quite similar to the European version except it is more compact. There has been a great debate over the Lahore pigeon’s standards presented by American clubs and European clubs. However, the European line remains the most popular to date. 
I personally believe the European line was developed by cross-breeding the traditional Lahore pigeon with the Giant Runt pigeon. There is no supporting evidence or record but if you look closely, Lahore pigeons have a structure similar to Giant Runts; especially the head and the cere. Definitely, some other breeds were also used for the development of long muffs.
How much do Lahore pigeons cost?
The cost varies depending on whether the bird is a traditional Lahore pigeon or from the European line. Moreover, the overall markings, structure, and color also impact their cost.
Generally, in the USA, the commonly available Lahore pigeons are from the European line and their pair costs $300-500. They cost almost the same in most countries.
Whereas, in India and Pakistan, a European line Lahore pigeon pair costs $60-100 and a traditional Lahore pigeon pair costs $10-20. This is because they are commonly available and their breeding is also easier in this region.
Besides all the qualities Lahore pigeons have, they are also good breeders. They breed well and take excellent care of their babies.
Are there any dedicated clubs that promote Lahore pigeons?
Yes, one such club is the American Lahore Club (ALC) operating in Texas (USA). The club has done tremendous work on the further development of this breed. A detailed breed standard of Lahore pigeons is shared on the club’s website to help new fanciers with breeding and producing good quality birds.
Where can I buy Lahore pigeons in the USA?
If you are looking to buy Lahore pigeons online, check this article, I have shared the links to some sellers and platforms that sell fancy pigeons.
Can Lahore pigeons fly?
Yes, they can fly but not much. Their heavy weight makes it difficult to fly a lot and this is why they usually prefer staying in one place. By the way, the traditional Lahore pigeons (that are common in India) have a structure and weight similar to regular pigeons, they can fly well. In fact, they are also used in pigeon racing.
What do Lahore pigeons eat?
Their diet is the same as other pigeons’ diet. They eat a variety of seeds and grains.
What is the lifespan of Lahore pigeons?
On average, most Lahore pigeons live for almost 10 years. But they can live up to 15 years or more if raised in good care. I’d like to mention here that some blogs state, Lahore pigeons live for only 5-7 years, it is not true. I have a pair of European line Lahore pigeons which is almost 9 years old, it is still healthy and breeding well.
Bilal is a freelance writer and a content creator. He has been in the pigeon hobby for over 15 years. Over the years, he has worked on various fancy pigeon breeds and explored their history.