Kotwali, or the police headquarters, is located on the eastern edge of circular road outside of Delhi Gate. The present building was commissioned in 1850 by the new English rulers of the Punjab who had annexed it only a year ago after exiling the young Dulip Singh, the last ruler of the Sikh Empire. The British demolished the older Kotwali from the Sikh era that stood here and laid the foundations of the new building under the supervision of Assistant Commissioner Thornhill.
The Sikh Kotwali was modest in size and was the only place in the city for the incarceration of criminals. The British replaced it with an imposing 2-storey Mughal-Gothic structure. The main entrance is from the north. On the main floor, there were offices for the 'Kotwal' or the police officer and the honorary magistrate. On the second floor, there were rooms for the residence of the 'Kotwal'.
Presently, the building is used as the Police Headquarters of Lahore.