Lahore is hugely inspiring. Every road, every architecture speaks of its initiation and story. The grandeur with which they construct everything is just amazing to witness. Even a regular restaursnt will be so lavishly constructed that it gives an almost royal feel. Lahore is about spacious roads, spacious diners, attention to architectural details, keeping culture and history intact, lots of food & life!
I happened to be in Lahore for 3 days, which trust me aren’t enough to explore this deeply rooted city of cultures and traditions, but I managed to see the popular landmarks of it once again as I had been there last when I was a young school going girl and memories had started to fade out now.
The infamous section of Heera Mandi – turned – Food street lightens up the old Lahore with Badshahi Mosque on one end and the Heera Mandi and shopping centers on the other. It’s a must visit spot for tourists visiting Lahore these days, with “Cuckoos Den” being the most popular restaurant that was once known for being the busiest brothel. The uniqueness of this place lies in its architecture reminding you of the olden times when kings ruled this city and mistresses ruled their hearts from this place. This certain having been sealed under some jurisdiction has now been reopened as part of a food street but it doesn’t really carry the charm of a food arena as Karachi does, however, the structures are worth a sight!
Also the food they serve at Cukoos Den & Haveli is quite good!
The inside of Wazir Khan Mosque – peaceful & serene. This was at about 5 am in the morning when only the keeper of the mosque was awake laying open the praying mats. Few people were found sleeping in the corners of its court. We went onto the area where the Maulana gives his sermon. Serenity hovered all over that place with the only sounds of either birds chirping flying close to the mosque’s minaret or the water fountain for ablution. A must go place for peace seekers and those looking to capture the intricate indo – muslim or Mughal architecture for which this mosque is known for. It was built in the times of Shah Jehan
The walled city of Lahore is famous for its 13 gates that led into the city, however only 7 or 8 of those gates are now open, the rest have been sealed.
The Delhi gate leads into the Delhi Bazar on the left and the Shahi Hamam on the right where all the aristocrats and top notch would come for a grand jacuzzi or sauna. A little further is the Wazir Khan Mosque. This Bazar has intertwining roads of both narrow and wide nature with very specific blue colored gates at some points. The European styled streets and historical architecture of this place makes it a beautiful spot for photography
**the blue gate photo is a courtesy of https://www.instagram.com/rabyahmed/
The wondrous Badshahi Mosque, spacious and serene, welcomes you with its arms (read courtyards) wide open. Didn’t get a chance to go inside this time, but what I recall of it are beautifully marbled walls and mosaic floorings thay glisten under the sunlight. With history embedded deep into its carvings, reading out stories of its times. From the outside, it looks upon the infamous Heera Mandi and Old Lahore, where the history lives.
It was built by Aurangzeb and was the largest in the world at that time.
Pak Tea House, situated on Mall road, is famous for being the most crowded spot of literary champions of the olden times such as Saadat Hassan Manto, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Munir Niazi etc. The progressive writers association initiated from here and a number of literary movements took place from here. This place is certainly a wish list for avid classic fans. Sigh! Only got to see this place from the outside as we were driving around the popular roads
Brightly lit, colorful and magnetic replica of the Eiffel Tower in Bahria Town leaves no heart un wanting to see it. Bahria town is located on te outskirts of Lahore and residents consider it a long drive plan to go all the way to see the beaming tower thay shuts off right before 12 am. We took the elevator to the top view point that gives a birds eye view of the whole town and its meticulous planning indeed.
The Bahria town mosque is a beauty at night. Constructed somewhat like the blue mosque in Turkey with color textures of Uch Sharif (red brick and blue mosaic) and grandeur of the Grand mosque, it gives a mesmerizing look all together. Most of the mosques built in Lahore are simply gorgeous, with large domes and beautiful marble work on th outside. Definitely urges to go in and take a look
Fortress Stadium has shops and cafes all around it, fancy ones. Also has an entertainment area and obviously a sports stadium. It’s part of Lahore Cantonment
Lahore PC is pretty flabbergasting compared to what we have here in Karachi. Super spacious, lit by humongous chandeliers, escalators the lobbies and rooms area, very lavish. I had my event exhibiting there and for a minute I was baffled to see all that class and sparkle. I’m definitely planning on staying there the next time
Data Hazrat Gunj Buksh Darbar is another monumental and phenomenal experience to be at. We went on a Thursday which is day for most people to visit the shrine and pay respects. ‘langar’ or massive quantities of food is distributed among the people for free. I saw families engrossed deep in the prayers, reciting Quran, Surah Fatiha for the noble Islamic preacher, distributing sweets or just lying there on the floor in peace praying for miracles in their life. Truly a sight to see a variety of people there, all from low, middle and higher income groups, united under the symbol of God.
LUMS is another masterpiece in its own. Probably one of the largest and well equipped universities in Pakistan. It has its own medical facility, sports grounds, pool (under construction), hostel, departmental store, mosque’s, academic facilities etc. Wonderfully built to accommodate the students at maximum. Oh and the Jammin Java Cafe inside the activity center serves delicious food and not to forget the Cardamom tea. Yum
These were the prominent places and spots I captured but Lahore is huge in terms of sightseeing; their buildings, their cafes, impeccable roads are one and the villages, small towns, ghetto like areas are another, which I didn’t get a chance to see but ill definitely do when I visit next.
Best thing about Lahore, this city also doesn’t sleep (thankfully) and their people have a severe admiration for food but yes I’d like to say that Karachi serves the best food; as someone rightly said,
“Lahoris know how to eat food, Karachiites know how to make food”