“Lahore, the second largest city of Pakistan, ancient capital of the Punjab, home to nearly as many people as New York, layered like a sedimentary plain with the accreted history of invaders from the Aryans to the Mongols to the British.”- Mohsin Hamid, The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
Assalamu Alaikum, Wanderlusters!
I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about this city; Pakistan has always held an unexplained, unflinching fascination ever since I was little. It’s one of those rare feelings which you do not wish to delve further into; you fear losing the essence that has been carefully preserved over time. By now, you’re well aware that I, inadvertently, write about con tempo cities which still breathe antiquity. Lahore revels in her elaborate past without lagging in global contemporaneity.
5 Basics To Lahore It Better
You’ll be landing at Allama Iqbal International Airport, which is hardly 20-30 minutes from the central mainland. Metered and Unmetered taxis and shuttles are readily available. (Moral of the story: no hustle to be expected)
The city experiences a semi-arid climate, with June being the hottest month and January, the coldest. (Unless you’re a fanatic of extreme climatic patterns, you’d like to visit in February/ March/October/November)
Book a flight to Lahore.
The currency is Pakistani Rupee; 100 INR= 155.395 PKR. (Shoutout to the girls, know what that means? Lots of Shopping!!!)
94% of Lahore’s population follow Islam and festivals like Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Adha, Milad-un-Nabi, Chaand Raat, Miraj-un-Nai, etc are celebrated alongside Basant and an annual urs. (So you either plan a trip based on- climatic preference or festival preference. Just kidding, your call completely)
Punjabi is predominantly spoken in the State although Urdu forms the official language of the country, co-officialled by English. (Although if I were you, I’d flaunt my broken Urdu and Punjabi at every opportunity possible)
And, now let’s get this thing rolling and head right in.
10 Must sees in Lahore
Lahore Fort, numero uno on my list, where the Mughals built their imperial quarters, followed by the Sikhs, is a UNESCO World Heritage site. You just don’t miss the Lahore Fort when in Lahore.
The wonder that is, the Badshahi Masjid, was commissioned by the then ruling emperor Aurangzeb. It is the second largest mosque in the world and displays Mughal architecture at its best!
You got it right, it does resemble the Eiffel Tower although that wasn’t the point behind its construction: it marks the establishment of a separate state for Muslims.
This is a tiled section from the Wazir Khan mosque famous for its architectural beauty.
Book a hotel in Lahore.
Also called Central Museum, in Lahore, Pakistan, this archaeological museum opened in 1894 containing examples of the arts and crafts of the erstwhile province of Punjab, you will find indigenous sculpture, coins, and Kangra (Pahari) and Mughal fabrics and paintings.
Food in Lahore
No Shinjini article is complete without the food report, so here goes: Street Food haul at Gowal Mandi. Chappal Kababas, Saag with Makai ki roti, Golas of Ice, Sardar ki Machli and Lahori sweets are must tries.
Shopping haul time: You could hit the malls, obviously, but not before you visit the Anarkali Bazaar or the Ichra Market if you’re up for some great buys at some great prices.
Spend some time in this country, I’m sure, it’ll change you life forever! Till I write again, good luck and Aapka safr accha guzrae or Bon voyage, as they say in Urdu.