"LHORE, LHORE HAI (LAHORE IS LAHORE)....." Lahore by tabrez603
Lahore Travel Guide: 539 reviews and 977 photos
There is a Persian saying that if there was no Lahore, Isphahan (Iran) would have been half of the world. There is yet another ancient proverb, "Even if Persia's Shiraz and Isphahan were united, they wouldn't make one Lahore." So true till date and anyone who visits Lahore for once, always misses the warmth of its people and the lively environ that prevails all over the city, be it the posh localities or the narrow gullies of old Lahore. Lahore is the city of poets, artists and the centre of Pakistan film industry and city of gardens since some of the finest gardens in the continent are found here. It has the largest number of educational institutions in the country, which includes the century old Punjab University and the Government College and University.
Lahore, or Laha-war, Laha-noor, Loh-pur, Mahmood-pur or Lohar-pur, has existed even in 1000 BC, when it was founded by Prince Loh, son of Rama Chandra. In 630 AD, the city was visited by Hieun Tsang, who remarked it as a Great Brahman City. However Lahore rose to its glory in the times of the Mughal empire and thereafter when many a landmark appeared on its landscape. In 1021 AD, Mahmood Ghaznavi Captured Lahore. From 1186-1206, Shahab-ud-Din Ghauri conquered and reigned Lahore and brought it under the Ghorid Empire. In between 1241-1310, the Mongols ransacked Lahore many a time, while Tamerlane plundered Lahore in 1398. In 1524 Zaheer ud Din Babur, the first Mughal emperor captured Lahore and hence founded the Mughal empire which lasted till 1857, when British took over the entire Indian Sub-Continent. Lahore rose to its peak of glory in the reign of Mughal emperor Akbar, who made it his capital and held his court In Lahore for 14 years from 1584 to 1598, and built the Lahore Fort, as well as the city walls which had 12 gates. Some of these still survive. His son, Jahangir, is buried in its outskirts. Close by is the mausoleum of the famous Mogul Empress, Noor Jahan, who is known for introducing the rose plant and for initiating several cultural movements in the Sub-Continent. The last great Mogul emperor, Aurangzeb (1838 - 1707) built Lahore's most famous monument, the great Badshahi Mosque. At that time the river Ravi, which now lies a few miles away from Lahore, touched the ramparts of the Fort and the Mosque.
After Aurangzeb's death in 1712, the Afghans and the Persians came to rule Lahore when Nadir Shah Durrani, the King of Persia captured Lahore. Between 1748-67, Nadir's successor, Ahmad Shah Abdali invaded Lahore eight times and it was during this time that the famous gun "Zamzamma" or better known as the "Banghian di Tope" (Bhangies Gun) or the Kim's Gun was manufactured on the orders of Ahmed Shah Abdali. From 1764, the city was captured by the Sikhs who ruled it till the British annexed it into the British hold in 1849 and transferred to the British Empire in 1857. During the Sikh's rile, Lahore was ruthlessly robbed of its beauty and all precious stones and artifacts from the Mughal buildings were plundered and taken to Amritsar for the construction of the Golden Temple.
Lahore the second largest city in Pakistan and the provincial metropolis of Punjab, besides its rich history is perhaps the only city in Pakistan where so many historical imprints can be found and visited. It may not be wrong to say that Lahore is the "Show-Window" of the pre-Muslim era, erstwhile Mughal and British Empires, besides a modern fast developing city. Unfortunately, the once beautiful and elegant Lahore was brutally mauled and plundered by a number of rulers after the decline of the Mughal empire. But despite everything, it never lost its glory, majestic outlook and traditional grandeur. Seeing is believing, specially during the Spring, when Lahore wears the colourful cloak of beautiful flowers.
The People of Lahore: Undoubtedly, the most warm hearted, loving, lively and jolly of all, the indigenous Lahorites are treat to be with. Friends of friends and people with open arms ready to receive any guest at any time of the hour. Simple and open always willing to help each other. Their weak point? - Food and lots of food, besides fun and laughter. In fact the world "Khaba" instead of mere "khana" takes it roots from Lahore. You will find people drinking the extra ordinary large glass of "Lassi" in one gulp.
The real taste of food of Lahore can be tasted in the recently established three Food Streets in the older section of Lahore city. These venues remain opened throughout the night, from 6 pm to 8 am next day serving hot and sizzling specialties of Lahore, though food from other provinces can also be found now. Despite the Lahori food being very spicy and oily, one wishes to eat again and again. In fact the Food Streets (one in Gawalmandi, the second in Old Anarkali (off the Mall Road ) and the third in the Walled City have become the prime source of all specialties of Lahore and even other cities. Now Lahorites treat their guests, specially from outside Lahore in the Food Streets rather than anywhere else.
As for fun, give a chance to smile and Lahorites will burst into wide laughter. On holidays they are found everywhere - from gardens to playground, from cinema halls to theatres, from streets to bazaars and markets. even they would travel 20-30 kilometres out of town to the Wahgha border post (between India and Pakistan) to enthusiastically witness the flag lowering ceremony by the guards on both sides. They would chant slogans of Pakistan Zindabad (long live Pakistan) that reverberate the surroundings.
Life in Two Lahores
Old Lahore: Although the city has expanded beyond proportions and many new localities have come up since the independence, but the indigenous people or the "Lahories" NOT "Lahorites" still abode the narrow gullies of Walled City (Old Lahore) which is surrounded by a wall, now in a dilapidated condition, with 12 entrances, namely Akbari, Bhaati, Dehli, Kashmiri, Lohari, Masti, Mochi, Mori, Shah-almi, Shairan-wala, Taxali and Yakki Gates. Here people know each other with their faces and ancestors. Some well to do live in old but very well maintained "Havelis". If an on looker really wants to meet the true Lahories, the walled city is the place to visit. Smiling, hospitable, warm hearted and always willing to serve the guests with traditional foods, though heavily oily and peppered, and local beverages like "Lassi and Neembo-Pani (made of fresh lemons, water, sugar and a pinch of salt).
Lahorites love sports, but of heir own kind. Pigeon flying and fight of quails and roosters are also very common sites in Old Lahore. One can see pigeon cages high up on the roof tops on most of the houses of the walled city and elsewhere as well. Rare varieties of pigeons are reared by those who can afford and have the love of them for holding competitions.
Kite flying is their favourite in spring, specially during "Basant", when the entire walled city is on roof tops, day and night. However, due to some irresponsible kite flyers, who used metal strings which caused many a death, the kit flying has been banned in the entire province. Thus a good, cheap and lively sports succumbed to the interest of the few.
New Lahore: With the development of Model Town, the migration from Old to New Lahore commenced. Now many a new and posh localities like the Gulberg, Shah Jamal, Defence (short for Defence Housing Authority - DHA) and many more have surfaced giving a new dimension to the glory of Old Lahore. From Mughal architecture, modern multi storied buildings and large villas abound the New Lahore. The wide roads and boulevards with houses which are generally built on western style with a tinge of eastern style.
Here life style is much different from the Old Lahore, not only in attire but also eating habits. Instead of traditional foods, McDonald and KFC are preferred. Hotelling is more towards 4 - 5 star hotels rather than eating by the roadside. However, when in search of real food, people from New Lahore still flock the Food Streets and many other eateries in Old Lahore and its surroundings. As for attire, generally semi-western dress is worn by educated people while indigenous dress is worn at home. The traditional dress of Kurta and Shalwar (loose shirt and trousers) with a dopatta to cover their heads and upper parts of body. However, these days many hues and designs have been added to it. The women generally wear eye catching colourful dresses. Sari is also worn by women of the upper classes, but not a very common sight. In nutshell, Lahore is a modern progressive city built on a historic old Lahore - however, the Lahorites do not seem to have divorced their past while they move ahead and continue to preserve their majestic past and its grandeur as it is from its old traditions and hues that Lahorites draw their strength and pride.
The historical outlook and the grandeur of Lahore can be divided into three distinct phases; the Mogul Era, the British period and the present day Lahore. Herein under are some of the glimpses of these three periods, describing the shift from the arched galleries and tombs of the Mogul period to triangular shaped construction in the British times and finally the fine blend of western and eastern architecture.
East meets West - The Blend of Two Cultures
The grandeur of old Mogul and Victorian Lahore is changing hands with new architectural designs like the one above.
Two architectural masterpieces - The 54 meter high minaret of the Badshahi Mosque with the flowered shape Minar-e-Pakistan in the background, built at the site where Pakistan Resolution was presented on 23 March 1940.
The WAPDA House building on the Mall Road was the first modern multi storied building that was built in Lahore in the 60s.
- Pros:you will see what u imagin from old to new.......
- Cons:respect the people, culture and tradition......
- In a nutshell:WORTH TO VISIT....
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