Happy Pakistan Day! Today celebrates Republic Day, a national holiday in Pakistan commemorating the Lahore Resolution (passed on 23 March 1940) which made way for the first constitution for the Islamic republic of Pakistan. So I made myself write this post especially for today to share with you my most recent trip to Lahore in February.
This visit to Pakistan was a fleeting 9 days of family, food, faces and R&R. The food was copious and beyond delicious, my in-laws are mostly all good, our niece and nephew (19 and 32 months) have gotten so big and are so beautiful. Lahore was alive, Islamabad was sleepy and we passed through Faisalabad to meet some new family members and spent a dreamy afternoon eating, talking and flying kites off roofs.
This trip we spent one full day out exploring old Lahore and so that’s what I’ll tell you about. I am happily warming more to the chaos every time, as I understand and learn more about the history, people and of Islam and what it really means to be Muslim. On a side note – as I’ve been to Lahore four times now – I’m thinking of rounding up a travel guide of things to see and do – if this is something you’d want to read please let me know below and what you’d want me to cover?!
On my list of things still to see in Lahore were the Dai Anga tomb and Mosque in the old city. Dai Anga was the wet nurse for Shah Jahan (the man who commissioned the Badshahi Mosque and Taj Mahal) and he created a beautiful tomb and Mosque in her honour in 1635! They are both quite easy to miss and not immediately obvious unless you’re following a map AND can ask for directions, however they are both worth the search!
We were the only people at each site and it’s amazing to walk among these beautiful historical relics and imagine how magnificent the Walled City of Lahore must have been. The tomb is currently under construction and there is scaffolding over the entrance while they restore the tiling to its former glory. The gardens are beautiful and this must have been such a sight in its heyday. We were even permitted up on to the roof to see the domes up close which was amazing. And then the mosque was even more amazing! The tiles outside are in wonderful condition and inside is breathtaking.
We then headed right into the centre of the Walled City to go and see the UNESCO Shahi Hammam or the Royal Baths, also built from 1635 I have really wanted to go here for a while and the restoration that took place from 2013-15 to return it to its former glory, has been voted one of the best restorations in Asia!
We then wondered through the heart of the Walled City, where people will smile at you and life opens up behind all closed door and spills out in to the busy alleyways. Old Lahore reminds me very much of Marrakech and you never know what is around the next corner or behind the next set of doors. No corner of the city looks or feels the same and I would love to stay in the centre of the city one day and wonder around all of it. This is where H was born and spend his early years of life before moving to the suburbs and the stories he tells are just magical. Here are some pictures I managed to take on the walk around.
I wanted to head back to Badshahi mosque as I haven’t been again since my first visit in 2014, alas it was getting dark, we were thirsty and the pollution of the city is a bit much so we headed home. Still, we managed to tick off a few more of the sights in Lahore and that leaves more for next time! See my updated Lahore Photo Diary for more like this!
I hope you enjoyed reading and learning and seeing more of Lahore!