Capturing memories of Lahore in the Old City
One of the big regrets we had last year before the family left, was to capture some photos around Lahore with some of the amazing landmarks as backdrops, and some traditional dress being worn by us. We left it too late last year and couldn’t arrange a last minute photographer, so we missed out. Recently the family arrived back here for a 6 day visit, so another window of opportunity presented itself, so the search for a photographer with 2 days before another departure closed in.
I had been following a local Facebook page names Locally Lahore and the photos and tourist coverage found here had impressed me so I reached out via a PM, and following a brief message exchange and a few phone calls, all was arranged with Zeeshan from Locally Lahore to meet us early on Friday the same week. Given the fact that this was a Friday, the most important religious day here, it was also Good Friday (and last year Lahore had Easter bombings killing over 70), and it was hot, the plan was for an early entry and departure before too many people were around, especially given the area we would head to includes mosques of prominence.
Friday came, and we headed off to the Old City to meet Zeeshan, who was even on time (a rarity here!), and although 8 am, it was already going to be a ‘scorcher’ of a day! (hot in Aussie terms). The Old City is an area also known as the ‘walled city’ and is a fortified area of the old part of Lahore,which goes back to the Mughal era, and was accessible by 13 gates surrounding it, but sadly today, only 5 remain. We met at the Delhi Gate…and unfortunately some political messaging blocked the splendour of this entrance to the old city…
Location 1- Royal Bath and Wazir Khan Mosque
We started off at the Shahi Hamman (Royal Bath) inside the Delhi Gate. This is a Persian style bath house, built around the reign of the Mughal Emperor Sha Jehan in the early 1600’s AD. The baths have been extensively renovated in the last few years and the level of quality and execution of this place as a tourist site is probably the best I have seen in Pakistan, and is like visiting sites in places like Bath, UK with its internal infrastructure and walkways.
The baths were closed, but our Locally Lahore contacts managed to get them opened up, and we were joined by Zeehan’s colleague Moshin here, so now we had a ‘private shoot’. Shots were taken both inside and outside and even on the roof….one challenge thus far was the beaming sun starting to be a bit of a hinderance with ‘sun eyes’ appearing in a few shots!
The spectacular Wazir Khan mosque sits about a 5-10 minute walk inside the Delhi Gate. The mosque was currently undergoing minor renovation works, but is in fantastic condition. the decorative tile work and colour made for a lot of great back ground shots. Wazir Khan was built in seven years, starting around 1634-1635 AD, during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan.
The mosque allowed us to grab some great shots, and after removing our shoes, and the girls placing headscarves on we went throughout the spectacular building.
Location 2 : Lahore Fort (Shahi Qila)
The fort in one element of Lahore that is featured in many photos and has recently been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.This location features more than 20 notable sites, and has been around in various forms of over a 1000 years, but with the most developed construction around the mid 1500’s by Emperor Akbar. the fort has been occupied by a multitude of people, races and religions over the years, from Hindu, Sikh, Mughal, English etc.A full day could easily be spent in this location, and we entered from the newly upgraded Iqbal Park side where already dozens or local families were gathering for family days, picnics and cricket matches. The fort grounds also includes the Sheesh Mahal, a spectacular building within it featuring shimmering mirrors on the walls and ceiling with amazing colour, which was a location too good to miss.
More photos would have been uploaded but my website is being a pain….and http errors are coming, so hopefully if i fix this, more will be added.
Thanks to the team at Locally Lahore.
Aussie in Lahore