Lahore, having a history that goes back to a millenium, has seen many rulers come and go, but two names standout from the rest, they being Malik Ayaz, the army general of Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni and the Mughal Emperor Jalaludin Akbar, both played an important part in beautifying Lahore and in consolidating it. In the early 1000's, Lahore was torned by the wars between Sultan of Ghazni and Raj Jaipal. A new Lahore was built above another's demise under the rule of Malik Ayaz. It was Ayaz, who built high mud walls around the city and a new Lahore Fort. Only then the Walled City had one central gateway that being Lahori gate. Almost 500 years later, Emperor Akbar intially built the Lohari gate, it was in his reign that Lahore got its fortified wall around the city, its 13 gates, and the Lahore fort. It was in the 1760's during the Sikh riots, that this area got the most damage but eventually was rebuilt by the British in the same style, they further left a controversy, by putting a marble slab on the gate which had both names of the gate, Lohari and Lahori on it, written in Urdu and English. The name of the gate always has been controversy, it was in the reign of Sultan of Ghazni when people started inhabiting the area after the war, hence this area was known as Lahori..some say it was named after Lohawar, a Hindu god, while others claimed it was called Lohari, because of the blacksmiths who lived there. Eventually with the passing of time, Lohari gate name became popular, leaving all myths behind.
the Wazir Khan Chowk, which is a booming town square in the walled city of Lahore. Chowk is a urdu word that means a market area, a courtyard, a road junction or a roundabout where some streets meet. It was an important feature during the town planning by the Mughals and usually Mughals mosques had a chowk. From Delhi Gate Lahore, taking the road to the Royal Trail and then the straight passage passing through the colorful and living bazaar will lead you to this chowk across Chitta Gate. I think one the best qualities of this part of the city is that it is not just made for tourist or photographers. This is a living town square, that acts like the heart of the old city, where everything and anything comes and goes from. This chowk hub of cultural activities and social gatherings. Unlike a city that seems to be persevered outsiders, walled city of Lahore remains for the locals and is allowed to breath, live and remains ageless on its own terms.
As I passed through that dark mysterious alley, the only thought lingering through my mind was, is this haveli really haunted? The cooing of the pigeons, and the sounds of their wings flapping made my whole experience a little bit more creepy. Still in my thoughts, I entered a vast courtyard, which is quite rare to find in the Walled City nowadays. In front of me was a beauty in ruins, the facade of the building was so fascinating that it took away all my fear, after all the struggle it took me in finding this ancient masterpiece, for the streets of the Walled City are nothing less than a ladybrinth, it left me with a feeling of joy that here it is. Poori Bai, an affluent tawaif/courtesan who lived during the Sikh rule. She built this haveli inside Lohari Gate which is one of the 13 gates of the walled city and was it's first red light district. This haveli is a 2 storeyed building with 32 rooms, The walls of the haveli are heavily decorated with carved balconies and wooden jharokas which is inspired by the Sikh architecture.The elevated gallery running around the courtyard clearly depicts that this haveli was sure once a house of tawaifs aka dancing girls, which were catered with nobility during the mughal rule, as they excelled in music, dance (mujra), theatre, the Urdu literary tradition and further played an important part in its continuation after the weakining of the Mughal Rule in the 1800's. Poori Bai Haveli or Noori Mahal, is a gem of an architecture, hidden inside the walled city, if not taken care in time, this dilapidated haveli will lay itself to rest forever. #Lahore#walledcityoflahore#dawndotcom