Asif Khan’s whithering tomb

Monitoring Desk – Asif Khan’s tomb is situated among a group of monuments situated in what was once the Mughal Dilkusha Bagh (Heart-expanding Garden) in Shahdara.

The group includes a cluster of interlinked monuments of a serai forming the forecourt which leads on the east to the spectacular tomb of Emperor Jahangir, built by his celebrated wife Empress Noor Jahan, and on the west to a mosque and the tomb of Asaf Khan or Asaf Jah, one of the most powerful grandees at the courts of Jahangir and Shah Jahan. Close by is situated the tomb built to house the mortal remains of Empress Noor Jahan and her daughter Princess Ladli Begam.

A left turning from the Maqbara Road leads to the cluster marked by a double-storey imposing Mughal gateway. From here the route is by foot since the direct access since the entrances on three sides of his Chahar Bagh Rauza (paradisal garden mausoleum) were blocked in recent times. The route is to turn left towards the mosque in Chowk-i-Jilau Kham (Jahangiri Serai quadrangle).Click here to read complete article.

Lahore in 1933 – an aerial view

These original aerial photographs of old Lahore or the Inner City were shot in 1933. Zahra Mahmoodah has generously contributed them from a recently acquired album for Lahore Nama.

We invite the readers to identify the landmarks and buildings that are captured in the above photograph. Lahore remains the most beautiful city and in the 1930s it was surely a splendour!

Love you, Lahore

By Chintan Girish Modi:

It was my last evening in Lahore. We were at the famous Cuckoo’s Den
restaurant in Heera Mandi. Artist Iqbal Hussain’s labour of love, trying to
reclaim the lost glory of this cultural hub, is a lovely space, especially
if you are seated on the terrace, overlooked by a magnificent view of the
historic Badshahi masjid.

While everyone else was waiting for their dinner to arrive, Haroon and I
excused ourselves for a while. He wanted to say something. It took a while
for the words to come. “Chintan, we would have been such good friends if we
were living in the same city. We share so much in common. I hate
Partition,” he said. I was deeply struck by that spontaneous expression of
friendship. It was a reaffirmation of the respect and affection I had felt
for Haroon since the day we first met. I was overwhelmed, so there was a
long pause before I said, “I know, it’s so unfortunate. But we must stay in
touch. I think I’m going to cry when I leave.” I did.

Haroon, 27, is an anthropologist by training, works at the Citizens Archive
of Pakistan, and is deeply interested in recovering and celebrating the
lost histories of minorities in Pakistan. His remarkably pluralistic
perspective is informed by the rigour of reading, observing, listening and,
perhaps most importantly, questioning. Imagine having someone like that
show you Lahore, with anecdotes at every corner, poetry at every instant.
Well, almost.

I was part of a 21-member delegation that crossed the Wagah Border near Amritsar to spend five days in Lahore, thanks to Exchange for Change, a collaborative program run by Routes 2 Roots, a Delhi-based non-profit organization and the Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP), which has offices in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad. The reciprocal visits of students and teachers from Pakistan to India and from India to Pakistan were planned as the last leg of the year-long exchange program that involved 2400 students from Karachi, Lahore, Delhi and Mumbai.

Through an exchange of letters, postcards, photographs and oral history
recordings, this program sought to help students from both sides of the
border appreciate the possibility and merits of sustained dialogue in order
to gain a clearer understanding of their shared history, culture and
lifestyles. This material was exchanged in the hope that it would clarify
misconceptions, dispel misinformation about historical events and empower children to reject inherited prejudices and form their own opinions based on personal experience.

Correspondence over long distances, literal and metaphoric, does have its
own charm. However, meeting people in flesh and blood is significantly more powerful. I mean the two schools we visited, City School and ILM. The welcome ceremonies, special assemblies and performances, guided tours, free-flowing interactions, lavish meals and photo sessions gave us a rich experience of their warmth and hospitality. I also mean Haroon Khalid, Anam Zakaria and Owais K. Rana, three amazing young people in their 20s, doing important and inspiring work at CAP, beautifully representative of a Pakistan that most Indians don’t know. They live in a society that is often dismissed as traditional, orthodox and unworthy of being engaged with. In their little personal choices, however, they resist becoming just what they are expected to be, in matters of gender, food and faith.

We visited some of the loveliest places in Lahore – Jehangir’s tomb, Data
Darbar, Gawal Mandi, Iqbal’s tomb, Lahore Fort, Lahore Museum, Gurudwara Dehra Sahib, Liberty Market and Government College. We dined at some of the most amazing eateries there – Dera, Peeru’s Cafe, Chatkhara, Uptown LA, Cuckoo’s Den, Nairang Cafe. We lived in one of the best hotels the city has – Avari. However, my fondest memories of Lahore are of the Lahoris — the lovely people from CAP, the friendly hotel staff at Avari from manager to janitor, singer Shafqat Amanat Ali who made time to sing for us, the qawwals at Peeru’s Cafe, the Vice Chancellor of Government College who humbled us with his hospitality, the shopkeepers, the immigration officials, just about everyone.

I feel a deep gladness that is difficult to describe. I am reminded of that
first evening in Lahore when I was a bit unwell and chose to have just
nimbu paani for dinner. Haroon was seated right next to me. We talked about Kabir, Shah Latif, Bulleh Shah and much else. We had just met and he wanted to know how I felt about visiting Pakistan. I began to speak without reserve.

I’m 26 now, and I had been waiting for this trip since the last 15 years or
more. I remember getting quite upset as a child when people said hostile
things about Pakistan. I spoke of my desire to see Pakistan, and I was either snubbed, scolded or laughed at.
Being able to eventually go despite the bureaucratic and political hurdles, border crossings and stringent visa procedures, was a great feeling. For me, crossing the border was never about setting foot into enemy country. The feeling I had was that of walking into an old ancestral family home. Haroon’s face lit up when he heard this. He said, “I know this might sound like a cliche but I really mean it. Welcome home!”
An edited version of this was published here:

Kos Tower and Milestones of Lahore

by Rai Muhammad Azlan Shahid

The Rule of Sher Shah Suri that started in 1540 has always been considered as one of the best eras this land has ever seen in recent history. He remained ruler of India only for five years, but those five years were marked by progress and reform. Jarneli Sarak also known as GT Road in India is one of his great achievements.  During his rule he worked on infrastructure of territory, three major roads were constructed on his order and collectively these roads are thousands of miles in length. First road was from Sanaar village to river Sindh, the second road connected Bengal to Agra, and the third road was built to connect Lahore to Delhi. Along with major roads link roads were also built, trees were planted on the both sides of the roads; inns were built at every 2 Kos (3.6KM) with all the required facilities.

When Jalal u Din Akbar became the king of India, he announced Lahore as his capital city and built 30 feet high wall around the city and 13 gates to enter in the city. One of the gates is facing towards Delhi and that is why it was named as Delhi Gate. First Kos Tower (just like milestone in Kos unit) is situated around 3.6 Km away from Delhi gate.

Historians have different opinions over its construction, as some of the historians have declared it construction of Suri era and some declare that Akbar built it. However, history books also mention that Mughal King Jahangir was also keen to facilitate the travellers and passengers. In 14th year of his rule, trees on the both sides of Lahore to Arga road were planted, after every Kos a tower was built that is known as Kos Tower or Kos Minaar, every Kos tower used to have a proper well of water. Such facts indicate that there were proper facilities for the travellers on the Lahore to Delhi road even before the Jahangir era and for this achievement credit goes to Sher Shah Suri and his vision. However still it is not clear if this Kos Tower was built by Jalal u Din Akber or Sher Shah Suri. Continue reading

Lahore cuisine: Spicy Katlamaas, a snack of all seasons

By  Raza Rumi

Lahore’s walled city is famous for its Katlmaas (deep fried bread with spices and herbs). As a child I used to love them. Now I am hesitant due to the calorie count. This video brought back so many memories. Am sharing it for the readers.

View of sunset in Pakistan’s Lahore

Photo taken on Feb. 20, 2012 shows the view of sunset in eastern Pakistan's Lahore. [Xinhua/Jamil Ahmed]

Photo taken on Feb. 20, 2012 shows the view of sunset in eastern Pakistan’s Lahore. [Xinhua/Jamil Ahmed]

‘Saddened Mona Lisa’ and other paintings – experimental art from Lahore


Art of, and for, Syyed Iqbal Geoffrey – – he being a genuine mussawere (artist) and a prominent vakil ( facilitator of justice-with-love) acclaimed by Sir Herbert Read as an “Astonishing Phenomenon” and Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has graciously described him as “The Arts Counsel of Great Britain   – –  is not a born-again outlet or some glittering outage chamaking (shinning on a Cash ‘N  Carry basis in Neverneverland. (References : Zoha Noor-Fatima A. Haider (London)* & Suellen W. Liker (Phoenix)**

(above: SELF=PORTRAIT TOO [1962-2012] : “HER MAJESTY THE QUEEN WITNESSING THE FIRST DROP OF DEW FALLING ON INDIGENOUS MAN’GO!!” oil and mixed media on cardboard-canvas; size 47 inches x 27 inches .. current token price PRs 78600.92P. (may not be acquired at this important stage of its creation by any foreigner). Subject to increases with notice.)

Continue reading

A love affair in Lahore

By HP News Network:

New Delhi : Hira Mandi, the traditional red light quarter of Lahore, lives in the popular mindscape through its stories of longing, loss and ‘mujras’ after the Pakistan government clamped down on prostitution in the 1970s, says noted French writer Claudine Le Tourneur d’lson.

Her fictional biography, “Hira Mandi”, based on the life story of Iqbal Husain, the son of a Hira Mandi courtesan, has connected to the English-speaking world with its first-ever translation by the capital-based Roli Books.

The novel, originally written in French in 2006, went on sale in India this week after an informal launch at the Alliance Francaise in the capital Monday. It will debut in Pakistan at the Karachi Literature Festival starting Saturday.

Claudine describes the book “as her love affair with the people of Hira Mandi, with whom she had spent weeks in Lahore as if she was a part of them”.Click here to read complete article

Wanton urbanisation defaces Lahore

By Zeeshan Mahmood Siddiqi

Several industrial zones, which were far away from the city two decades or so ago, have now been surrounded by residential areas owing to rapid urbanisation.—File Photo

LAHORE: Massive migration of people from small towns and cities to Lahore primarily in search of livelihood has resulted in haphazard expansion of the provincial metropolis.

Several industrial zones, which were far away from the city two decades or so ago, have now been surrounded by residential areas owing to rapid urbanisation.

Ironically, a hospital set up by the City District Government of Lahore on Mohni Road for the treatment of tuberculosis patients has chemical factories just 50 feet from it.

More than 700 industrial units including steel foundries, re-rolling mills, kilns and furnaces, scrap yards and plastic recycling units have been operating in various localities of Northern Lahore alone, according to an officer of the Punjab Environment Department.Click here to read complete article

Deaths in building collapse expose travesties galore: HRCP

Lahore, February 8: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed alarm and incredulity at the shoddy state of affairs that led to the tragic death of nearly two dozen people in Lahore when a boiler explosion reportedly brought down a three-storey ‘pharmaceutical laboratory’.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Commission said: “Our heart goes out to the families of the poor workers killed in the collapse of a so-called pharmaceutical laboratory building in Lahore on Monday. The disaster has exposed the utter non-existence of any regulatory system, which is as horrific as it is incredible. We now learn that the factory was operating without a licence and in a residential area, that most of the workers were women and very young children employed in clearly exploitative conditions, that the establishment had not been assessed for environmental impact and the premises had not been inspected because the provincial government have abolished labour inspectors’ visits to factories since 2002. The banning of labour inspection is a travesty that amounts to the government’s acquiescence into industrialists’ greedy operations above all else. How such an indefensible policy continues to prevail says something about the persuasive power of big business.

“If such appalling exploitation and illegalities go on unnoticed and unchecked in the country’s second largest city, it should not be too difficult for anyone, including the rulers, to imagine how bad things must be in places that are not quite so close to the seat of government or are not as well covered by the media. Those in power must realise that the people have entirely reasonable and exceedingly diminishing expectations of the government safeguarding their interest. They must preempt such tragedies rather than reacting with posthumous compensation packages and rhetoric. There is plenty of blame to go around and fixing such a broken system would take some doing. For the workers at the factory in Lahore it is too late but for the sake of countless others who continue to work in similar and worse conditions, it is hoped and demanded that the government shows some imagination and spine to put a stop to the policies that make a mockery of the people’s rights and precipitate such disasters.”


Zohra Yusuf


Laal: Surkh Ghata

In Lahore, history falls apart

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Lahore- a short film by Nashmia Khan

Posted by Raza Rumi:

I was completely dazzled by this rather off-beat short film on Lahore by Nushmia Khan. She tries to defy the conventional way of capturing a city and succeeds in capturing some fine moments of this gorgeous city. The  music has been composed by Basheer & The Pied Pipers

The lost son of Lahore

By Shreya Ray:

It is an uncanny coincidence that Nawab Muhammad Ahmad Khan Kasuri, the magistrate who signed the death warrant of Bhagat Singh, was killed, more than 40 years later, at the same spot as the 23-year-old freedom fighter. The roundabout in Shadman Colony, Lahore—where the execution chambers of the Lahore Central jail used to be—is where the magistrate was shot in 1974. Not that many Pakistani youngsters know these details about Singh’s death, or even that he was from Lahore; to them he’s the guy Ajay Devgn played in a Bollywood movie.

Resurrecting Singh—and reclaiming him—as a son of Lahore is Pakistan’s Ajoka theatre group, in the first-ever Pakistani production on the freedom fighter, Mera Rang De Basanti Chola. The play, to be staged today at the National School of Drama’s (NSD’s) Bharat Rang Mahotsav, is third in a series of Ajoka’s plays that question the Arabised Pakistani identity, and emphasize its roots with the Indian subcontinent. Drawing constant parallels with contemporary society, peppered with traditional folk song and dance (including a Tangewala ki ghodi, a type of Punjabi folk song on the verge of extinction), this is a typical Ajoka play.Click here to read complete article.

Introducing Artesia Photography

Lahore is proud to have Artesia Photography that offers services for portraiture and casual outdoor photo shoot in Lahore. They also do commercial photography, for promotion purposes, and have worked with non-governmental organization for awareness campaign photography, along with journalistic projects for news organizations. For more detailed portfolio, visit

An old folk song on Lahore

Singer: Narinder Biba

Old Punjabi Folk Song ‘Daal Dass Shehar Lahore Ander Kinne Boohe Te Kinnian Baarian Ne’


The Water and Power Development Authority was created in 1958 to develop Pakistan’s water and energy potential.  The WAPDA Building, located at Lahore’s Charing Cross, shares views of the Summit Minar and Punjab Assembly Building along with the Masonic Lodge, Shah Din and Alfalah Buildings.  It is one of the icons of the city’s architectural landscape.

The WAPDA Building was designed by the American Architect Edward A. Stone and completed in 1960.  Until about a decade ago, the building also housed, below the ground floor, the Saloo’s Restaurant.  With that closed, the public’s entry into the building is restricted.  I’ve had the chance, once or twice, to visit the building and never fail to take pictures of it when I can (though Architect Rana Atif Rehman has done a good job documenting its exterior).  I’m posting two for your distraction.

Shaheed Bhagat Singh at Lahore Railway Police Station

Shaheed Bhagat Singh photographed secretly at Lahore Railway Police Station, during his first arrest 29 May to 4 July 1927 – in connection with Lahore Dussehra Bomb Case (25 Oct 1926) with Gopal Singh Pannu DSP, CID Lahore.

Posted by:  Shiraz Hassan

Documentary on Hazrat Ali Hajveri Part1

Black Sheep in Black Coats

By Kashif Chaudhry:

Lawyers are considered an educated community. However, recent events by upholders of this legal profession have mesmerized civil society and left our heads hang low in shame.

The lawyers, instead of following the law they have taken oath to safeguard, decorated the murderer Mumtaz Qadri with flowers on more than one occasion. Elsewhere, the black coats have been a regular part of pro-Qadri processions. They can be seen chanting slogans such as, “Qadri tere Jan Nisaar Beshumar, Beshumaar” and “Hurmat-e-Rasool par Jan bhi Qurban hai.” They were also one of the first to offer funeral prayers of Osama bin Laden, even though he was not a Pakistani and had done nothing except give the country bad name. Continue reading