Revisions to the ‘facts’ on Mubarak Haveli of Lahore

M has sent this piece for Lahore Nama shedding light on the well-known Mubarak Haveli located in old Lahore. This piece was written in response to the information found on this blog. I am publishing this ‘correction’ of facts for the readers. No wonder there is not a single history but several narratives of the past. Raza Rumi

•    During the rule of Muhammad Shah, three amirs namely Bahadur Ali, Nadir Ali, and Babur Ali constructed a haveli in Mochi Gate area. Coinciding with its completion Bahadur Ali was blessed with a son and thus the haveli was named Mubarak Haveli. Prince Shah Shuja ul-Mulk was made to stay at this haveli by Ranjeet Singh, who later forced the prince to surrender Koh-i-Noor to him.
•    On Safar 20, a chehlum procession – forty days after Hazrat Imam Hussain’s (RA) martyrdom – makes its way from Haveli Alif Shaheeyan in Mochi Gate, ending at Karbala Gamay Shah. The mourning ends on the 8th of Rabiul Awal with a procession that originates from an imambargah in Islampura, concluding at Karbala Gamay Shah. Another procession to commemorate the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Ali (RA) on the 21st of Ramadan, which starts from Mubarak Haveli, also concludes at Karbala Gamay Shah, making it the final destination of all mourning processions in the city.

•    In Lahore, the traditional Tazia Alam procession was held from Mubarak Haveli inside Mochi Gate early in the morning and it culminated at Karbala Gamay Shah in the evening after passing through its traditional route. The route of the procession included Imambargah Ghulam Ali Shah, Chowk Nawab Sahab, Mochi Gate, Lal Khoo, Fazal Haveli, Takia Nathay Shah, Koocha Shian, Chuhatta Mufti Baqar, Old Kotwali, Kashmiri Bazaar, Dabbi Bazaar, Sunehri Masjid, Paniwala Talab, Chowk Nogaza, Chowk Tarannum Cinema, Chowk Tibbi, Bazaar Hakeeman, Chowk Novelty, Mohalla Jogian, Oonchi Masjid and Bhaati Gate.

•    On the immediate right of the gate, there exists Mochi Bagh which is one of the major places for political get together in Lahore. Many political, processions and gatherings take place here. Dried fruit markets, kites shops and that of fireworks are the splendor of this historical gate. Fazal Sweet House is the famous sweet shop of the area. Besides, Kabab of this particular gate are also unbeatable. The gate is also a prominent roadway for some reputed Havelis of the Mughal Empire. They include Mubarak Haveli, Nisar Haveli and Laal Haveli etcetera. A number of Imam Bargahs (sacred place of Shia sect) are also located in different Havelis. A big mourning procession appears from Nisar Haveli every year on 10th of Moharam. “Das Kulcha with Lonchara” is the mouthwatering breakfast prepared inside the gate from decades.

•    According to a legend it is named after Moti, a guard of the gate during the Mughal era, who guarded and looked after the gate all his life. The most likely origin of its name, however, seems to be from the word Morchi, which means trench soldier. The Governor’s “Piada” units were stationed here during the pre-Mughal dynasty rule. This is further borne by the fact that the different streets (Mohalla’s) which still bear their old names are the Mohalla Teer-garan (arrow craftsmen), Mohalla Kaman-garan (bow craftsmen). The bazaar around the Mochi gate is renowned for its shops of Dried fruit, kites and fireworks Further inside is the Mohalla Shia, where the traditional Shia (Islamic sect)of Lahore still gather annually, at Moharram (first lunar month of the Islamic calendar) to carry out the Majaalis (Shia religious gatherings) and Maatum (self chest beating)to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. A number of Imaam Bargahs in the form of Haveli’s are situated here. Apart from their religious significance, some are a masterpiece depicting the architecture of their times. Mubarak Haveli, Nisar Haveli and Laal Haveli are, but a few examples. A Kebab Shop, a sweet mart and an Old Khoo (water well) are some of the well known features of Mohalla Shia.In front of the Laal Haveli is the Mochi Baagh. This, until recently, was a lush green patch with shady trees, it is barren now due to its landscaping to become a “speaker’s corner” in the light of its history of it having numerous renowned political leaders addressing the crowds at this place.

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10 responses to “Revisions to the ‘facts’ on Mubarak Haveli of Lahore

  1. Wow! Great article. Thanks for putting it up. Can’t wait to discover this part of the city!!!

  2. Its a nice feeling to know about the deep areas of this city…

  3. very informative Raza!! really nice

  4. But i think Mubarak Haveli is in Bazar Hakeeman in Androon Bhatti Gate next to Fakir Khana, which is a bit far from Mochi gate area. Mubarak Haveli has been converted into a School of Arts by apparently Syed Babar Ali ( Babar Ali bought it out as the haveli belongs to his maternal ancestors, i believe). There definitely exist a Imam Bargah next to Mubarak Haveli from where probably a Muharram procession originates and later join main Nisar Haveli procession near Mochi gate.

    Can somebody correct me on this?

  5. Are there two Mubarak Havelis? The photo above is without doubt of Syed Babar Ali’s maternal home, but the text clearly relates to a building in the Mochi Gate area. Raza Noor has identified a very large haveli near Lakar Mandi Bazaar and Chowk Nawab Sahib as Mubarak Haveli, although someone has identified the same building on Wikimapia as Hisar Haveli.

  6. I think there are two Mubarak Havelis one in Mochi gate and the other in Bazar i Hakeeman Bhatti gate. The picture above seems to be of the Bhatti gate Haveli where now there is the Art school established by Syed Babr Ali.

    • Omar you are correct. The Mubarak Haveli in Mochi Gate is owned and managed by Qazilbash family and the one in Bazar e Hakeeman Koocha Faqeer Khana is named Imam Bargah Mubarak Begum is owned and managed by Wazir Ali family (Of Wazir Ali Industries, also closely related to Faqeer family.
      Syed Babar Ali is member of Wazir Ali family.

  7. hi ya great work mate just to ask u does anyone know about another havaeli in mochii gate which was called kabuli havali please let me know thank u

  8. Unfortunately a wrong photograph of Mubarak Begum Imambargah of Bhatti Gate has been affixed above however the narration is of Mubarak Haveli of Mochi Gate which is also one of the major Imambargahs of Lahore, never heard of Kabuli Haveli in Mochi Gate although was brought up there. However, the Qazalbash of Mubarak Haveli were of Afghan Origins.

    • Hi thanks for ur reply , one another thing would like to ask do u know anything about muhalla chuktiya and also peson name fazal Bakhsh or Allah bukhsh (they died back in 30′s) or the family name “Babri”
      many thanks

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