Lahore: Lets Visit Urdu Bazaar!!

Text and Photos by: Shiraz Hassan

Urdu Bazaar is one of the busiest markets of Lahore, Pakistan. It is situated at opposite side of Mori Gate of walled city, near Anarkali bazaar.

This bazaar is known for Book selling, publishing, printing, paper and books related material. From school, college course books to world classics literature books are available here. You can get old and new books on the topic of history, science, religion, music, geography, any topic you name.

There Urdu Bazaar starts from Circuler Road, opposite of Mori Gate and ends at Chatterjee Road, Back side of Govt College University Lahore.

Before partition this bazaar was known as Mohan Lal road and just a few book publishers were settled there, at that time Kashmiri bazaar of Delhi Gate area was the home of book publishers, after partitions they started establishing their business here at Mohan Lal road. Within few years this road appeared as big market of books and books related stuff.

In early 1950s traders of Mohan Lal road decided to change the name of Mohan Lal road, they must thought that now they have a separate homeland for Muslims, and non-Muslim road name should be changed. So they called couple of meetings and ended at the name; Urdu Bazaar. Hazeen Kashmiri, one of the oldest Book sellers of Urdu Bazaar, claims that he suggested this name.

Ex-Mohan Lal road was a small road, with few shops, with passage of time the bazaar expended and now there are more than 500 shops.

There were few old buildings here, especially the publishing press of Gulab Singh, which is now known as Printing Corporation of Pakistan Press, a Govt controlled organization.

In good old times, there was also couple of Hindu temples here .Hari Gayan Temple was one of them. It was one of the most beautiful temples of Lahore city. According to Historian Kanhiya Laal Hindi this temple was built by Shri Prasad Kasith, during Sikh era and religious scholar Pandit Sardha Ram Phulwari used to deliver lecture here.

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11 responses to “Lahore: Lets Visit Urdu Bazaar!!

  1. Thank you for your efforts in introducing Urdu Bazaar and its brief history to the readers.
    I have a couple comments to add your message:

    1. Hazeen Kashmiri Sahib is no more with us, he died recently, may his soul rest in peace.
    2. The Unrdu Bazaar would look much better if our shopkeepers refrain from putting up ugly sign boards. I only wish some state agency could control this habit which only adds to confusion and untidiness.

  2. Good effort to present history and present picture of Urdu Bazaar and afraid state agency may not take interest in removing or replacing these ugly these boards have become now part of our culture like electricity wires and cables hanging right over our heads.

  3. @awmir
    I am shocked to know about death of Hazeen Kashmiri. May he rest in peace. Really shocking for me

  4. i shall appreciate something more about the publishing history of lahore with details of all the lanes and bylanes where publishing thrived. Delhi publishing industry is mainly dominated with publishers who migrated from lahore.

  5. Abdul Nasir Mughal

    I am a Lahori working in UAE.I have very nice memories of Urdu Bazaar as many shop keepers provide used books which helps poor students.
    Very often you may find old stuff which is out of print.Once while going to URS of Hazrat Ali Hajveri,I find Maulana Abdul Haleem Sharar;s MANSOOR MOHNA in 50 paisas in 1980 may be.Oh what a deal,I still remember that.
    Long live lahore and kind lahoris

  6. you are such a great blogger…………………..

  7. Whereas some good smaritans are in favour of changing the name of Shadman Chowk, Lahore to Bhagat Singh Chowk, it is not understood why the name of Mohan Lal Road was changed to Urdu Bazar on the basis of Religion. I think there still exist so many Hindu/Sikh names of bazars, streets and cities in Pakistan. Ranjit Singhs Samadh can not be called Ranjit Shaikh’s samadh. Historical facts should be wisely accepted & preserved and not destroyed.
    Can Someone throw more light on Mohan Lal. Who was he?

  8. great shots.

  9. Fantastic blog, I miss lahore…,.

  10. Ranpreet Singh Bal

    Mohan Lal , a Kashmiri Brahmin was a diplomat, and a writer, His wife Hyderi Begum was a Muslim scholar, he played a key role in First Anglo Afghan war, He worked for the British.

  11. PRAVIN KARKHANIS

    Nice information. In fact ,while I visited Lahore in March 2004 for seeing cricket matches played there between India and Pakistan , nobody told me about Urdu Bazar ,otherwise I would have really loved to see it , although I do not know a single alphabet of Urdu. Incidentally, I may inform you that my SAFARNAMA of PAKISTAN ,originally written by me in my mothertongue -Marathi- is translated and published in Hindi and its further translation in beautiful Urdu is in progress..It can be a Best-seller when published in Urdu. Any publisher in Urdu is interested to publish it there at his expenses ? The matter can be sent when ready, in PDF file? ..The name of my travelogue is ,” Manzil-e-maqsood…..Pakistan ” ______ Pravin Karkhanis….Mumbai…India pravinkarkhanis@yahoo.com

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