Category Archives: visitors

A bus tour along the royal trail

Mariam Mushtaq

The Disco Laari Project offers a fun and engaging tour along Lahore’s historical paths

disco lari

The Disco Laari Project, co-owned by three young friends including Asser Malik (in white) aims to give foreign tourists and Lahoris a real taste of the city’s rich, historic culture. It includes a taste of the city’s delicious cuisine, which includes the fiery tawwa chicken.

Ever wonder how Lahore’s infamous Heera Mandi got its name? Or who the architecturally magnificent Wazir Khan Mosque is named after? Ever felt the desire to follow in the footsteps of Mughal royalty, wander the narrow streets of Lahore’s inner city where princes and nawabs once roamed, all the while sampling authentic Lahori delicacies as you browse through tiny shops in markets that can be traced back to a hundred years?

The Disco Laari Project makes it possible to do all this and much more. A guided tour of Lahore’s walled city that starts off in a pimped-out bus and ends with a meal had in the shadow of the imposing Badshahi Mosque, the Disco Laari Project is just a couple of months old but already garnering the attention of locals and visitors alike.

The initiative is the brainchild of three friends – Faisal Naeem, Asser Malik and Taimur Ehtisham, two of whom gave up lucrative job offers post-college to take the plunge and do something they all believed in wholeheartedly. “We wanted to show people the real Lahore, discover its hidden gems and experience its rich culture so we can be proud of our city, instead of taking it for granted as most of us do,” says Faisal.

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A walk through heritage

This article was originally published in The News on Sunday

Haroon Akram Gill

A walk through heritageAround 600 photographers from all over Pakistan and other countries i.e. Philippines, Bulgaria, Belgium, UK, USA, and Germany participated in the Walk. — Photos by the author

The Walled City is home to the cultural and architectural heritage of Lahore. Its blind arches and the pillars of its buildings, elegant havelis, multi-storey houses, wooden doors and windows and, above all, its famous Gates are some of the old city’s glorious features, all of which have long fascinated the tourists, especially those coming from outside the city/country. Though, terrorist incidents badly hit the tourism industry over the years, the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) is trying hard to pull the tourists back in, by organising cultural activities; ‘Photo Tourism Walk’ being one such event.

The WCLA claims to have introduced the concept of photo tourism by holding walks in 2012. The Photographic Society of Pakistan, having almost 20,000 members (all photographers) is a major partner and has contributed to projecting and saving the heritage. Continue reading

Amy Herdy’s Pakistan travel diary

By Amy Herdy 

Editor’s note: Amy Herdy, a former Denver Post and Channel 9 journalist who’s currently the advisor for the University of Colorado at Boulder’sCUIndependent.com online newspaper, is in Pakistan under the auspices of the State Department. Her mission: to give students and professional journalists the tools they need to improve the media in their country. 

I am heading to Pakistan as part of the speaker program for the U.S. State Department. I am to give journalism workshops on the topics of advanced interviewing and trauma journalism.

To say you are going to Pakistan is to suddenly render people hard of hearing.
“Pakistan? PAKISTAN? You’re going to Pakistan?” is the reaction I’ve gotten from various people at least a half-dozen times this past week after being asked if I had any travel plans for the summer. Continue reading

Urs of Mian Mir from 5th

Miniature depicting Hazrat Mian Mir and his disciple, Mullah Shah, in conversation with Prince Dara Shikoh.

Miniature depicting Hazrat Mian Mir and his disciple, Mullah Shah, in conversation with Prince Dara Shikoh.

LAHORE (APP) – The 385th annual urs of Hazrat Mian Mir will begin on March 5 (Thursday). Secretary Auqaf Punjab Khizar Hayat Gondal will inaugurate the two-day urs celebrations by performing traditional chadar laying ceremony on the grave of sufi saint.
Punjab Auqaf Department has granted Rs 200,000 for holding urs celebrations and facilitating the visitors coming from all over the country, a spokesman of Auqaf Department told APP on Sunday.
Ulema and Mashaikh will highlight the teachings of Hazrat Mian Mir during urs days. Mehfil-e-Sama will also be held in which renowned qawwals will present religious poetry on the occasion.

East-West exchanges: Lahoris interact with a visiting author

Lahore Nama hosted a small discussion group Lorraine Adams yesterday. Miranda Husain, freelance journalist and a writer  – also an active participant at the event – reports below:

We are happy to humbly term our discussion group with Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist Loraine Adams a resounding success, with most of those gathered proudly showcasing their verbal animation skills!

Ms Adams may now be known to many as a critically acclaimed novelist. However, her extensive career in political and investigative journalism means that behind the creativity lies a woman with a solid understanding of US foreign policy, especially within the global war on terror context. Significantly, she believes that despite the recent regime change in Washington, Pakistan remains immensely vulnerable in the face of the world’s largest military machine.

And this really sums up the reason behind Ms Adams’ visit.

Viewing fiction as the best means of engaging the reader’s imagination – while continuously reiterating a shared humanity – Ms Adams has deliberately chosen to set her next novel in modern day Lahore. Thus she aims to use the reader-character relationship as a vehicle to debunk the many false or distorted stereotypes about this country and its people. Such efforts must not only be welcomed, but be seen for what they are: Ms Adams’ personal contribution to the discourse on Pakistan and its position on the world stage at this critical political juncture.

Refreshingly, Ms Adams is not bashful when it comes to recognising that she, as an American and also as a Pulitzer Prize winner, is taken seriously when engaging in such dialogue. Equally refreshingly, this does not stop her from trying to seek out the entire octave range of the Pakistani voice. For she does not believe in speaking for people, but in listening to them.

This is why she asked those gathered to fill in any gaps in her research approach. Thus the discussion leapt from the real or imagined Western media bias against Pakistan to insistent requests that she visit Old Lahore. Also touched upon were issues of class divisions at the national and provincial levels based, among other things, on language. However, the recurring theme appeared to be the heterogeneous nature of Pakistan and its multiple identities, even though these were, admittedly, restricted to the Muslim realm, with no real mention of minority group identities.

Nevertheless, the discussion’s fundamental success was this: what began as a Western-Eastern exchange of perspectives transformed into an exchange of ideas on a human level. And such exchanges must never be underestimated.

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Lahore Nama would like to thank Ayesha Nasir for the geneorus hospitality and a great venue for this event.

Images above are from here and here

‘Lahore is a city of tremendous beauty and lights’

Damanbir Singh Jaspal- GUEST IN TOWN

Lahore is a city of tremendous beauty and lights. I stay in Lahore whenever I came to Pakistan, as this city has its own historical features that cannot be forgotten, Damanbir Singh Jaspal, Information and Public Relations principal secretary (Transport) for the government of Indian Punjab, said on Saturday.

Jaspal is in Lahore not only on an official tour, but is also carrying out a research on 48 shrines that are named after 17 species of trees.

The study he has done in India, and now doing in Pakistan, includes photographs of the shrines – with the trees in the foreground – a description of botanical feature of the trees, and the relationship between the species and the historical and the religious background of the shrines. Continue reading