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Pakistan: One perfect day in Lahore

14. January 2016, 0 Comments
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How to start the day in the best way possible

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Lawrence Garden ©freidaycat 2015

6:00 am: A morning stroll in Bagh-e-Jinnah

Get up as early as you can and take a walk in this beautiful park formerly known as Lawrence Garden. The large green space is never as nice as in the crisp and fresh morning hours. You can discover a lot of exotic plants, hear the singing of birds and the tedious screaming of flying foxes and I can assure you that you will be accompanied by the gentle smiles of everyone you meet.

 

Adress: Mall Rd, Lahore, Pakistan

Try not to get caught in the midday heat 

After the refreshing walk in the park, go back to your hotel, guesthouse, host, and take a good filling breakfast and take a rest. You still have a lot on the list for the day! 😉

 

 

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Lahore Museum ©freidaycat 2015

11:00 am: Lahore Museum

Matter of expense for foreigners: 400 Rupees ( 3,50€/ 3.75$/ 2.60 £)

The current building of Lahore Museum was designed by the well-known architect Sir Ganga Ram by the end of the 19th century. The Museum is the biggest museum in Pakistan. Unfortunately a number of rooms have been under repair for a long time (which are obviously executed in a poor way and demonstrating a classical case of  “fixing something until it is fully broken!) and therefor closed, others still show a rather old-fashioned and often rudimental display of objects, but that is exactly the charming thing about this place. It is far from being a sterile “Temple of Art”. All the captions are now also translated into English, in contrast to some of the information you find online.

The Museum contains some fine specimens of Mughal and Sikh door-ways and wood-work and has a large collection of paintings dating back to the Mughal, Sikh and British periods. It includes musical instruments, ancient jewellery, textiles, pottery, and armory. You can find some Tibetan and Nepalese work on display as well as an impressive collection of Buddha statues from all over Asia. The Fasting Buddha from the Gandhara period is one of the most famous objects of the museum.

 

Adress: Mall Rd, Lahore, Pakistan

 After a short lunch break…

… that you spend best in one of the countless Chicken Tikka shops! Dare to try them, you will not find any other chicken as fresh as those that get just slaughtered in the moment you ordered a grilled chicken 😉

 

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Sikh Temple ©freidaycat 2015

2:00 pm: Gurdwara Dehra Sahib Sri Guru Arjan Dev

This one is a little tricky, since they normally do not allow people inside this Sikh Temple that are not Sikh. But after some time of convincing the guard that we came all the way from Germany and Australia to see this place (and with the help of a 500 Rupee bill and the tourist bonus 😉 ) we could enter. We got shown around by a young Sikh and he explained us everything in the little bit he knew in English. It is a special and colourful, different to every other religious place I have been to before.

 

Adress: Walled City, Lahore, Pakistan

 

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Shahi Hammam ©freidaycat 2015

4:00 pm: Delhi Gate and Shahi Hamam:

Matter of expense for foreigners: 1000 Rupees ( 8,50€/ 9 $/ 6.50 £)

Delhi Gate is one of the 13 gates of Lahore, built by Akbar the Great, 3rd Mughal Emperor, who enclosed the city of Lahore in red brick walls during the 16. century. This gate is an opening towards Delhi which was the capital of the Mughal dynasty. By passing it you enter the heart of the Old Town Lahore which holds many treasures…

The Shahi Hamam is built inside the Gate in 1634, covering an area of 1110 sqm. The single story building is an unique specimen of public hamams in Pakistan and one of the last ones still existing today. Noteworthy is also the remarkable condition it is in, being one of the rare historical sights in Pakistan that underwent an appropriate restoration.

 

 

Adress: Walled City, Lahore, Pakistan

Into the heart of the Old City Lahore

Step out of the Hammam and back into the messy market street in the Old City. Heavily embroidered fabrics, dates in all types and variations, neatly stacked up in the display to both sides. Colourful decorated flower chains around the necks of the goats that are crossing our way, petulant, having to be forced by their inpatient owners to move, probably knowing that the end of their walk will not end well for them.

After a short walk you will arrive at a rather inconsiderable square, mainly packed with parked motorbikes and foot booths – as most of Lahores squares are. Cross it, walk up some steps, walk through a gate into the darkness of a vestibule that is quickly to traverse, take off your shoes and step back into the light of the approaching sunset. Find yourself in the courtyard of the Masjid Wazir Khan that is literally glowing in the warm and reddish light of the fading day.

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Masjid Wazir Khan ©freidaycat 2015

6:00 pm: Masjid Wazir Khan

My absolute highlight in Lahore. Go there just before the sun sets and indulge into this unique atmosphere.

This Mosque was built in 1634-35 A.D. during the reign of Mughal Emperor Shahjehan by Ilam-ud-Dinansar, commonly known as Nawab Wazir Khan, the same governor who ordered to build the Shahi Hammam. The mosque was completed in about 7 years, incredibly quick given its size, and the unbelievibly detailed decoration. The entire mosque is built with small bricks with a sprinkling of red sand stone. Even the grills are in terracotta. The most outstanding architectural features are its octagonal four corner minarets, 107 feet high, over and over covered in mosaique tiles. A bazar consisting of 22 shops forms an integral part of the plan of the mosque which is the first ever providing a bazaar.

Make sure you find the old man with the key to one of the minarets and climb up the stairs that lead to what feels like the rooftop of the Old City. I was in around a lot of mosques in the last couple of years but this was the first time I was allowed to go up the minaret. And it was breathtaking! Behind you the busy street market, in front of you the calm and peaceful courtyard of the mosque – I assure you to be left speechless by the beauty of this moment.

 

(Here are Chris and me discovering the Hamam and Masjid Wazir Khan with our friend Hasan 🙂

Adress: Walled City, Lahore, Pakistan

To end the day // Um den Tag abzuschließen

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Madonna in front of the Mosque, Cuckoo’s Den ©freidaycat 2015

8:00 pm: Cuckoo’s Den

A restaurant how you have never seen it before. I would come back here again and again just for the atmosphere, the decorations, the art and the incredible view onto the Badshahi MosqueI do not want to give away too much already, since I am planning a special article about the restaurant and the fascinating story of its owner. So stay tuned!

 

Roshan Gate, 2168/A Food St Fort Rd, Lahore, Pakistan

 

And in case you wonder what would be the best option to move around Lahore if you are not yet brave enough to take a Rickshaw:

Of course Savaree! 😉 (www.savaree.co)

 

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