Vising Lahore? The bustling Pakistan city has plenty to offer and one of the highlights is the Anarkali Bazaar. Perfect for shoppers looking to jump into the local culture and experience a traditional market. Read on to find out more about the bazaar, including where it is, what to see and do there and our top shopping suggestions.
What is there to see and do at Anarkali Bazaar?
Old and New Bazaar
The bazaar itself is split into two, the old section and the new section. In the new section, you’ll find goods to purchase such as clothes and fabrics and, in the old section you’ll find food stalls and restaurants. Of course, we recommend you weave your way through both areas to get the real feel, but the older section is a must to experience the history of this amazing location.
The Mausoleum of Sultan Qutb ud-Din Aibak of Mamluk Sultanate
For even more history, The Mausoleum of Sultan Qutb ud-Din Aibak of Mamluk Sultanate is another location in the bazaar you should explore. Quṭb al-Dīn Aibak, the 1st Sultan of Delhi, with coronated on the 25th of June 1206 and reigned until November 1210 when he died after falling from a horse. Born in the Turkestan Ghurid Empire, Aibak was separated from his family when only a child was sold as a slave to the Sultan, where he attracted the Sultan’s attention and, throughout his life worked his way up to become the Sovereign ruler of India – an impressive feat! Now, his mausoleum sits in the Anarkali Bazaar and is a must-visit.
What should I buy from Anarkali Bazaar?
Where is Anarkali Bazaar?
The Anarkali Bazaar is located in central Lahore, a popular city in Pakistan. Anarkali itself is the neighbourhood’s name, but you can find the bazaar on the Mall Road.
The World Monuments Fund share more about this historic part of Lahore: “Outside the Walled City of Lahore lies the historic urban neighbourhood of Anarkali—a word for the blossom of pomegranate trees, and the name of a fabled lover of the Mughal Emperor. The area extends south from the Lohari Gate of the old Walled City to across the British-era Mall, a wide, tree-lined boulevard. “Anarkali Bazaar,” as the neighbourhood is known, has many faces, containing within it a lively market, a dense residential zone, and public buildings from the colonial period, including Lahore Museum and several universities. It was to this area that the British administrators were drawn after Lahore and the Punjab became part of British India.”
Why visit Anarkali Bazaar when in Lahore?
The Anarkali Bazaar is one of the oldest surviving markets in the Indian Subcontinent and is thought to date back over 200 years. To this day it’s bustling with activity and excitement, and you can browse a range of local goods and enjoy an authentic Pakistani experience here.
The market itself is named after the nearby Tomb of Anarkali, a mausoleum thought to be built for a girl named Anārkalī, who was chased from the town for having a love affair with Prince Salīm, the future Emperor. This history makes it an integral part of Lahore and by visiting you can experience an authentic part of the city.
Textiles and garments
Pakistani fashion is known for its brightly coloured textiles and garments, examples of which are abundant at the bazaar. Discover hand-embroidered bedsheets, stunning shawls in all the colours of the rainbow, distinguished felt hats, wall hangings and more. For those who want a memento of their time in Lahore, picking up some textiles and garments is a must.
Fashion continues as the range of jewellery on offer here will astound you. Everything is reasonably priced, so you can be sure to pick up a bargain and some unique pieces to add to your collection back at home. In Pakistan, jewellery is an essential part of everyday wear and the pieces you’ll find here are bejewelled, intricate and stunning.
Look around the Old Market for some delicious traditional foods. When you enter, the warming smells of local spices and dishes will overcome you and you’ll certainly be tempted. Dried fruits and nuts are fantastic as a snack, but you can also find a range of restaurants if you are looking for something a bit more substantial.
Hear us out, yes, it might seem bizarre to go shopping for a light fixture whilst on holiday but, once you enter the bazaar, you’ll see why this is a suggestion. You’ll see thousands of intricate light fixtures on offer here, some with coloured stained glass and others with pattern metal cases all calling out to be bought and taken home. If you are looking for a statement piece for your home, a light fixture from Anarkali is the answer.
Taken by the charms of Lahore? Our London to Lahore flights can get you to this frenetic city in no time and give you the chance to experience the bustling Anarkali Bazaar, as well as the rest of the city’s treasures.
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