Anarkali

For some reason, maybe because I’m the “outsider” here, the boring talk about the stuff that people who live here tend to take for granted seems to be left to me by default. It’s ok though, I’ve been one of those monument-haunting, camera-weilding people-who-hate-being-called-tourists here long enough :)

lahore-bazaar.jpg
Source: http://www.travel-culture.com/au/lahore-bazaar.jpg
Anarkali was one of the first places that I wanted to see the moment I landed in Lahore. It’s not just a gigantic sprawling shopping mall-type place. It’s more like an entire village of twisting alleys and shops and stalls. For those who are familiar with Karachithis place is a rabi center, a zainab market, a hyderi and several tariq roads (i guess sans than rabi center :p) all bunched together in a happy dirty festival.

(It’s weird how many places here resemble sprawling festivals that spring to life every single day like strangeold and reliable whirring machines – food street, anarkali, liberty, minigolf…)
That’s an oldish picture though – you don’t see nearly as many horsecarts around as you do in that picture.

It’s still a collection of sometimes wide, sometimes squeezed-in dirty, overcrowded, winding streets though. And if you start walking, it takes you about three hours to go through a decent slice of the place before getting sick of the weird stares and crazy bargaining and heading back to a faraway parked car.

You can get everything from fake designer bags to shoes to wigs to clothes to lights to real and fake antique jewellry to books here. I’ve seen starry eyed people emerge from this place with shiny accessorised souls.

Most people don’t just take a stroll down this street though. They come here on missions. I’ve been part of fairy lights search teams, inexpensive-sports-gear search teams and inexpensive-red-shawl search teams – all of which have found their heaven and retirement home and seas in different corners and niches of this place.

arnakali-basar_lahore.jpg
Source: http://www.suedasien.net/images/pakistan/leute/arnakali-basar_lahore.jpg
Another picture that I found when I looked up ‘anarkali’ on images.google was an unexplained picture of this street that I’m almost sure doesn’t belong to anarkali, but lies in wait close enough for anyone who wants some icecream later: the street with chaman icecream, arguably the most delicious icecream on this or any other planet as we know it.

2 Comments so far

  1. yasir (unregistered) on July 7th, 2005 @ 1:18 am

    If there’s one place I associate with Lahore, it’s Anarkali. This might have been the first thing when I was moving near Old Anarkali. I just love strolling down the street and just watching people, not to mention the shoping spree every now and then; my only passage going towards Urdu Bazaar but I love having a look at the book stall at near the entrance. The place has always been a legendry to me. The more I visit Anarkali, the more it lends to my weird world of fascination!


  2. yasir (unregistered) on July 7th, 2005 @ 1:22 am

    Plus, I might be able to post some latest pictures of Anarkali – let me shoot first :P

    And I’ve lots of Lahore images for the banners, hate using net these days – they say its gonna take 4 more days. Grrrrr…



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