Anarkali Bazaar —The Market That Defines Lahore's Diversity

Anarkali Bazaar is named after the fabled lover of Mughal emperor Jahangir. The area that also houses the mausoleum of the ill-fated Anarkali stretches from the Lahori Gate to The Mall.

It is now divided in two parts -- New Anarkali and Old Anarkali. The bazaar defines diversity: from covering monuments in the bazaar to having old homes built from colonial times.

The market has reestablished its excellence due to delightful artworks at the edifices of buildings. If you visit the bazaar during the daytime, youe can experience the area is adorned with beautiful small markets and tongas (carts).

Anarkali Bazaar remains one of the oldest surviving bazaars of South Asia, dating back at least 200 years. It was famous for spices and herbs and people from all over the world used to visit this place. The bazaar encompasses different markets, such as lakar (timber) bazaar; an area designated for jewelry shops, and a market of garment stores that sell Indian saris.

It is also famous for its food. Food stalls that sell bheel purri, channa chaats on painted carts or bicycles dot the landscape of the market, whereas one can not miss the scrumptious samosa and jalebis. But the thing which pulls foodies to this bazaar is the Waris Nehari. Located at Akbari Road, this is one of the best neharis this city has to offer and the shop is often thronged by customers from all over the city.

The bazaar has also made a name for its beverages. You can see people sitting by the roadside having tea made from desi masalas -- also renamed as Matka Chai. If you happen to visit the area on a hot day, don't worry, a cool glass of rabri or pehlwani lassi will do wonders in beating the heat.

Day or night, these roadside shops are always open and you get the plain and cream thick layered lassi as well as rather a macho sounding pehelwan lassi served in kulhads.

The bazaar is full of hustle-bustle and colours that shower it like its covered in glitters. However, this liveliness comes to end at midnight. The bazaar normally shut down after midnight but due to pandemic nowadays the timings are slightly changed.

In short, as a Lahori saying goes jisny Lahore wekihye ni,wo jamia hi ni (you have seen nothing if you have not visited Lahore).

I will leave my article with this beautiful quote written by Nasir Kazmi on Lahore, summing up the beauty of Lahore so well

Shehr e Lahore teri ronaqien dayem aabaad; Teri galiyon ki hawa kheinch k layee mujh ko

(O City of Lahore, may your incessant fervour last forever; The winds of your streets pulled me back to you)