Lahore once called “the Paris of the east” still stays the center of attraction for everyone especially in the past few years. The present day Lahore is divided into three regions. The old city existed for at least a thousand years and is situated in and around the circular road. The second region is basically the Lahore which was built by the Britishers, covers the area from Mayo Hospital to the Canal Bank on the east. Third region is the Lahore which includes various posh localities such as Bahria Town, Defence Housing Authorities along with several others areas which are developed after the partition of the subcontinent.
History tells us that Lahore was named after Lava, son of the Hindu god Rama, who supposedly founded the city. However, the recorded history of Lahore is not more than some thousands years. Lahore is the second largest city of Pakistan and the provincial capital of Punjab as well. Considering the importance of its geographic location, Lahore has always been a center of all eyes in one way or other. Lahore is renowned for its famous and historical places like Punjab University, Shalamar Gardens, Jehangir’s Tomb, Jinnah Gardens, Jallo Park, lqbal Park and Changa Manga Forests which attracts visitors from all around Pakistan. Lahore has also been known as the city of saints. Data Ganj Baksh Mazar is visted by thousands of people from all over the country throughout the year.
EMERGENCE OF MODERN LAHORE
Modern Lahore has really emerged in the past few years, includes modern buildings, shopping plazas, five-star hotels, broad avenues and boulevards in the uptown accommodations of Gulberg and Defense. An ancient Punjabi saying states, “One who has not seen Lahore, hasn’t been born. The Liberty and the Gulberg Market of Modern Lahore are also quite famous for shopping. Other modern places include The Mall of Lahore, Pace, PC and the M. M. Alam Road that runs parallel to famous Main Boulevard is a commercial hub with many restaurants, fashion boutiques, shopping malls, beauty saloons and décor stores. In contrast with the Food Street in Gawalmandi, which is located in Old Lahore and is considered a budget dine out, M.M. Alam road hosts a variety of flashy high class restaurants in modern Lahore. Supermarkets is also an emerging trend in the modern lahore. The modern lahori people prefer shopping from the supermarkets rather than from the general or depratmental stores. The famous supermarkets are Hyperstar, Metro, Makro, Al-Fatah, HKB, ChenOne, Jalal Sons, E&M and Pot-Porri.
In the Modern Lahore, some areas have really emerged as a center of significance e.g. Defence Housing Authority, Bahria Town, Model Town, Lahore Cantt. Bahria Town is the most revolutionary modern development within Lahore itself. Some people call it to be a city within a city which provides its residents with international standard infrastructure, amenities & services. Bahria Town Lahore encompasses everything that contributes to the Lahori lifestyle and presents global standards in all spheres of life including recreational, commercial, infrastructural and residential.
Geographically, Lahore is bounded on the north and west by the Sheikhupura District, on the east by Wagah and on the south Kasur District. The Ravi River flows on the northern side of Lahore. Lahore city covers a total land area of 404 km², but the city is still growing at a considerable rate. The city lies between 31°15 and 31°45 North latitude and 74°01 and 74°39 East longitude.
As far as the climate and weather is concerned, Lahore is extreme during the months of May, June, and July when the temperatures soar to 45 – 50 degrees Celsius which is the hottest time of the year. Following the end of July the monsoon seasons starts with heavy rainfall throughout the city as well as the province. December, January and February are the coldest months when temperatures sometimes even drop to −1 degree Celsius.
Modern Lahori people are full of passion and enthusiasm and are famous for their liveliness and their love of food and travelling. They have their own life style which is unique from rest of the Pakistanis. They sleep late in the morning and stay awake in the night. So the night life of Lahore is livelier than the day. People of all ages are found hanging out with friends and going somewhere they find good restaurant deals to enjoy a meal with friends. Youngsters are the ones today who like to spend the evenings with their friends. With the city’s activities at their peak during the evenings the roads are crowded with motorists going to the markets or visiting their friends or relatives. As people return from work they take out their families to enjoy the world outside the walls of their homes. As the clock strikes 9, the rush is diverted to restaurants that offer Restaurant Deals in Lahore. As people love to eat food outside they are also conscious of what they are spending. When people find a nice place that offers a discount on their meals, they waste no time to try it out.
Lahore also offers a variety of inexpensive and efficient public transportation and you can choose between metered local taxis, intra-city and inter-city buses and private car hire services from the hotel. The city is also blessed with a number of beautiful walking parks, numerous high class gyms and salons. There are popular shisha bars (offering the flavored tobacco pipes commonly found in Middle Eastern nations).
FESTIVALS & EVENTS
Modern Lahoris are pretty much in fashion and music that is the reason why a lot of concerts and fashion shows are held in Lahore in which various artists, models and singers participate. Apart from it different exhibitions and cultural shows also take place in Lahore and one can see a huge gathering of people. Lahoris also celebrate the Basant Festival and hundreds of kites can be seen flying in the sky during this festival. The marriages are also celebrated with full lightening and music. The urses of saints are also attended religiously by thousands of people very year. Inaugurating Hazrat Shah Hussain’s annual Urs celebrations, also known as Mela Chiraghan is also held every year in Shalimar Garden and almost 500,00 people take part in it. So the Lahori people perform and attend all the vents with full devotion and try to enjoy every bit of them.
As far as language is concerned, the elote and uopper middle class modern Lahoris mostly speak Urdu as well as English whereas corporate class always prefer English language whereas Punjabi is still spoken by the elders of the family.
As far as the difference in attire is concerned, people generally wear semi-western dresses while local dress is worn at home. The modern lahori people still wear traditional dresses as well like Kurta and Shalwar. However the modern trends of Lahore have added various new designs in the local dressing. The women generally wear eye catching colorful dresses. Sari is also worn by women of the upper classes, but not a very common sight. Designer dresses are also gaining a lot of popularity among the elite and upper middle class. Some of the famous designers shops are HSY, Maria.B, Kayseria, Noor Banarasi, Amir Adnan, Junaid Jamshed, Nishat, Shahid Afridi, Men’s Store and Wardrobe.
The life style in Modern Lahore is pretty much different from the Old Lahore, not only in attire but also eating habits. The Lahori people are fond of food that’s why you will see a restaurant at every corner of a street and town. Modern Lahori’s prefer fast food i.e. KFC, McDonalds, Hardees and other Cafes instead of traditional foods. People are more inclined towards 4 – 5 star hotels rather than eating by the roadside. However, the people still visit Food Street and various other local restaurants for the Desi Food.
In nutshell, Lahore is a modern progressive city built on a historic Old Lahore, however, the Lahorites have not forgotten their norms and traditions despite of adopting the new and modern culture. They still feel pride in their old customs and love to be a part of it.