Lahore Pakistan - Part I & Part II

ViewThis is the view from the deck. They live in a suburb called Tokar on the outskirts of Lahore. It is quiet and beautiful. For now. The city is growing very quickly and I am sure they will have many neighbors soon. The fields are filled with something like mustard plants that are used in salads, but mostly to feed the animals the farmers raise.
Donkey cartThese boys are riding their donkey cart standing up. This is how everyone rides an empty cart. It looks like fun! The shawls they wear are mostly just wool blankets worn over the head, around the neck , or just wrapped like a regular shawl. During the winter, this is how most men dress to keep warm.
ChildrenThese colorful kids followed us around for quite awhile. Not much was happening this morning, so we were their entertainment. It is not acceptable to take photos of older girls and women, so these two little girls give just a hint of the very colorful outfits worn by the women.
Model town parkThis is the Model Town park built inside Model Town, a planned community built on a circular model. The park has a nice path around the perimeter great for fitness walking or running. We would go there just about every day for a three mile run. It was really fun running around the park and looking at all the well dressed Lahoris enjoying the outdoors.
StonemasonsThis is part of Jehangir's Tomb, a large square building with lots of ornate carving and inlaid stonework. These men are handcarving new pieces for ongoing restoration work. This large building will take a long time to restore, but is truly one of the gems of Pakistan.
PrayingThis is the entrance to the famous Badshahi Mosque. This gentleman is spending the day in prayer. He has arranged himself to face the Mihrab which is directly through the main entrance and is the same direction as Mecca. Men in prayer are a very common sight in Pakistan - not surprising as it is "The Islamic Republic of Pakistan."
FountainsThis is one of the many fountains in the Shalimar Gardens, an elaborate series of gardens and fountains created to entertain the various Moghul emperor's. We were fortunate that while we were there, someone paid the $2 to turn the fountains on for awhile. It is all gravity fed with very clever engineering and piping. In the old days, they carried the water up in buckets, but now they have pumps.
Wazir Khan MosqueThis is the Wazir Khan mosque in the old city of Lahore. We arrived just after the afternoon prayer time. There is still one man deep in prayer. The call to prayer comes five times a day, and is a reminder to travelers that they are somewhere truly interesting and unique.
Bashaih MosqueThis is long view of the Mihrab of the Badshaih Mosque. The central square has a large fountain for washing before prayer. The rest of the courtyard is open for thousands of people to pray. Walking around this square in the fog, looking at the fine construction is sure to move even the non-Muslim.
StoneworkFine stone work. This decorative panel is one of hundreds in the Old Lahore fort. Made from Alabaster and several kinds of gemstones, this is an amazing example of craftsmanship. The stones fit perfectly in their spaces, and are finished completely smooth to the touch.
Lahore fortThis is the main entrance to the old Lahore Fort. The gate was designed to allow the emperor and his army to come in mounted on their elephants. The roads inside the fort are all large enough to allow the elephants to take their riders directly to the living quarters. This includes several bridges and elephant parking lots.
the rugThis is the rug that I purchased with lots of assistance from my hosts. We went to the rug district where the locals shop for carpets and visited shop after shop looking for just the right carpet. As for most of the shopping, the merchants rolled out carpet after carpet until (hopefully) you find one you like. Eventually they start putting out carpets that are not what you want and then you move on to the next shop. The shop owner, of course, will take you there personally even though it is only next door. While we were shopping, the power kept going out, so we were unable to see the carpets. One time, we were three stories up in a concrete block shop with no windows. The lights went out, and it was completely dark. We had no chance of feeling our way out. She led all six of us out to the street, and we continue shopping. Finally we found the perfect carpet, and Masood bargained for a great price. The dealer told us that it is an old style Bokara from Uzbekistan. He purchased it used from some Afghani refugees. Our dog Skunk really enjoyed the smells embedded in it. It matches the rest of our Victorian decor, and gets Brenda's approval.

Homeme Concordia Expeditions Lahore