Lahore is the capital of the Punjab province of Pakistan, which was split between India and Pakistan after independence from the British in 1947. It is the historic cultural center of the capital with beautiful architectures and exquisite museums and of course, plenty of things to do for backpackers and explorers.
Sure, Lahore might not be your usual travel destination but it is unique in its own way. A popular saying by the Punjabis is that ‘Anyone who hasn’t seen Lahore simply hasn’t lived.’ Being the cultural hotspot of Pakistan, Lahore has many intriguing things to offer for travel enthusiasts be it the heavenly tempting food or the breathtaking views of nature for you to immerse in. Here’s all you need to know while traveling to Lahore.
How to get around Lahore
Public transport isn’t particularly plentiful (or convenient), taxis are practically non-existent and the rickshaw drivers will maximize their profits wherever they can. Still, autorickshaws are more reliable than any other way since they are ubiquitous and you do not have to haggle for it. Make sure to negotiate well though before getting in.
Food in Lahore
Punjabi culture is all about food. Get ready to receive extra-large portions of everything topped with a ladle’s worth of ghee on top. Lahore is the answer to all your food aspirations, from the flavourful dish of siri paye, a dish made of mutton trotters, to the nan khatai biscuits at Khalifa Bakery. Chaman is a fruit-flavored ice cream that is famously known and attracts a hoard of customers.
Places to explore in Lahore
It is one of the beautiful mosques in Pakistan and displays an excellent example of Mughal era architecture. Completed in 1673, it had been designed and constructed as the compliment to Lahore Fort in such a way to exude its boldness, vastness, and majesty. The best time to visit is in the morning with fewer people around so that you can enjoy the mosque in solitude.
Near the entrance of the Badshahi Mosque, you will find a security line that will lead you to the Lahore Fort. Also called Shahi Qila, it came to be known as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981. The fort had been inhabited by several rulers from different areas and holds a variety of splendid architectural designs. The fort is huge, so make sure you check out all the structures in the fort.
It is considered as Pakistan’s largest repository of cultural and historical artifacts. Its collections of Gandhara sculpture, miniature paintings, rare manuscripts, and old coins are known throughout the world. Make sure to check in to learn some fascinating history about Pakistan and rare architecture.
The Wagah border ceremony is a daily military practice known as the Beating Retreat ceremony happening at the border of Pakistan and India, 24 km away from Lahore. Military personnel from the two countries in full regalia perform elaborate fast-paced marches and high kicks in a show of one-upmanship. It is worth it to witness this unique ceremony.
Plan your trip wisely
Lahore has long been considered ‘safer’ than other Pakistani cities. But you should know that the city also contains some relatively dangerous areas and, even in some tourist areas, the police may assign you an armed escort, for free. However, one must travel while being mindful of the risks and not veering off into unknown territory alone.
To ease your travel planning hassles you can rely on a platform like Cleartrip which does the job of flight and hotel booking for you in minutes. And to choose an airline that is reliable in terms of commitment to safety, quality service, and customer satisfaction, Turkish Airlines comes across as the best one. It connects to more than 275 destinations in the world and offers a lot of commendable in-flight services with a reasonable baggage policy. They also have a web check-in facility which lets you check-in 24 hours to up to 90 minutes prior to the departure of your flight.
You can check your Turkish Airlines booking status and schedule on a simple and convenient travel portal like Cleartrip. With a clean and user-friendly interface, Cleartrip aims at making your travel planning the least time consuming and stress-free. To add-on to this, there are many other such features such as tracking your flight status on the dashboard, hassle-free cancellation and rescheduling of your flights, dual language support of the website(English and Arabic) and much more. What’s more, you can also receive Fare Alerts so that you block the best deal during flash sales.
Cleartrip also gives complimentary hotel stays and other rewards so that you can enjoy your holiday to the fullest. It also supports the majority of payment options of credit cards, debit cards as well as net banking. They have also eased the funnel with a feature called Expressway where you can store multiple cards for 1 click bookings.
**Post contributed by travel writer and peer adventurer Deepak Gupta**