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The prayer area in the Wazir Khan Mosque

The magnificent Wazir Khan Mosque is one of Lahore’s most iconic landmarks. It can be reached by traversing along the Shahi Guzargah (Royal Trail), through the Delhi Gate. During Ramazan, the Mosque is frequented by even more people from across the city, especially for taraweeh prayers.

Mughal architecture… Wazir Khan Mosque is named after Sheikh Ilm-ud-din Ansari – a wazir at Emperor Shah Jehan’s court, who conceived, designed and oversaw the mosque’s construction, which began in 1634. The Mosque boasts of an impressive dome and octagonal minarets; its walls are embellished with eye-catching calligraphy. Several areas of the mosque are currently being restored, but this does not pose any hindrance to worshippers.

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The Mosque’s courtyard

Historic landmarks… The Begum Shahi Masjid, one of the first mosques to be constructed during the Mughal period, and the Sunheri Masjid or ‘Golden Mosque’, with three golden domes, are located in proximity to Wazir Khan Mosque, as is the Wazir Khan Hammam.

Bustling bazaars… In proximity to Wazir Khan Mosque are several well-known bazaars, including the 400-year old Kashmiri Bazaar (once known for books, it now attracts crowds thanks to a wide variety of artificial jewellery, clothes and shoes), Azam Cloth Market (arguably Asia’s largest wholesale cloth market) and Dabbi Bazaar known for its fabrics and wedding paraphernalia.

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Qashani tilework on the Mosque’s minarets

Nan Khatai and Falooda… The Walled City has plenty of eateries offering mouth-watering desi fare such as kebabs, halwa puri, nihari and chaat. If you are short on time, make sure you stop at King Falooda and Khalifa Bakers, famous for delicious nan khatais.

The real estate take… Standalone shops of varying sizes line theShahi Guzargah; property is in high demand and prices and monthly rentals have increased by approximately 30% in the last five years. Prices are comparatively higher than other commercial areas in Lahore.

In a nutshell… Boasting magnificent mosques, vibrant bazaars and some of Lahore’s best-known eateries, it is no wonder that this part of the Walled City is one of Lahore’s most-frequented.n

– Moneeza Burney

First published in the Real Estate Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on June 29, 2014.

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