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The GPO building was designed by Sir Ganga Ram

A triangular shaped, commercial enclave that is surrounded by three of Lahore’s primary thoroughfares (Mall, Maclagan and Ustad Allah Baksh Roads) is home to the General Post Office (GPO) Lahore. Despite the use of e-mail, the GPO manages at least 20,000 units of mail every day, making it Pakistan’s largest postal network.

Sir Ganga Ram’s legacy… The impressive GPO building was designed by Sir Ganga Ram, a well known architect and constructed in 1887. This structure has been built in a large compound, resplendent with a large dome flanked by two towers and boasts elaborate arches and symmetrical windows, which overlook a spacious courtyard.

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Steaming cups of tea at the Pak Tea House

In memory of Prince Salim’s beloved… A 10-minute walk from the GPO is the famous Anarkali Bazaar, which despite having been around for nearly two centuries, continues to attract shoppers due to the presence of myriad shops dealing in a wide variety of goods – including reams and reams of every kind of imaginable fabric, vibrant parandas, intricately designed kundan jewellery, antiques, handicrafts, books and art supplies.

Nihari, payas and a cup of tea… This part of Lahore was once Lahore’s Food Street – now shifted to the Walled City. However, there are still a few well-known eateries here, which serve staples such as nihari and payas. The famed Pak Tea House, which was reopened in 2013, is located on Mall Road and continues to attract people who love long chats over countless cups of tea.

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Antiques and handicrafts at Anarkali Bazaar

The real estate take… This once quiet neighbourhood has evolved into a hub of commercial activity and there are only a few vacant plots available. Property is in high demand; options include small, standalone shops and retail space in multi-storeyed buildings. Property prices and rentals have appreciated by 95% and 16% respectively in the last five years.

In a nutshell… While this part of Lahore may not be the city’s trendiest, the myriad shopping and dining options, not to mention the iconic GPO building, make it well-worth a visit. n

– Moneeza Burney

First published in the Real Estate Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on June 1, 2014.

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