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Baba Shah Jamal’s mausoleum consists of a mosque and courtyard

Baba Shah Jamal’s mausoleum consists of a mosque and courtyard

Shah Jamal Colony is a small triangle-shaped residential area surrounded by three of Lahore’s primary thoroughfares: Canal Bank, Ferozepur and Shah Jamal Roads. The road and the neighbourhood are named after the Sufi saint Baba Shah Jamal, whose mausoleum stands sentinel in Shah Jamal Colony.

The sound of the dhol… Baba Shah Jamal migrated to Lahore from Kashmir in 1617. Following his death in 1671, a shrine was built at his grave and a mausoleum was eventually constructed over it, which continues to be frequented by his devotees. In addition to the shrine, the mausoleum consists of a marble courtyard and mosque. On Thursday nights, devotees gather at the mausoleum to be mesmerised by the sound of the dhol played by musicians including the celebrated Pappu Saeen.

A double-storey house in Shah Jamal Colony

A double-storey house in Shah Jamal Colony

Past to present… During the 1980s, Shah Jamal Colony was considered to be one of Lahore’s most upscale areas and home to several film stars including Rani, Sabiha Khanum and Santosh. Although not as posh as it once was (primarily due to increasing commercialisation), property there is considered prime real estate. Large rambling houses built on large plots are located there, and many residents have been living there for decades.

Several parks dot Shah Jamal Colony

Several parks dot Shah Jamal Colony

Of parks and recreation… Parks dot the neighbourhood where residents gather in the evenings. Several shops that fulfil daily requirements are located within the area, such as a bakery and butcher’s, fruit and vegetable vendors, and general stores. The presence of a police station nearby adds a welcome sense of security.

Shopping, dining and education… Although fine dining and high-end shopping options are limited, this is not cause for concern for residents as Gulberg and Mall Road are a short drive away, where plenty of upscale restaurants and malls have a presence. Similarly, a significant number of well-reputed schools are located nearby.

The real estate take… Due to a central location, the prices of property in Shah Jamal Colony are relatively high. Over the years, houses built on large plots (1,000 and 2,000 square yards) have been bifurcated and sold. Portions are available for rent, and property is in high demand.

In a nutshell… While Shah Jamal Colony’s main claim to fame is the mausoleum of Baba Shah Jamal, it remains one of Lahore’s popular residential areas, and a place that residents have called home for decades.

– Moneeza Burney

First published in the Real Estate Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on August 31, 2014.

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