Friday, December 9, 2011

From Gawalmandi to the Fort Road

I am from Lahore - though times have taken me away from the city where I was born and grew into a young man.  Therefore anything that happens in Lahore attracts my attention - and quite obviously this news about the new food street on the Fort Road - adjacent to the Lahore Fort - Badshahi Mosque complex.

Needless to mention my love for the specialties cuisines of Lahore, of which I have written a number of posts on the eating habits of Lahorites and the eateries of Lahore ( links to which are given below ) forced me to read the post and share with my readers.

"From Gawalmandi to the Fort Road" by Maryam Rabi, that was published in a local English Daily, is about opening up of new venue of special Lahori food venue. 

Old building with beautifulil carved wooden balconies overlooking the Fort Road Food Street Lahore (Photo: Maryam Rabi)
As for the location, Maryam writes, "Located behind the Badshahi mosque, set amidst the Taxali and Roshnai Gates, the Sikh Gurdwara and numerous other historical buildings in the Walled City, the Fort Road food street is one of the 9 planned food streets to be constructed in various parts of Lahore in the near future."

But more than the setting of the Food Street, Maryam has lamented the the apathy towards the dilapidated and deterioration of the Walled City of Lahore.

"On visiting the Fort Road food street, one would expect to be introduced to the true culture and experience of the Walled City – the project, however, rarely brings forth that opportunity and instead presents a ‘disneyfied’ version of itself to the public. The words,  conservation, restoration and protection are widely misunderstood in most of Pakistan. What has been implemented on the Fort Road is merely a superficial face-lift and a complete disregard for its historic context and cultural value, " writes Maryam.

Do read the full story with some photos taken by Maryam of the old buildings with wooden balconies overlooking the food street - same as the the Gawalmandi Food Street. Her account of the Walled City of Lahore is very detailed and precise as she is an architect by profession at the Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan, currently working on the Walled City of Lahore. 

So while you entertain yourself and your friends and family at the new Food Street coming up at the Fort Road, be part of the few to raise voice for the conservation of the Lahore's Walled City, which was once the glory of Lahore.