Through the Streets of Androon Lahore

Excursions to a legendary city, through the remnants of fallen empires

Sharika Hafeez
Globetrotters

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The legendary Delhi Gate in the Old City of Lahore | Photo by Sharika Hafeez

We walk through the streets of Androon Lahore — one of the last remnants of an old and mighty city; a reminder of conquering emperors, of prosperous trade, of grand architecture.

The Walled City of Lahore — or androon Lahore, to mean “inner Lahore” — once the seat of Emperor Akbar, who built a gigantic 30-feet wall and thirteen gates surrounding the city.

Now, only six of those gates and parts of the wall remain, gone to neglect and disuse, demolished by the British Raj during the era of British colonialism, to incapacitate the defences of the Old City.

Tens of thousands of men, women and children rush through these old streets, through the cacophonous and narrow roads that are a never-ending whirlwind of careless rickshaws and carriages drawn by donkeys and men in bikes.

We squeeze through these, my dupatta draped around my face to avoid the blankets of dust that swirl around us. It is mid-March, but summer is already here in Lahore. The heat bears down on us, even though it is early evening, and the sunscreen on my face melts.

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Sharika Hafeez
Globetrotters

Writer. Physics student. Under the inky-black sky, with a steaming cup of chai in my hands, I watch the stars and I write.