Shahi Mohalla: Heera Mandi Lahore

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Shahi Mohalla: Heera Mandi Lahore

Heera Mandi in Lahore, also called Shahi Mohalla (royal neighbourhood), is located at the Taxali Gate in the city. The place is the centre of prostitution today, which takes place under the veil of mujra, a form of dance that blends elements of classical Kathak with music (thumri) and ghazals (poems).

Pakistan’s oldest red light district was for centuries a hub of traditional erotic dancers, musicians and prostitutes -- Montmartre with a Mughal twist, deep in the heart of vibrant Lahore.

But as an e-commerce boom revolutionizes how Pakistanis conduct the world’s oldest profession, locals say the historic Heera Mandi district is under threat.

Heera Mandi was originally the hub of the Tawaif culture in Mughal India, a tradition of courtesans who catered to the royalty. They were considered an authority on etiquette and experts in music and dance. The name Heera Mandi literally translates to diamond market. The term ‘heera’ was used to describe the beauty of the girls.

Heera Mandi fell from esteem and acquired its current status during the British colonial area. The British first developed brothel houses in the Anarkali market in the city to cater to the needs of the British soldiers stationed there. The brothels then moved to the Lohari gate before ending up here.

During the day, the place is well-known for its shops that specialize in musical instruments. It is also a busy bazaar known for its good food and wide range of Khussa


Bazaars < Lahore < Lahore District < Punjab < Pakistan

Nearby locations < 1 km

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