Walled City lahore Authority

Bazaars

Bazaars

Walled city of Lahore is not just about the buildings, architecture, monuments and the traditional life styles. It is also the biggest wholesale and retail market place in Asia. In the total area of 2.6 sq km, imagine how much diversity you have to see. The thirteen gates hold within themselves the world class monuments and Asia’s biggest wholesale markets. Each gate has a market of its own kind and if you wish to roam around all the markets you cannot make it in a day. Another interesting feature of the markets of old Lahore is the network with which they are linked together. If you reach Kashmiri Bazaar it will take you to Kasera Bazaar from where you can go to Sarafa Bazar and then the Rang Mehal and finally the Shah Almi. It is an interesting maze and surely one can be easily lost if visiting these markets for the first time. 

Akbari Mandi is the Whole Sale Market of Grains, Spices, Herbs and chemicals. It is claimed as one of the largest spice & grain markets in Asia.  There are two traditions regarding the name of this market firstly, this market was named at the name of Mughal Emperor Akbar, The great.  It is also said that this market is of Akbar’s period and so holds historical importance.  Secondly, the market is working at large scale because of which the market called Akbari Mandi.

The fish market located at Dehli Gate has been operating for approximately four decades and hosts around fifteen shops. It serves as a key supplier of fish not only to esteemed restaurants within the city but also to other urban areas. A diverse range of edible fish, including Rohu, Mullee, Catla, Chirra (known for its potency), Grass carp, and Silver carp, can be found in this market.

Azam Cloth Market, situated within Dehli Gate, stands as the largest wholesale cloth market in Asia. It serves as a vital supplier of cloth to Afghanistan, Iran, India, and China, boasting a vast network of over 25,000 shops. This market forms a labyrinth of interconnected bazaars, often shrouded from direct sunlight, exuding a lingering scent of history. Over the past six decades, Azam Cloth Market has been the central hub for wholesale cloth distribution, offering a diverse array of fabrics from khaddar to silk, and from ready-to-wear to bridal wear. Originally, in 1953, there existed a small market near Wazir Khan Mosque, which was relocated to its current site by General Azam, after whom the market is named, to accommodate a road-widening project.

The Pakistan Cloth Market operates alongside the Azam Cloth Market but specializes in retail clothing, gaining widespread popularity among the residents of Lahore and beyond. Although relatively newer compared to the Azam Cloth Market, it was established around 40 years ago and houses approximately 2000 shops.

Kasera bazaar is near Rang Mehal chowk.  Kasera Bazaar was established nearly 135 years back. About 100 shops are present here. This bazaar is famous for household utensils and crockery. One can think of a kitchen item and it is there. From tableware to all types of cooking utensils, a huge variety of crockery can be found here. The items are mostly made of iron, steel, brass and copper.

Inside Kasera Bazaar there are antique crockery and decoration pieces as well. There is a huge variety of chandeliers, lamps, wall hangings and vases. These pieces are nowhere seen in other markets outside the Walled City of Lahore. The uniqueness of this bazaar is its antique utensils and decorative items. It also provides the items on wholesale. The place is also an attraction for the foreign tourists. Many souvenirs are exported from this bazaar.

The old traditional crockery polishers (kalayee wala) were once found here in every nook and corner of the bazaar. Unfortunately, as the copper and brass crockery got replaced by stainless steel, those people also vanished and at present only one polisher shop is seen in this bazaar. This shows how the culture has changed.

Located at the rear of Soneri Masjid and adjacent to Kasera Bazaar, the Loha Market comprises around 50 shops. This market has been running parallel to Kasera Bazaar for 135 years. Here, various iron household items apart from utensils are available for sale, including locks, keys, wires, iron pipes or rods, iron nets, and numerous other products.

Waan Market, located near Rang Mahal Chowk and adjacent to Kasera Bazaar, has been in existence for 125 years, boasting around 45 shops. Prior to partition, it was known as Bazar Waan Wattan, but it is now simply referred to as Waan Market. This market specializes in Baan, Seba, plastic baan, and all kinds of materials used in crafting traditional beds. Additionally, it offers traditional Peerhay, chokies, chabian, and other related items. Visitors to Waan Market can witness artisans skillfully crafting furniture using the Waan material, providing an intriguing glimpse into their craftsmanship. This market serves as an excellent example for observing artisans at work.

Moti bazaar is the name of shoe market of walled city. It’s a famous bazaar of walled city for whole sale shoe market. From here shoes are supplied to whole the country. Moreover shoes are exported to other countries also.  The name of this bazaar is said to be famous since Mughal period.  Nearly 1200 shops are here.

The Gold Market, also known as Sarafa Bazaar or Sooha Bazar, is a renowned market located at Rang Mahal Chowk. Historical records indicate that before partition, this bazaar was predominantly owned by Hindus, featuring shops of cobblers, tailors, and jewellers. However, post-1960, jeweller shops gained popularity and became the primary focus of business in this market. With over 500 shops, the Gold Market caters to all aspects of gold trading, buying, and selling.

Incorporating modern technology, the business now includes various laboratories where the entire process of design creation and melting is conducted. While many jewellers have embraced machine-made methods to meet the demands of international designs, there are still craftsmen who uphold their traditional skills and craftsmanship. The handmade jewellery crafted from gold and silver, featuring traditional designs and authentic stones, exudes a sense of regality.

Wacho Wali Bazaar, located near Rang Mahal Chowk at the conclusion of Sarafa Bazaar, has been in existence since before partition, when this area was predominantly inhabited by Hindus. It is a diverse marketplace, encompassing both silver and shoe-related items. With approximately 400 shops, the bazaar offers a variety of goods. At the beginning of the bazaar, around 10-15 shops specialize in silver items such as silver jewellery. Following these are shops selling raw materials for shoes, including Rexine sheets, beads, and shoe design components.

Kinaari bazaar is situated near Rang Mehal chowk inside Shah Alam Gate. This Bazaar exists here more than 100 years. Before partition most of the shops here belonged to Hindu’s and Sikh’s but after partition they migrated to India. Presently here are 150 shops. Kinaari bazaar is famous for all kind of embroidered cloths for weddings and festivals. Embroidery cloths are supplied to all the large markets of the city and also to other cities. 

Gumti Bazaar, situated adjacent to Kinaari Bazaar inside Shah Alam Gate, stands as one of Lahore’s oldest marketplaces. However, the clothing section of the bazaar is relatively new, emerging after the establishment of Kinaari Bazaar couldn’t accommodate more shops. Hence, Gumti Bazaar came into existence after the year 2000. Visitors can find a comprehensive range of bridal dresses here, typically featuring shops specializing in unstitched garments, which are more affordable, including some with minor defects.

Originally, this market served as a mixed bazaar offering clothes, shoes, and other items before Partition. However, for the past 22 years, Gumti Bazaar has been renowned for its embroidered clothing, distinguishing itself from Kinaari Bazaar by offering both new and secondhand or slightly imperfect garments.

Another notable aspect of Gumti Bazaar is its rental shops, particularly for heavy bridal dresses. This service caters to individuals who are unable to purchase or prefer not to invest in expensive attire, offering them the option to rent dresses instead. Interestingly, before Partition, the renowned Indian actor Om Parkash resided in this bazaar.

The market now occupies the site where Shah Alam Gate once stood, named in honor of Emperor Shah Alam, the third son of Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, who passed away in Lahore in 1712. Similar to many other gates within the walled city, Shah Alam Gate no longer exists. The entire area was devastated by fire during the partition in 1947, along with subsequent riots, leading to its reconstruction and modernization afterward, albeit without the restoration of the gate itself.

Shah Alam has served as a bustling hub of commerce for more than a century, maintaining its vibrancy day by day. Before partition, Shahalmi was predominantly inhabited by Hindus, who also owned businesses in the area. However, during the partition in 1947, most Hindus fled to India.

Today, Shah Alam offers a diverse array of goods and services, ranging from accessories, cosmetics, and electronic goods to handicrafts, antiques, stationery, crockery, genuine items, and counterfeits. Whether one seeks brand new, reconditioned, or spare parts, the market has it all. With nearly 10,000 shops, Shah Alam continues to thrive as a bustling commercial center.

The Sheikhupurian Bazaar is situated within Taxali Gate and dates back to the Mughal era. It was named after Shehzada Saleem, known affectionately as Sheikhu. This market is famous for its leather Khussas and Kolhapuri chappals. Operating both as a wholesale and retail marketplace, it facilitates the export of Khussas and Kolhapuri chappals to neighboring countries and other regions within the country. The bazaar comprises 150 shops in total.

Located within Taxali Gate, the Sheikhupurian Bazaar is a relic of the Mughal era, named after Shehzada Saleem, affectionately known as Sheikhu. This market is celebrated for its exquisite leather Khussas and Kolhapuri chappals, catering to both wholesale and retail needs. The Khussas and Kolhapuri chappals from this market are in high demand not only domestically but also in neighboring countries. The bazaar hosts a total of 120 shops.

The Ainak Market is situated outside Shah Alam Gate and has been operating since 1972. Functioning as both a wholesale and retail market, it offers a diverse range of sunglasses, eyeglass frames, and lenses, varying in quality and price from 350/- Rs to 10,000/- Rs. The market is home to 340 shops, and in the surrounding vicinity, there are factories and warehouses where these frames are manufactured or stored.

Bangle Market exists besides Paani wala talab inside Masti gate. This market was established by Government in 1950. It’s a whole sale market of bangles.  Where different varieties of bangles new and old and in different materials can be found. Approximately 60 shops are here. 

Located adjacent to Shahi Mohalla near Taxali Gate, the Lahnga Mandi Bazaar specializes in the crafting and repair of various musical instruments. This market has a rich history spanning over 100 years, with many of its shops originally owned by members of the Hindu community before partition. Approximately 30 shops operate within this market.

The Birds Market is located outside Bhaati Gate and was established in 1992 during the development of the Shrine of Ali Hajvery. Originally, these shops were situated alongside the Shrine wall, and their rent was paid to the Shrine administration. Following the relocation, this market continues to operate under the Auqaf Department. It offers a variety of birds including parrots, sparrows, lovebirds, pigeons, Perdicinae, and quails. There are a total of 149 shops selling birds and 22 shops selling bird food in this market. The prices of birds range from 100 Rs to 2,00,000 Rs.

This market exists between shah Alam gate and Lohari gate.  Before partition there were some traders of gem stones but after partition they all migrated to India. The present gem stone market here was established some 30 years ago and there are almost 55 shops here. 

Pappar Mandi Bazaar exists in between shah Alam gate and Lohari Gate. It’s a market of Herbs, Perfumes, Murabajaat and plastic bottles. Nearly 275 shops are here. It’s also said that this market existed here before partition and approximately 100 years old. 

Rim Market exists in Masti gate, opposite to the Akbari gate of Lahore Fort. This market was established here nearly 50 years ago. This is the market of Car Rims. Nearly 100 shops are here.

This Market exists outside Yakki (Zaki) Gate.  This market belongs to Band Baja’s that play a vital traditional role in weddings.  This market exists here since last 50 years.  Approximately, 27 shops are here. Musical instruments related to wedding Bands are Clarinet (new form of Shehnai), cornet, trumpet, Base etc. The Most demanded Bands are Foji Band and Brass band which comes with a unique set of Musical instruments along with a specific Uniform. 

This Market exists outside Lohari gate alongside the circular road. This market is nearly 100 year old. It’s the only flower market in Walled City which deals all types of flower related items garlands, Gajray, flower jewellery and flower buckets. Moreover, wedding decoration and Grooms Car is also decorated here. This Market consists of only 10 shops but it’s a famous market of old Lahore. 

 Bughi bazar exists in Taxali gate, adjacent to Royal fort.  Bughi’s are the old traditional mean of Transport which became less effective in modern times.  Now a days a bazar has been established here since last 35 years. Approximately 12 shops of Bughi’s are here. These Bughi’s are available on rent for weddings  and other ceremonies.