Heera Mandi also known as Diamond Market in English and Shahi Mohalla in Traditional Language is situated inside the Walled City of Lahore in Pakistan. In literature books, it is referred as Royal Neighborhood. It is basically a red-light district and a bazaar which is situated and located inside the Taxali gate in Walled City of Lahore in Punjab, Pakistan. The women in this area offer traditional classical music and dances in Mughal era. Today it is a center of prostitution in the city of Lahore. Some of the Tawaif’s Kothas still promotes music and dance and they are against prostitution.
Visit the Shahi Mohalla
The bazaar was named Heera Mandi by Maharaja Ranjit Singh as he gave a tribute to one of his ministers Heera Singh. However, this is a misconception that the name Heera Mandi has anything to do with the beauty of the girls in the market. Nowadays, it is also commonly known as Shahi Mohalla.
Historical Importance of Heera Mandi
In the Mughal era, Heera Mandi was very famous place inside the walled city of Lahore. It was famous for dance and music. The genre of dance was mainly classical. People at that time go for a visual and musical treat. Beautiful girls used to sit in stall shaped balconies. These balconies were referred as Kothas in Hindi Language. They ply their trade which is still the oldest profession in the world.
The place was perhaps famous for dancing and music.Slowly and gradually the aesthetic pursuit became less artistic and it became tarty. The prostitutes in this area were hired by wealthy families at time time to teach their children. The prostitutes loved to teach them social behavior and culture to the children who came to them. All that is left of a colorful street is classical music and the echo of ghungroos.
The title “Diamond Market”
The name heera is translated as Diamond in English language and hence the market is also referred as Diamond Market. The word “heera” is used by locals to describe the beauty of the young girls in the market. The people called the courtesans as heera diamonds who worked in the market. The name was stuck and the market was named as Heera mandi. The brothels were developed during British Raj in old Anarkali Bazaar which later moved to the Taxali.
Shahi Mohalla at Presesnt Day
Nowadays, the bazaar is like other famous markets. Apart from music, dances and prostitution, it also offers a wide range and variety of Pakistani desi food. The market is like other markets and it is also well known for wide range of Mughal footwear which is traditionally known as Khussa. The Diamond Market is well-known for musical instruments.
Cuckoos Den Cafe is top Desi restaurant in the Walled City of Lahore which gives a beautiful view of Badshahi mosque and Lahore Fort. The restaurant gives the best desi Pakistani food quality in the city of Lahore and it is visited by a large number of International and domestic visitors.