WCLA old city décor mesmerises the cyberspace

Social media abuzz with praise for walled city after images, videos circulating online impressed travellers

Asif Mehmood March 15, 2021


The Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA)’s recent restoration and beautification of some of the city’s areas have created a buzz in the country and across borders after aesthetic images and videos were shared online.

The WCLA organised a two-day festival in the inner city titled ‘Rang De Andrun-e-Lahore’.

The festival showcased the provincial capital’s splendour and culture through the restored and beautified buildings and streets. Reportedly, the areas and route from Delhi Gate to Wazir Khan Chowk had been beautifully decorated.

The festival’s participants were greeted with drums and bands outside the Delhi Gate. A drum circle ceremony, colloquially referred to as Mehfil, was held in the royal baths while the students of Learning Hub School presented folk performances in Gali Surjan Singh. Food and handicraft stalls were set up in Wazir Khan Chowk. The two-day festival had concluded, however, its impact on the visitors led to the posting of the images on social media platforms.

As per details available with The Express Tribune, after the images were shared online, comments praising the walled city were being made by citizens as well as foreigners who viewed the photos and videos of the decorated areas. The inner city’s pictures and videos surfaced on social media platforms after influential domestic and foreign tourists present in Lahore photographed and posted images of rehabilitated public spaces.

Domestic and foreign tourists who visited the festival had posted and shared photos of different areas, especially Gali Surjan Singh. Many of the comments received on these photos and videos pointed out the ‘never seen before’ beauty of Lahore, some of which associated the city’s aesthetics with those of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the world.

Read more: WCLA gets Rs3.65b to conserve Lahore Fort

Sarah Asif, a resident of Lahore, remarked, “I have heard about the ancient culture and buildings in the inner city of Lahore but now that I have seen the pictures and videos, I am amazed that my own city is so beautiful and lovely.”

Sarindar Khochar, a journalist and researcher on historic buildings in the Indian city of Amritsar, commented that his ancestors had lived in the inner areas of the historic city. “I am glad that the Pakistani government has preserved the old city buildings. My ancestors’ neighbourhood was near Masjid-e-Wazir Khan. My family, including myself, wish to visit our ancestral homeland whenever we get an opportunity to see Lahore.”

"Oh God, is this Lahore? It looks like a European country. I wish I could have flown to Lahore," Saleem Qadri from Srinagar expressed on one of the images.

Gul Zehra, a Pakistani residing in Kuwait, said, "I am proud that my country, and especially my city, Lahore, is so beautiful. Here, we proudly tell people that this is our Lahore city, painted in beautiful colours." Amara, who hails from Islamabad, stated that just as the WCLA restored some of the inner city streets to their old style, other areas of Lahore should also be made clean and beautiful.

Tania Qureshi, a spokeswoman for the WCLA, said that work was underway on various rehabilitation projects in the inner city. “In the first phase of the project to rehabilitate the Royal Corridor from Delhi Gate to Shahi Qila, a few streets and houses, including Gali Surjan Singh, were restored.” Apart from this, restoration and decoration of many areas including Shahi Hammam, Masjid-e-Wazir Khan and Well of Dina Nath had been completed and work on other places was in progress, she added.

A well-known American magazine had included Lahore in the list of top 50 tourist destinations in the world while UNESCO had also declared the provincial capital as one of the most creative literary cities.



Published in The Express Tribune, March 15th, 2021.


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