As good first worlders a lot of our visit has been dedicated to shopping…sure we like the prices and the exotic knick knacks make great gifts, and it´s also something we can do on our own.

I think Rang Mahaal is where we went dopata crazy, oh, dopatas are the scarve element of the typical lady´s shalwar camise (shalwar = trousers, camise = long shirt). We discovered you can choose your cloth, have it dyed the colour you like best and even get it hemmed with a fancy thread. So we lunged straight in and bought a bunch of dopatas for ourselves, for Farzana, for Maya, for Daud´s friends in Madrid…dopata crazy indeed.

Dopata crazy

The other cool bazaar shopping experience we had in Lahore was in Anarkali, named after the legendary star-crossed dancing girl buried alive for her love of the young prince Selim. To delve within the Old Walled City is to cross into a truly unique zone. There is simply no other city anywhere that has preserved the mixture of influences that produced the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries’ great cultural flowering in this part of the world. In Fatepur Sikri (near Agra), you can see an abandoned capital that records the intermingling of Muslim, Hindu, mystical, secular, imperial and local influences that were synthesized during the reign of Akbar, the greatest Mughal. In Lahore, you can see what that intermingling actually looked like, rather than merely its reflection in elevated architecture. Traverse the walled city from one gate to another, get lost, and find your way back out. It’s an experience of incredible density and richness.

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