Sunday, November 25, 2012

The Lahore Fort, an Amazing Mosque and an Unforgettable Ride

There couldn’t possibly be two more different places on earth than Dubai and Lahore. In many ways going back to Pakistan was like going back to India, yet Pakistan, which succeeded from India in 1947 has it’s own personality. Lahore is one of the oldest and most historic cities in the country. The giant old fort there which is a major part of this ancient walled city was started in the mid 1500s. The rulers called Mughals reigned for centuries and the Fort was occupied by the royalty for eons!

But the ride on the way to the Fort was even more exciting. What a matted mass of humanity! It was a Sunday afternoon so hundreds of thousands of people were out with their families, some riding four to a scooter, some in “motorized rickshaws”, others walking or riding on huge loaded carts being pulled by skinny little horses and donkeys.

One poor little donkey had plodded along for a long time by our car. We couldn’t move any faster than he or the pedestrians because of the crushing traffic. After watching the little donkey plod beside us for a long time, suddenly he simply fell over. The load was just too much for him. So sad. The little family who owned him were obviously in distress and a long way from home.

Questions about whether they were able to revive him, how they would get their load where it needed to be and what was in the huge bags on the cart filled our minds. Our driver said it would be crazy to stop and help. Maybe because we seemed to be the only Caucasians in city and people had seen us with cell phones. Kidnapping is also always an issue too although I felt totally safe, even though maybe I shouldn’t have.  Look at this brave little guy with his load:

image

image

The pictures don’t do the ride justice because they were all taken as we drove by, but as soon as I figure out (again) how to add a video you’ll see what I mean.

image

image

image

See the man, his wife and child on the scooter in the upper left corner?

image

image

image

image

image

 

image

The electronics district: A little different than the one in Tokyo!

image

When I rolled my window down to get a better picture, our host said that wasn’t a good idea. “Someone could walk by and snatch your phone in an instant and you’d never see it again!” They were building a bridge in the area and so the road was completely torn up in addition to all the other complications.

image

I LOVED the ride! It was my favorite part of our trip. What a country!!!

The fort was incredible, especially considering that it was conceived and built almost 500 years ago!

image

image

image

This was our driver who was also the chapter administrator and his co-administrator on the right. He was a champion at getting us where we needed to be and she was a true historian and knew about every detail of the history of where we went.

 

image

image

Look at these old doors, literally thousands of years old!

image

Everything you see in the background there is hand done one tine piece at a time.

image

image

Dusk settled in as we wandered. You can see the mosque in the background of the wall of the fort. image

 

image

The mosque was truly magnificent. The capacity was 110,000!  It is the 2nd biggest mosque in Pakistan and the fifith largest in the world. The faith in the Muslim world of Islam is truly awe inspiring! Like those who built St. Paul’s Cathedral and the other religious wonders of the world, those who conceived and constructed these magnificent edifices had to have been inspired by God!

image

 

image

image

image

I had a fascinating discussion with some women at the event about Eid, which is one of two of the Muslim’s most sacred events during the year. One comes at the end of Ramadan, which is the fasting from sunrise to sunset for one month every year. Details on that coming in another post. But the other came just a few weeks ago, where everyone who believes in Islam stops to contemplate how they can be better people. They survey their year, what they have done wrong and what they plan to do to be better in the coming year. How great is that? 

I find the Arab world and the world of Islam endlessly fascinating. No matter how often we hear about the radical Muslims who have ruined an amazing religion of the world, what a privilege it is to get just a glimpse of the real world of Islam inside the families of the faithful!

5 comments:

Eli said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing mom! That mosque and fort look so incredible. How cool that you get to go places like that.

Karina said...

I loved the pictures and details of your trip. Makes me feel like I went on a vacation also :) I miss our visits with Heidi!
xoxo

charity said...

this is so so cool. you got some great pics mom, good job. i am jealous - i want to go! love you

Rehan Khan said...

NICE

Rehan Khan said...

The origins of Lahore Fort are obscure and traditionally based on various myths It is unknown who first built a fort there. According to some Hindu myths, its foundation was attributed to Loh, the mythical son of Lord Rama. However, the first historical reference to a fort ever actually existing on that location goes back to the 11th century, during the time of Mahmud of Ghazni. AND LEARN ABOUT Lahore Temperature
CLICK HERE ...