Mihin Lanka promotes allure of Lahore, Pakistan

Friday, 6 February 2015 00:09 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Mihin Badshahi Mosque in Lahore     Lahore is the capital city of the Punjab Province in Pakistan and is undoubtedly one of the country’s most important cultural, historical and commercial hubs. The city comprises a population of 9.7 million people and is one of the 10 major cities in the area. Lahore is Pakistan’s second largest city and has an area of 390 sq. miles. The city also acts as the main gateway for international and domestic travellers who are flying to surrounding cities. Maintaining its old world beauty whilst simultaneously evolving into a modern city, Lahore is a unique destination that is now a mere four hour and fifteen minute flight away from Colombo. Today, Lahore is fast becoming a thriving metropolis and significant economic epicentre in the region. Mihin Lanka recently expanded its operations to Lahore, and now offers three weekly flights to this unique and interesting destination.   Rich heritage With its striking architecture, tranquil gardens and religious monuments, Lahore has a rich heritage that is thousands of years old. Lahore is also the centre of cultural life in Pakistan and the largest educational centre in the country and is fondly known as the “Heart of Pakistan”. All four seasons can be enjoyed in the city from the full bloom of spring to hot summers, making Lahore the ideal holiday destination. One of the city’s biggest historical attractions is the Lahore Fort which has been destroyed and rebuilt several times by different rulers. The fort has now been partially restored and comprises a collection of stately palaces, halls and gardens built by Mughal Emperors Akbar, Jehangir, Shah Jahan and Aurangzeb. It has been compared to some of the greatest forts in Delhi and Agra and conceals many of Lahore’s most ancient ruins. Within its mysterious walls, lies a window into Lahore’s ancient history and past, which continuously lures a steady flow of tourists who are eager to explore the Fort.   Must-see attractions The famous Faqir Khana Museum is another must-see attraction in Lahore. The small mansion houses a colourful collection of treasures that once belonged to the Faqir family who resided in the city during the 18th Century. The museum is believed to house the largest private collection of art in South Asia which comprises over 13,000 pieces. Some of the items on display include religious relics, Qurans and other illuminated manuscripts, miniature paintings, a coin collection, carvings, remnants of clothing worn by Mughal emperors and a small armoury of Sikh weapons and carpets from the royal courts. As it is a private collection, it is necessary to phone the curator in advance; however there is no admission charge to visit the museum. Opposite the main gateway to the Lahore Fort, lies one of the world’s largest mosques – the Badshahi Mosque. Beautifully illuminated in the evenings, this majestic religious monument comprises towers of red sandstone, vast marble domes and a courtyard that can hold up to 100,000 people at any time. The entrance to the mosque is believed to house relics of the Prophet Mohammed and is one of the most revered places of worship in Lahore. In the peaceful courtyard, lies the tomb of Allama Mohammed Iqbal, a legendary philosopher and poet who in the 1930s, first inspired others with his ideas of an independent Pakistan.   Shopping malls and markets For shopping enthusiasts, Lahore offers a vibrant mix of shopping malls and markets. The Anarkali Bazaar, is one of the oldest market-places in Lahore and has been running for at least 200 years. The market is divided into different areas, and offers a variety of food items and traditional delicacies. It is also the ideal place to find handicrafts, clothing and a variety of gifts and souvenirs. Another popular shopping destination is the Fortress Stadium, which comprises a variety of malls, restaurants and entertainment areas. The Fortress Stadium is one of the busiest and largest shopping complexes in Lahore where people flock daily to enjoy a few hours of shopping and many delicious local delicacies and food. The complex is also close to a variety of amusement parks that are ideal for the whole family to enjoy.   Other places of interest Other places of interest in Lahore include Shalimar Garden, Shish Mahal, the 12 Gates of old Lahore, the Zoo, the Jinnah Garden and the library. A food street, race club, race course park and Wahga Border (flag hoisting ceremony) are also popular attractions. Lahore is also the centre for the Sikh religion and the tomb of Guru Nanak is located in the city of Hasan Abdal. The tomb attracts thousands of Sikh pilgrims from around the world and is located in close proximity to the Gadhara Art located in Taxila, which is a popular attraction for Buddhist pilgrims.   Mihin Lanka flights Mihin Lanka commenced flights to Lahore in November 2014 and operates three flights per week (scheduled every Monday, Wednesday and Friday). The flying time from Colombo to Lahore is approximately four hours and flights depart from Colombo at 19.45 hrs. Mihin Lanka is a leading low-cost airline in South Asia that operates across many destinations in the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and South East Asia. Since its launch in 2007, Mihin Lanka has come a long way, becoming one of the region’s most admired affordable travel brands. The airline strives to maintain the highest standards and is the only low-cost airline which provides a complimentary on-board meal and a free checked-in baggage allowance. Focused on delivering the best to its customers, Mihin Lanka continuously adapts to passenger needs, in order to further fulfil its mission of being the leading low-cost airline in the region.