Among many things, Lahore is well known for its Markets and Bazaars. The city acts as a hub for business for the entire province. This gives residents of Lahore an opportunity to find and buy items at low prices. But that comes with a cost though, as I discovered yesterday when i Drove to Shahalam market to buy some things.
Shahalam market is renowned for being the largest Retail Market in the City. The market is mainly famous for Electronics, but its secondary reason for fame is Cloth. And that lead me to make a visit to the famed area. It started off with a simple quest to find knitting needles and high quality wool, and it turned into a nightmare Fast.
Here are a few reasons why it was a HUGE mistake going to Shahalam Market by car.
1… The main road is NARROW!
Sure the main road is a boulevard with dividers in the middle, but after all the illegal parking, you barely have enough room to walk, let alone drive! Since the entire market is on the main road, you have riskhaws, carts and wagons parked in the first two lanes. This leaves less than one lane for drivers. And that is being used by people carrying massive loads of items on hand held trolleys. Overall, a nightmare to maneuver!
2… There is NO PARKING!
There is literally no room for parking because of everyone parking wherever they want! I had to drive around for half an hour before finally finding a SMALL space for parking. I felt bad for double parking behind a bike though, but there was literally no other way!
3… The inner roads are inaccessible.
The shop i wanted to reach was not on the main road. It was actually on one of the inner roads. And Google maps being Google maps, lead me to drive inside. BIG MISTAKE. Those roads are so narrow that even if one bike comes from the other side, you can barely WALK without squeezing in your belly. And even then, you probably have to jump over a gutter or something to give way.
4… Its an all-out, every man for himself driving experience.
I’m sure most people who live in the inner parts of the city already understand this. For me, this was new. NO ONE will stop for you. NO ONE will do anything to give way. You are on your own. This becomes doubly difficult with the rush and various types of vehicles on the road. Now I truly know why people say that If you have driven in Lahore, you can drive anywhere in the world.
5… The market is not easily accessible from major roads.
So I followed Google maps obviously. And it showed me that it would take 10 minutes to get there from my office on Edgerton Road. I was HEAVILY mistaken! The main road after Lakshmi Chowk was blocked out by police. The next best route was through small, inner roads. They were worse than the actual market! It took me about 30 minutes just to get to the main market.
The trip was quite bad. But the results were excellent though. The shop I went to had amazing stuff. I found a HUGE variety of Knitting needles and wool. The prices were actually a lot lesser than what I was getting from places like Liberty too. I would say that overall the market is exceptional and unique and everyone should visit it.
So yes, the Market is INCREDIBLE, and you should definitely consider going there to buy things from the source. But you have been warned! Never take a car! You can take a bike ofcource. That would definitely work best.
Have you been to Shahalam market Lately? What was your experience like? Let us know in the Comments!