More Lahore from Above: Aerial Delights

Posted on April 12, 2010
Filed Under >Jawad Zakariya, Architecture, Travel
Total Views: 47831


Jawad Zakariya

(ATP Editor’s Note: After our recent post, Lahore from Above, featuring an aerial view of Lahore, we received a message from Jawad Zakriya sharing his own aerial photographs of Lahore. Jawad’s photographs have been featured at ATP from its earliest days, and these are another wonderful set that deserves to be shared.)

This photographic trip would never have happened if I’d been left to my own devices. I’d talked about taking photos of Lahore from the air many times but never actually seriously considered going the whole way and renting a plane. Last year in October, my wife, bless her, put my camera where my mouth was and gave me a surprise birthday gift to remember. She arranged the whole trip and all I had to do was show up.

In typical fashion, I complained all the way about having to get up and go out on a Sunday !

Interested readers can see the whole and uncroped set on my flickr page.

This one is quite interesting and was a bit of a surprise to me. Having lived 30+ years in Lahore I’ve actually never gone inside the walls of the Governor House and it took me a while to realize what it was.  The white building in the foreground is the Quaid-e-Azam Library, and still further in the foreground on the right can be seen the Dewan-e-Aam in the Lawrence Gardens. The Dewan-e-Aam used to fascinate me as a child because it had beautifully manicured gardens that looked very inviting but were cordoned off and one wasn’t allowed to go in. The Mall Road is almost completely invisible from this angle because of the abundance of big old trees in the garden and on the Mall road itself.

The National Hockey Stadium, with a match in progress. It is claimed to be the largest hockey stadium in the world. I have memories of it being filled to capacity with 50,000 or so people chanting for Pakistan to win, in the days when the team could actually put up a show. In the background is the LCCA Cricket Ground, with practice going on and next to the National Stadium is the practice Astroturf. At the top left of the photo just beyond the LCCA ground is the headquarters of the PCB and the National Cricket Academy.

Things do look different from up there.  This is Model Town Park.  The main car park and entrance can be seen towards the left of the photo, with parts of Model Town and the circular road also visible. The market on the left is the C-Block market Main market, I think.

Liberty Chowk or Bank Alfalah square, made infamous now by the shootings on the Sri Lankan cricket team. In the center is the elaborate fountain made by the same bank.

The newly built football stadium and athletics track, right next to the Gaddafi. On the right only half visible is the cycle track, often referred to as ‘piyala‘ by the locals, because the slanting walls give the little stadium the shape of a cup! Having played quite a few cricket matches in this ground, I don’t ever recall anybody ever cycling there, but on Sunday mornings there would be often motorcycling daredevils going full tilt around the track, and falling quite often too. Above the piyala is the deep excavation that took place for the construction of the Sheikh Zayed Complex (or Mubarak Center) or whatever you wanna call it. The construction seems to be halted now for some time.

Jail Road and its vicinity. The white building pretty much in the center is the EFU Building, which has the head quarters of Warid in it, amongst other offices. To the left of it, is the Landmark Tower on the cusp of Zafar Ali Road and Jail Road, and in the foreground of the EFU building the brown building under construction is some kind of hotel. Further in front of this and visible, but a much smaller building is Servis House. (I worked in EFU and Servis, so I’ve spent a long time in these two buildings). The green trees behind these tall buildings are part of the Lahore Gymkhana golf course, and in the background the club buildings are also visible. In the background on the right you can see all the way to Cantt. and the building visible is the newly built Hyperstar Supermarket, a small part of Fortress stadium is also visible.

Anybody who’s been to Lahore will recognize these buildings. WAPDA building is in the center. To its left is the Summit Minar which is in front of the Punjab Assembly. In front of the Summit Minar is the small building where Queen Victoria used to stand, but she’s been replaced for years now by a Quran. Behind WAPDA building are the PIA office, PTCL regional headquarters and the white Aiwan-e-Iqbal. In the background on the left is Holiday Inn, and in its foreground the famous Flatteis Hotel. The Nawa-i-Waqt offices, Avari Hotel etc are also visible. I’m sure your readers will have great fun finding things in this one !

A 100% crop, so not a great photo. But this is St. Anthony’s School and Church. Good memories for me, as I had my schooling here. The ‘other’ Sacred Heart School (the more famous Sacred Heart is in front of the GPO) is also visible.

So much here. The Badshahi, the Gurdwara, Ranjit Singh’s Samadhi, Alamgiri Gate, Hazoori Bagh and pretty much the whole of the Lahore Fort is visible in this one.

The exact opposite view from the previous one. Iqbal’s tomb is visible in this one.

The shrine of the Patron Saint of Lahore, Data Gunj Baksh. It’s a poor photo, my apologies.

Lahore’s planetarium and a grounded PIA Boeing 707 close to Chauburji Chowk on Lower Mall Road. The grounds next to it are the Punjab University hockey ground on the left and the PU Cricket ground on the right. In the background is the heavily populated Rewaz Garden area of Lahore.

Another poor quality photo, but an interesting one. Chauburji Chowk. The traffic from up here looks a lot calmer than it feels down there !

This is Model Town Bhaia Kebab market. I have been there a zillion times but I don’t even know which block it is in ! The market surrounds an old Hindu temple which can be seen right in the center. I’ll leave your readers to try to figure out where their particular favorite Bhaia shop is located !

29 Comments on “More Lahore from Above: Aerial Delights”

  1. Haroon says:
    April 12th, 2010 8:19 pm

    Amazing photo set.

    What I find striking is how green Lahore still is.

    Lahore, Lahore Aye!

  2. Junaid says:
    April 12th, 2010 9:57 pm

    Yes, the greenry is quite striking. Until we come to the second half, when it is about congestion!

  3. Kamal says:
    April 12th, 2010 10:25 pm

    Great series you have here of photo posts from the sky.

    I wish you would also do similar posts on other cities of Pakistan.

  4. Humaira says:
    April 13th, 2010 1:21 am

    What a nice pictorial.

    My favorite is the tall picture of the Badshahi Mosque.

  5. razia says:
    April 13th, 2010 2:24 am

    enjoyed seeing at lahore from air again, especially liked looking at the whole of shahi qila. thank you, brother.

    i came to know so much of Lahore by walking. i have walked from hall road to mall road to feroze sons, to wapda building to nisbet road, macloed, thru urdu bazaar and many other bazaars and roads all the way to data darbar, all in one stretch.

    i should be up on my datas, pardon my ignorance: is data darbar same as data ganj bakhsh?

  6. Hira Mir says:
    April 13th, 2010 2:53 am

    beautiful city. More importantly I think we need to take care of it. The markets here are so crowded that terrorist sees it as a soft target. If we love this beauty we must fight against militancy especially in Punjab. Punjabians need to wake UP!!! Before its too late! Plus try to keep the city clean as well plz!

  7. akcheema says:
    April 13th, 2010 4:46 am

    these pics cannot be recent … there is no such greenery left and ravi has no water (hardly any) … contrary to what the top picture of minar-e-pakistan seems to suggest

    sorry to bust your bubble :((

  8. April 13th, 2010 5:52 am

    @akcheema: The photos were taken by me on 10/10/2009, so they’re relatively recent. What you’re mistaking for Ravi is actually ‘old ravi’ or as its commonly called, ‘budha ravi’. It has been converted into a small lake and serves as a recreation park.

  9. April 13th, 2010 6:15 am

    Wow, aerial view of Lahore is really beautiful and fascinating and surely monuments of Lahore are awesome. One more thing to observe that there is much more greenery in Lahore. Lahore is really beautiful.

  10. Ghazanfar Ali says:
    April 13th, 2010 7:51 am

    Some excellent pictures here. Things from the sky are different and this gives totally new perspective on Lahore, even for us who grew up there.

  11. Saif says:
    April 13th, 2010 9:42 am

    Great post.
    Bhaiay ke kebab and its off shoots are in D-block Market, Model Town

  12. IAP says:
    April 13th, 2010 12:23 pm

    Razia. Thats a long walk you made at a stretch. Yes, Data Darbar and Data Ganj Buksh are the same. Enjoy.

  13. Akram Piracha says:
    April 13th, 2010 12:26 pm

    Great Photos for a never ending bout of nostalgia.

    Few may know that the design of Model Town represents the “Ashok Chakra” which adorns the Center of the Indian flag. Similarly, its concentric circles are separated by the streets that constitute the blocks. It was an almost entirely Hindu affluent / business class new colony designed by and for them. Few Muslims were moneyed to venture there.

    Also, at last sighting Queen Victoria was resting at the Lahore Museum, collecting dust. Deserves better as part of Lahore history!

  14. Vinnie says:
    April 13th, 2010 1:16 pm

    Superb View and Great Photos. I feel like going to Lahore again and visit all these places.

  15. Fuzzy says:
    April 13th, 2010 5:14 pm

    Jawad, back in the 70′s, the original Bhaiya used to have a small stall at the intersection of the Model Town inner circle and the street going to the Hindu temple in the center of D-Block. I don’t know if anyone remembers but his kababs used to be sold out early in the evening, every evening as they were so good. Customers used to suggest to him to open up a restaurant to expand his business but he never did. My uncle used to scare us kids by telling us Bhaiya’s kababs taste so good because he mixes primate flesh in his regular minced meat. Now there are a dozen ‘Bhaiyas’ in area in your picture. You can also see the temple and the white Masjid next to it in the picture. The temple now houses a school.

  16. Saadia says:
    April 13th, 2010 10:03 pm

    May I ask you where I violated Pakistaniat site that you deleted my comment…I only ask why there is no post on renaming of NWFP?? Instead of replying the comment or having a post you simply deleted my comment. Now do you call it Pakistaniat???

  17. Wasim says:
    April 14th, 2010 12:03 am

    Another excellent photo set. Well done.

  18. Rana says:
    April 14th, 2010 3:24 am

    I didn’t know there’s so much greenery in lahore, and yes its looks great from above, wish to have this aerial trip myself. can i?

  19. April 14th, 2010 5:55 pm

    How wonderful to see the other beautiful but real side of Lahore than the one BBC and CNN always present!
    Please continue this series with other cities.
    The world must see the charm, splender and greatness of Pakistani nation.
    Keep up the good work.

    Kind regards
    Bashy Quraishy

  20. Mubeen Ahmad says:
    April 15th, 2010 5:11 am

    I loved Lahore through your camera lens! As a practicing architect, I was thrilled to see our landmarks from the air rather than the ground. Great work!

  21. lahore says:
    April 17th, 2010 3:15 am

    i have visited to this site which is very interested and informative about the site.

  22. YLH says:
    April 17th, 2010 6:17 am


    Brilliant work man… as a Lahori in exile concerned with environmental degradation …. I am heartened to see these pictures.

    Our little facebook feud is now firmly in history on my part.

  23. Xainab says:
    April 17th, 2010 2:03 pm

    Welldone Jawad!

  24. Nabeel says:
    April 18th, 2010 4:52 am

    Bravo! A very wondrous work. Your kind of people remind that people still have a feel to enjoy life and do something in our part of the world.

    Btw, u might need to edit the GPO thing its not in there!!!!

  25. Junaid Chughtai says:
    April 18th, 2010 7:48 am

    wow.. i never knew the dirty dry lahore seem better from above

  26. Bilal says:
    April 18th, 2010 9:34 pm

    You know the monument could benefit by some planned land scaping, a circle of cherry blossom trees or something and maybe a pond and some benches, why is it that we as people have little to no concept of land scaping? It is a beautiful monument not to mention the only monument in Lahore of its type so why does it not get the respect it deserves. It looks like an old rocket ship that landed in the middle of nowhere and some random paths leading to it, just sad.

  27. April 20th, 2010 1:11 am

    @Nabeel: Didn’t say the GPO was in there, what I said was the other Sacred Heart school is next to the GPO in Lahore.

    @YLH: Don’t remember the feud, but then I have one every month! It’s never personal. :-)

  28. annie says:
    April 21st, 2010 3:57 am

    Great and very informative article. Thanks for sharing these pictures.

  29. sara says:
    August 17th, 2011 1:23 am

    To read some forgotten facts about minar-e-pakistan click here..

Have Your Say (Bol, magar piyar say)