Smaller, but exquisitely beautiful, with ornate floral, Mogul mosaic tiling, is the Wazir Khan mosque in the Old City, near the Delhi gate. In fitting tribute to its flora, an inscription reads remove thy heart from the gardens of the world, and know that this building is the true abode of man’. Built in 1634, it is a calm oasis away from the pulsating bazaars of the old city, where narrow alleys are jammed with ox and donkey carts, and stalls piled high with plaited tobacco for hookahs, and Pakistani fabrics at around 30p for four yards. All this is towered over by tall wooden buildings with carved doors. The Anarkali (pomegranate blossom’) bazaar is more modern, with a street of shops mainly selling clothes, shoes and some handicrafts. An elaborately-embroidered Sind Shalwar kameez – a long tunic dress with matching trousers – costs about £5.00.
Carpets have been made in Lahore since 1947 and are another good buy. Calmer excursions can be made to the gardens and tombs of the Moguls. Interior design in kitchen The Shalimar gardens, built in 1642 by Shah Jehan, still display a perfect Mogul walled garden concept. The three terraces of pools, with 150 fountains in the central canal, are set with little pillared pavilions for shade. Jehangir’s tomb is more impressive. Four floral-frescoed passageways lead the visitor past finelv-fretted marble screens to the tomb itself, a simple, white marble box, studded with semi-precious stones in floral patterns. Time permitting, it is worth the drive past industrial complexes to Sheikapur to see the Hiran Minar, built in 1620 as the deer-hunting lodge of Shah Jehan. A huge tank, measuring 890 by 750 feet, is now a place to fish and go boating round the central bathing pavilion of the emperor. Climbing the adjacent minaret presents a fine view out over the deer forests and rural villages.
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