Sunday, 28 February 2016

Keep Calm and Go Nawabi! (Part 2)

Though I am sure that the first part of my blog on Bahawalpur did put a visit to the marvelous city on your to-do-list for next winter, this part will be the cherry on the cake, the final push that you need to really make this trip happen! Dear husbands and dads, keep an additional budget to buy your ladies the happiness that they deserve on their trip to B-town. And if you're a 'kamaao-poot' woman, feel no guilt in watching your wallet slim down. South Punjab is rich in traditional arts and crafts and the Ahmedpuri bazaar has SO much to offer to big-city dwellers where hand-crafted items are sold at sky high prices.

What to shop for?

At extremely reasonable rates, especially when compared to Karachi or Lahore, you MUST shop for the following:

1. Block printed bed sheets

2. Chunri suits or only dupattas

3. Ralli work bed sheets

4. ‘Changairs’ for rotis

5. Block printed napkins for roti/bread

6. Mukesh work suits and braids

7. Gota work suits and braids

8. Cross stitch suits

9. Indian chikankari kurtas (at one third of the Lahore/Karachi prices)

10. Pakistani and Indian kaantha chaadars/dupattas/suits

10. Clay and Wooden toys for kids

11. Silver jewelry – unfortunately no picture as I could not stop at the shop for the lack of time.

12. If you want more than just souvenirs, the wood work in Bahawalpur is amazing. You can get traditional furniture at awesome prices!

Itinerary Tips 

This should help you plan out the break-up of the day for each day that you spend in Bahawalpur.
  • Keep Day 1 for Noor, Gulzar and Darbar palaces in the morning, the market for the afternoon (post lunch) and Lal Suharna for the evening (from about 4-6pm)
  • Keep Day 2 for Uch Sharif (about 2 hrs from BWP) and Derawar Fort (about 1.75 hours from Uch) plus Royal Graveyard. Although Sadiqgarh comes on the way back to the city, we couldn’t see it due to lack of time. The map below will give you an idea about the directions of all the places on your itinerary for day 2.
Some tips for Day 2:
    • Leave early morning to have maximum sunlight hours at your disposal
    • Make sure you have downloaded a few albums from
    • Keep loads of water, fruits and dry snacks as there is no proper restaurant on the way. The amount of Chips Ahoy! I ate on this road trip is embarrassing.
    • Request TDCP to arrange for a 'local' lunch to experience actual village life in the middle of Cholistan. You will get to enjoy some hot tandoori rotis, khaalis makhan and a local saag sort sabzi to entertain your hunger. If you are travelling with kids, they will enjoy looking at cows LIVE.
Starved people waiting for food and loving the Cholistan hospitality.
    • Be prepared for nice-smelling bathrooms.
    • Be prepared for no bathrooms for long distances.
    • Keep hand sanitizer and wet wipes handy.
    • Wear trainers or pumps with socks (only girls plz) that are comfortable to walk in and that can protect your feet from the sand/mud.
    • You will be rendered useless by the end of this day. Take 2 panadols and sleep
  • If you have another day, see Sadiq Garh Palace, Sadiq Public School and the Central Library. You can also make a stop at Dring Cricket Stadium if you like.
Where to eat?

We had just 2 days there so couldn’t really explore the food scene. We also had multiple hosts who showed us a great deal of warmth and hospitality so  some meals were at their homes. Here are a few suggestions:
1. The army mess at Noor Mahal – not for the food, just for the experience. Food was average, view was breath-taking.
2. City CafĂ© and Grill – we had the brunch buffet on Sunday. Good tasting food, both desi and continental. The dessert table was like any buffet dessert table in Karachi or Lahore, which was impressive.

3. Libra restaurant for great desi food. We sat outside in their garden. You can get your private bonfire for an additional Rs.500. Perfect for winter. Their parathas are great!

There are various dhabas and modern restaurants around Fawara chawk. There was more variety than I had expected. You can do your research at Foodies R Us and then choose!

My thoughts and views on Bahawalpur end here. So liking the idea of exploring some Pakistan next winter? I would if I were you! Let this be the start of many Pakistani excursions :)

Dil dil Pakistan, Jaan jaan Pakistan for sure!

You can read the first of the Bahawalpur blog here:
Keep Calm and Go Nawabi! (Part 1)

1 comment:

  1. very amazing, interesting & attractive article about Bahawalpur