A Weekend In Bahawalpur: Day 2

A Weekend In Bahawalpur: Day 2

I’m back with Day 2, bros. If you didn’t see Day 1, it’s right here, just waiting for you. Shopping in Bahawalpur details are here. All other details like costing, access permissions, tips, etc. are here.
My Bahawalpur trip video is here.
So the second day, I wanted to start the day early BUT I also wanted nashta out somewhere no matter what. So we went to Data Restaurant where we had a delicious breakfast of halwa puri, chai, paratha and lassi. MAN, was it good. (I”ll put more details about food in next week’s post). Then we headed to our first destination of the day.
DESTINATION 1: LAL SUHANRA NATIONAL PARK
Time: 10:30 am
Lal Suhanra National Park is at about an hour’s drive from Bahawalpur; before you know it, you’re there. The drive is again really pretty, with lots of green fields and visual sensualness.  
The park is spread across a very large area of land and is super pretty. Very relaxed, well maintained. In the very slight winter chill, it was all kinds of awesome.
The park has a large conservation area for animals, although I think they were probably in larger numbers at one point (based on what I’ve seen in pictures), not so much anymore. We got to see peacocks, two rhinos and some deer. There was also a mini zoo, but because of some (new) personal principles against caging animals, I don’t visit zoos anymore 🙁
The birds here were still caged so I don’t know how a national park concept helps with my anti-zoo sentiments. Anyway, I’m still learning, let’s see where I go with this. Feel free to educate me.
We didn’t get to see many animals but this guy completely compensated us for everything by getting into action. Thank you, bro, I owe you one.
This cutie had a ginormous area to roam around in and also had a girlfriend so his life seemed set.
I actually had a really good time here because I’m a lover of nature and I’ll never say no to going to a place like this. But if you are short of time, I’d actually suggest skipping this because the other stuff is just way more enriching (plus the park wasn’t offering much in terms of animals right now, things could change possibly). If you have enough time, then definitely do fit this in. The park I think is higher value for people actually living in Bahawalpur just to come on a weekend, hang out, do a picnic, read a book, stuff like that.
But I wouldn’t remove it from my itinerary because it was a nice switch from all the history. Plus I went up on that, so basically, it was a success.
And we got to meet this cutie selling ganderis. He was actually annoying the crap out of me for a good 20 minutes by following me around constantly and making this strange humming sound until I started talking to him and he smiled and we decided to be friends.
ALSO, if you’re on my Insta or Facebook, you know I got this made and I cannot tell you how much it made my day. I LOVE IT. There was an uncle sitting and selling keychains with your name on it and I went to see his stall randomly (Raza told me about it actually cos I think by this time he had realized I was falling for strange stuff). He had all shapes like guitars, hearts and you could get names in different colors and I suddenly had the idea to get this. SO HAPPY, ALMOST DANCING.
DESTINATION 2: DARBAR MAHAL
Time: 1:00 pm
Next we headed back to Bahawalpur and got to Darbar Mahal which I had heard was the prettiest palace. It really, really was (my heart still racing for Sadiq Garh, bros, but they’re both very different experiences and both are a must-do).
Darbar Mahal is actually under the control of the army and all the rooms have been converted into army offices. Access to this palace is not open and you have to request it.
The guide at Darbar Mahal was amazing. He was so honest and sincere to his job, painstakingly taking us through all the details, even though that’s what he does everyday with no change to his job description. I wasn’t interested in the history at all for the first 5 minutes and was taking random pictures but then I got sucked in while he was talking to Nabeel and Raza (from FindMyAdventure) and it was incredible.
He took us through the entire history of the Nawabs, how they managed Bahawalpur (it was a separate state), how they used to conduct their businesses (they were the third richest Muslim community, whoa), how they joined up with Pakistan after Independence (BWP was not a part of Pakistan initially, wow) and how things ended. It added such, such depth to our trip. If you go to Darbar Mahal, make sure you speak with the tour guide and spend at least 1.5 hours here to make the most of the trip.
Inside the palace, this one central space and a couple of rooms on the side were open to check out. All other rooms were closed for the army (actual meetings were happening inside, whoa).
This was a designated photo bench (which you can find at all palaces by the way) from where you can get a great picture with the palace. So Nabeel and I took a wannabe valima photo here. The one at Noor Mahal also has spotlights directed onto the bench so you can take a picture at night and look great. Nice ideas, palace people.
Right opposite the palace, was this Baradari. To the right was a raised platform (not pictured) and to the left was a mosque (as in all palaces like I told you yesterday, I hope you remember).

This baradari (which means a place with 12 doors) has to be one of the most beautiful things I’ve seen. So, so stunning. Baradaris were at the time used for performances because of the good acoustic design and also great for ventilation in summers.

There were pelicans roaming around free on the palace grounds (initially I thought they were fake, because when they sit, they’re so still, they actually look unreal). The Nawabs were known for really taking care of their people (e.g. the number of schools in such a small city of Bahwalpur is exemplary). The pelican is known to bite off its own flesh and feed its young if there’s no food and the Nawabs adopted this bird as part their royal coat of arms to signify that they protect their people before anything else. Which is why they still keep pelicans on the grounds at Darbar Mahal. Interesting, no?
The mosque to the left of the palace.
See the pelican coat of arms in the arch above us? We spent more hours than we had planned here because we had an incredible time just talking to the guide on-site and looking at some of their memorabilia like old pictures, wedding invitation cards (written in gold!), old weapons, caps, official envelopes, stamps, etc. It was brilliant. 
DESTINATION 3: AHMEDPURI BAZAAR
Time: 3:00 pm
I had originally planned on shopping on Friday (which is the day that went to waste) so now I had scheduled it in for the last day, right after Darbar Mahal. But because we ended up staying at the palace forever, I had really limited time to go to the market. But since I now knew some exact spots, thanks to some of you guys, I headed there with a vengeance to do it as fast as possible, yasss.
The bazaar is not easy. It’s crowded and dirty and you need some will to get in. But it’s totally worth it because I haven’t seen such incredible shopping all in one place, anywhere else. Once you make it to the line of shops that have the good stuff, the area gets cleaner and less crowded so you can shop very easily in peace. It’s just the initial hurdle of storming through the crowds. Don’t miss it. I’m not a shopping fanatic and even I’m saying this.
I’ll do a full separate post on the bazaar next week because it deserves that. I’ll give you all leads I got and what I discovered on my own and any tips and you should be set. I wish I’d bought one chunri, I don’t know why I didn’t. Finger to own self.
Prices were super low and I think almost one-third of what I’d expect from other bazaars in bigger cities. So you won’t have to spend a LOT and still come back very happy. I also wanted to buy this shirt but I didn’t (I’m that person who loads their shopping cart online and then closes the website, it’s a mental disorder).
ANYHOO, I bought a few things in literally 30 mins and ran back to our car because we had to drive back to Multan to catch our flight back to Dubai (thanks to Travelwings, hope you remember that).
That’s it guyssssss. Did you love coming to Bahawalpur with me? I TOTALLY DID. It was everything I had imagined and more. Take out a weekend, contact FindMyAdventure guys (their contact info below) and just go, go, go.
Read about Day 1 of my Bahawalpur trip here. Also, in case you forgots, all trip costs, suggested itinerary, permissions needed, hotels, tips, exact shopping places will come next week (you can now see here). Shopping post is here now.

My Bahawalpur trip video is here.

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This project is in collaboration with Travelwings.com which is an online travel agency based out of UAE. They have flight options and great fares from UAE to anywhere in Pakistan and from Pakistan to the UAE. And other than Pakistan, they have incredible travel packages to really interesting places around the world which you can discover by following them on Facebook here and Instagram here.
I also partnered with FindMyAdventure which is an online marketplace for amazing tours across Pakistan. You’ve got to see their website and all that they have on offer right here. I loved, loved, LOVED the experience with them and cannot recommend them enough. Follow them on Facebook here and Instagram here, because they keep posting awesome trips and can also do custom trips for you/your friends/your neighbors/eraaybaady.
All opinions about any collaborations are entirely my own because I don’t like anyone else’s opinions in my head. Thank youuuu.  

7 Comments

  1. you really changed my month around with this visual treat. Unexpected and beautiful. It was amazing to follow the whole journey. You are amazing as always

  2. loved the whole trip. the pictures were so fresh. refreshing to see your travels and relationship with nabeel.

  3. i just love the photography! are these photos from your Samsung's digital camera? if yes please specify the model. Love how you make most out of everything 🙂 xoxo

  4. Darbar Mahal is gorgeous!! No wonder you guys ended up spending so much time there. =D And that bazaar = stuff my current dreams are made of. <3

  5. Shehzeen! These are gorgeous places to visit! I live so near to bahawalpur (3 hour drive, pfft) and never thought there are so many places to visit there.. thank you so much for these posts. I'm going this weekend (road trip yaye!) and my heart and wallet would thank you if you could share details of the bazaar and places to shop ! much love!

  6. so i clicked on the links and I am defo doing Bahawalpur in 2017 – New Years Resolution bas done hai.

  7. Such such such beautiful journey.. the national park and darbar mahal were my favs from day 2 and also the picture on the bench. Masha Allah

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