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Bhati Gate

This gateway is traditionally attributed to the settlement of a clan known as ‘Bhatti Rajput’ who were made to settle inside this gate after Muslim occupation of the city by Mahmood Ghazanvi. They infact came during the period of Governorship of Malik Ayyaz. They had only agreed to reside on the condition that the gateway will be known by name of their tribe and hence it came to be known as ‘Bhati Gate’. Like the city walls it was destroyed and damaged and was built during the British period. Bhati Gate is very busy chowk as out-side, on the Circular Road, the Ravi Road Lower mall, Mohni Road, and the road coming from Bilal Ganj and Lohari all converge here. It is all along lively and awake till late in the night. There used to be theatres, cinemas and other local street shows and small entertainment’s. Its close proximity to the shrine of hazart Data Ganj Bakhsh has created a great hustle and bustle all the day especially of those visiting Data Sahib.The Chowk is full of eatables, hotels, soft drink stands, and shops of Kababa and fish sellers, fruit vendors, and milk and lassi shops. This is the center of transport pliers and one can get buses and wagons in all directions. The garden immediately on the left of Bhati Gate and facing Data Darbar used to be the beautiful place but it has been badly spoiled by Lahore Municipal Corporation by putting up “Khokhas” and small shops and rented out for money. Consequently it has badly effected hygiene of the locality. The old ditch around at the city wall has taken the shape of open drain. It is the biggest hazard to the city dwellers. Immediately in front of Bhati Gate on road side a Tonga Stand, on the left a tubewell, wrestling club, some fruit vendors and just around the Gate a Police Station on the entry. Entering the Bhati Bazar one finds groery stores, vegetable shops, Kabab shops and kitchenware and plastic stores etc. The bazaar is narrow and it is really very difficult in the morning and after-noon to cross without rubbing shoulders.The general cleanliness is in a poor shape, drains are open and smelly. The living conditions of the people continues in a manner as they used to live centuries back. Their typical Punjabi dialect, noise of the vendors and rush of the children and ladies in the bazaar takes one to a totally different world, as compared with the life in recently developed colonies in the city suburbs. A few paces in the Bazar, one finds on finds on right Kucha Patrangan. About 80 years from now Maulvi Asghar Ali Roohi, the teacher of Maulvi Muhammad Shafi, used to live in a house is this kucha. He was a fountainhead of learning and scholarship, and known far and wide for his ‘dars’ of Holy Quran. He had later started giving ‘dars’ in Gumti Bazar also. Dr. Maulvi Muhammad Shafi who was later principal of the Oriental College, also used to live near at the Kucha during his days as a studentA little ahead of Kucha Patrangan is “Nayan di Gali” the ‘Barber’s street. At the end of this gali there used to be a house where Shaikh Gulab Din, an Advocate used to live. Shaikh Gulab Din belonged to Sialkot and had such command of urdu that he had translated the laws of evidence and common usage. Next to Nayan di Gali, to the right, is Mohallah Jalotian across which was the house where Dr. Muhammad Iqbal lived for several years. Adjacent to this was the Cho-Mohallah, where the Khatib of Unchi Masjid Maulvi Imamuddin lived. From Cho-Mohallah, one could go to Noor Mohallah to the left of the bazaar and to Mohallah shish Mahal on the right.
 In Mohallah Shish Mahal lived Dr. Muhammad Hussain who had come to Lahore after the war of 1857. he and Dr. Rahim Khan, whose mansion was situated on Dhani ram Road, adjacent to Traders bank near Anarkali, was considered the most competent doctors of the day. Dr. Muhammad Hussain was the honorary Physician and Dr. Rahim Khan was Honorary Surgeon to the Viceroy.
From Shish Mahal onwards, you can go to Rai Bahadur Mela Ram’s Haveli of which nothing now remains. It was one of the splendors inside Bhati Gate. The Rai Bahadur and his son Rai Bahadur Ram Saran Dass, were followers of the “Sanatam Dharm” and were widely respected. The son, was a great patron of poets and writers in 1880, when Lahore was linked with Amritsar by rail, the Lahore Railway Station was built by Mian sultan of landa Bazar, Mian Muhammad Bakhsh Dol Gar of Mochi Gate and Rai Bahadur Mela Ram, were noted contractors of those days. Rai Bahadur Mela Ram and Rai Bahadur Ram Saran Dass used to celebrate every Hindu, Sikh or Muslim festival with great ceremony. Every Sunday there used to be a musical soiree at Rai Bahadur Ram saran Dass’s bungalow outside Bhati Gate, according 5to one account. Invitees belonged to all creeds; prominent among the participants were Allama Iqbal, Sir Abdul Qadir, Sir Shahabud Din., Mian Sirajud din, Raja narindranath, Raja Sir Days Kishan kaul, Nawab Liaqat Hayat Khan, Nawab Ahmed Yar Khan Daultana, Sikandar Hayat Khan, Mian Muhammad Nasirud Din, Khan Bahadur Suyed Maratab Ali Sardar Sundar Singh Majitjia and Sardar Joginder Singh. In other Kucha, Moti Tibba, used to live Sir Abdul Qadir. It is a fact that Lahore’s Bazar Hakiman and Amritsar’s Kattra Hakiman owned their importance to Hakim Hissamud Din, who used to practise at both places. He was the personal Hakim to the Maharajas of Kashmir and the Phulkian States. His uncanny diagnostic ability had spread his fame far and wide. Apart from this he was an upright man of God and people were as keen to seek his blessings as his medicines. A little ahead of Hakim Shujaud Din’s house was the residence of Faqir Syed Iftikharud Din. Since he was a distinguished member of the Faqir Khana and held an important position in government, his house usually saw gathering of Government officials. A special feature of these gatherings is reputed to have been complete admixture of Iftikharud din’s Muslim Hindu friends. These include lala harkishan lal, dyal Singh Majithia, Ch. Ahmad (father of Faiz Ahmad Faiz), Mirza sultan of Tibbi, Naseerud Din nephew of Nawab Imamud din. Syed Iqbal ali shah and Syed Maratab Ali Shah, lived in this bazaar. Moving further ahead, we would come to the Kucha of Astana Sharif where the lal Masjid built by faqir syed Jamalud Din is located. Next is a small graveyard, which has the mazaar of Faqir Syed Ghulam Mohyud Din. Opposite this kucha is the mosque built buy Hakim Abdullah Ansari, who was founder of Bazar-e-Hakiman.
On the left of the bazaar is kucha Fakir Khana where Faqir Syed Zafarud Din used to live and there be also the house where Mir Nazir Hussain Nazim lived all his life. A few paces from this is the house of Faqir Syed Hasanud Din and his ‘imambara.’ Syed Ali shah lived here: his fame as an artist needs no recounting, and despite the fact that he never adopted painting as his profession, the leading artists would come to learn the art of painting from him form Bhati gate up to Tehsil. Then we come to kucha Tehsil where the Tehsildar of Lahore used to hold his court. Maulana Muhammad Hussain Azad also lived in this kucha for a long time. There is a bazaar here which used to be called ‘Seemyon ka Bazar’ but is now known as Judge Bazar, it was here that Sir Shahabud Din’s house and press was located and the house of Syed Mohammd latif, author of the history of Lahore. Where Tibbi ends, on left is Bazar Shaikhupurian. In a corner of this bazaar is a house in which Muharam Ali Chishti used to live, who was the editor of ‘Rafiq-I-Hind’ and was known as a ‘King Maker’. He often used to arrange ‘Qawwali’ sessions and was known for his hospitality. There was an old haveli close ato his house where Mirza Abdur rahim lived, whose eldest son Mriza Muhammad Said was author of ‘Khawab-e-Hasti’ and ‘Yasmeen’. In Tehsil Bazar, a little ahead of Daan Gali, there is another kucha called Bhahron Ki tharrian where three brothers Khwaja Nabi Bakhsh, Khwaja Karim Bakhsh and Khwaja Amir Bakhsh lived. The brothers were, the life and soul of the ratherings that were held at athe baithak of Hakik Shahbazs Din every evering. Their fearless criticism and their knack for discovering a person of true worth played an active role in shaping the career of many yound poets and writers. Iqbal never used to recite his verse in public till he had shown it to the three brothers. ‘Nala-e-Yateem’. Hilal-e-Eid’ ‘Tasver-e-Dard’ and ‘Sham-o-Sahir’ were all poems, which iqbal had first shown to the three elders before reciting them in the annual sessions of the Anjaman-e-Hamayat-e-Islam. Khwaja Ferozeud Din, Barrister, who was iqbal’s brother in –law, was Kh. Rahim Bakhsh’s son, and Kh. Abdul Majid, author of the voluminous Jaameul Laghat, was Kh. Karim Bakhsh’s son. In front of Mashriqi dawakhana, established by Hakim faqir Muhammad at Hira Mandi’s junction with Barood Khana and Chowk Sarjan Singh, there was a well which was famour throughout the city for its cool water. On the edge used to sit Rai Bahadur Sanjhi Mal, bare-bodied and wearing only a dhoti, dispensing water from the well to every thirsty wayfarer. The Rai Bahadur was among the first group of graduates from the Punjab University and had joined the Provincial Civil Service. After his retirement, he had given up all wordily pleasures and spent the rest of his life in serving the needy tell old Lahoris. Due to hustle bustle in the Bhati Chowk and surrounding areas some writers call it ‘Shelsea of Lahore”.





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