Now, away from Bhansali

Lahore’s Heeramandi neighbourhood has been making headlines in recent times ever since Indian director Sanjay Leela Bhansali made his OTT debut with a capturing series by the same name, triggering the interest of the audience in the Pakistani region once again.

Lahore blogger captures Heeramandi in his viral video. Photo Courtesy: The Orange Wall Instagram page

Now, away from Bhansali’s recreation of the neighbourhood, capturing a glimpse of the old heritage of the place, a Pakistani vlogger is winning hearts by sharing the current state of the region in a video, which has now gone viral.

Posted on the Instagram page of The Orange Wall, the vlogger wrote: “To those who can’t visit in person, here is a virtual tour of present day Heeramandi, Lahore. known now as the Old City and Androon Sheher, it is still holding on to the grandeur and magnanimity of days gone by. broken, worn down in some places, but still full of life. it is now a food hub for local cuisine and history enthusiasts, alike.”

The video begins with a singer singing a classical song, creating a much-needed ambience for the rest of the clip.

The video moves forward to show how the region looks now and includes puppet shows, a horse carriage ride, and delicious food.

The video, however, triggered a mixed response with some netizens saying that the place does not deserve to be glorified.

An Instagram user wrote in the comment section: “We are glorifying it now!!??arent there brothel still there?”

Another wrote: “What’s the purpose of glorifying ?? Never even heard this word in our childhood !!”

Some reacted positively after seeing the video which has now earned a significant number of ‘likes’ since it was uploaded on May 7.

A social media user said: “It is a cultural heritage, like it or not, those people living there have never chosen it to live there intentionally , so respect their survival stories.”

Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar

Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar was released on Netflix in 2024 amid positive reviews.

The series is about the lives of tawaifs in the red-light district of Heera Mandi in Lahore during the Indian independence movement against the British Raj.

It stars Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Richa Chadha, Sanjeeda Sheikh, Sharmin Segal Mehta and Taha Shah Badussha.