Weekend included a visit to the Fakir Khana Museum, which was such a fun experience. I couldn’t take my car all the way into the inner city of Lahore, and so we parked on Food Street and walked up to the museum. The roads are bustling, and for a weekend, was crowded, with shops, salons and eateries doing their usual business.
Once we got to the house, there was a basic signage that simply said Fakir Khana Museum. Here are some quick facts about the museum:
- Its the largest privately owned museum by a family in South East Asia
- There are more than 20,000 items on display- 10,000 manuscripts, 180 displayed miniature paintings, Sikh era textiles, statuary, pottery, and carved ivory pieces— also includes a 12 by 6 inch painting of Nawab Mumtaz Ali, that was painted with a single hair and required 15 years to be completed
- The Fakir family settled in Lahore in 1730, and established a publishing house
- Their status in Lahore society derived from its connections to the Sikh Empire – three of the family’s ancestors, Fakir Nooruddin, Fakir Azizuddin, and Fakir Imamuddin
- he family amassed a collection of objects, including many bestowed to the family by Ranjit Singh.
- The family opened their house as a museum open to the public in 1901.
This was most definitely a wonderful experience, and it felt like as if I had stepped back in time, with these old pre-partition buildings, rummaging through their old artefacts. So much history. I’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking.
A weekend well spent indeed!
The portraits above piqued my curiosity. The woman on the left, Syeda Mubarak Begum, actually has a scholarship in her name that advocates female literacy. Who knew she was such an important woman?