Heera Mandi

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Heera Mandi in Lahore (Punjabi: ہیرا منڈی) meaning "Diamond Market", also known as Shahi Mohalla (meaning: The Royal Neighbourhood) is a red-light district and a bazaar located in Taxali Gate, Lahore (Punjab), Pakistan. The women here offer traditional and classical dances and was originally the center of the city's tawaif culture in the Mughal era. Today, it is a centre of prostitution in Lahore under the veil of dances, such as mujra, a branch of classical South-Asian sensual dancing. While many Hijras also frequent the area and are involved in this dance culture.

Heera Mandi is located in the northwest corner of the Walled City of Lahore, next to Roshnai Gate, Badshahi Masjid, Lahore Fort, and Hazuri Bagh. During the day the place is much like other Pakistani bazaars and is also known for its good food, wide range of Khussa (traditional Mughal footwear) and the shops for musical instruments.

The name heera means diamond in Urdu and was used by locals to describe the beauty of the girls in the market. The people called the courtesans who worked in the area as "heeras" diamonds. The name eventually stuck and the market was called heera mandi. However, this is misconception that name of Heera Mandi has anything to do with beauty of girls in the market. The bazar was named Heera Mandi by Maharaja Ranjit Singh as a tribute to one of his ministers, Heera Singh.

The brothel houses were first developed by the British in old Anarkali Bazaar for the recreation of the British soldiers during the British Raj. After that these were shifted to Lohari Gate and then to Taxali gate. They seemed to have spent more time at Taxali Gate than other places. Thus they settled in Heera Mandi, and traces of that can still be found.

In recent times the area has become known for prostitution and crime

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