Heera Mandi – the Diamond Market – Lahore’s ancient landmark of a red light district lies in the shadow of the Badshahi Mosque built in 1674 by the last Mughal Emporer.
In Mughal times however the district was celebrated for its stately courtesans whose poetry, dance and etiquettes were sought after by princes, nawabs and dignitaries.
These days, however, Heera Mandi is infamous for only its nefarious activities.
The dancers now copy Bollywood actresses and Heera Mandi’s current clientele, usually men from the middle and lower classes, seem to prefer this.
Louise Brown, is the author of 'The Dancing Girls of Lahore' , an in-depth study of the girls, their lives and their clients.