Stepping back in time in Western Punjab

Stepping back in time in Western Punjab

Punjab is famously an agricultural society, a land of farmers and traders with a work-hard, party-harder attitude. Parts of Punjab have raced towards modernity, in places like Lahore which in 1947 was thrust from being a provincial city to one of a new nation’s premier metropolises. Others, however, haven’t kept pace with the rapid changes that new generations have brought.

It’s in one of the furthest flung corners of the province that this journey begins, a photo journey. On a journey beyond Faisalabad, to the villages on the banks of the Chenab, I entered villages that had barely changed since partition. Although conservative traditions still hold particularly strong in these parts, a warm but shy welcome is extended to outsiders. On the floodplains mango trees grow amid rice paddies, cows are milked and butter is churned the old fashioned way. Development is poor, but community, family and caste are the bedrock of life – more so than in the cities – and women observe strict purdah (gender-based seclusion).

This is my photo essay of my journey through the villages of Western Punjab.

Stirring the pot at a community function at Dholanwal

Community function at Dholanwal

Umar Hayat Mahal looms over Chiniot’s inner city

Milking the cows at Phalahi

Milking the cows at Phalahi

Milking the cows at Phalahi

Village life near Phalahi

Volleyball at Dholanwal

Shrine of Peer Shah Daulat at Rajoa Sadat

Chilling out at Chiniot’s Shahi Masjid (Royal Mosque)

This dog was almost as relieved for the cool change in the weather as we were

What is the most traditional place you have been to? Comment below!

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