The Lahore that was Legends abound in and around old Lahore lending colour, mystique and a bit of romance to the erstwhile City of Gardens. Some of these legends have sprung from facts, while others are a result of lore passed from generation to generation. There is a narrow lane known as Rhajo te Dharmo di Gali, that runs westwards from Maidan Bhaiyan away from Naunehal Singhs Haveli and ends at what was once a Hindu temple. Legend has it that Rhajo and Dharmo were two young Hindu girls, who in order to save their honour from the soldiers of an invading horde, sought divine help. It is said that the ground miraculously opened under their feet engulfing the pair for eternity. The spot where the young women disappeared was thereafter revered by Hindus, as holy ground and became the site of a temple. It is interesting to note the similarity of the Rhajo and Dharmo story with the narrative of the Bibis Pak Daman, whose shrine is located in the area known by the same name. It is said that following the battle of Karbala, five ladies related to Hazrat Ali travelled to India to flee persecution. Hearing of their arrival in Lahore, the Hindu Raja ruling the city sent his son to fetch them to his court. Fearing for their honour, the ladies sought heavenly protection at which the earth split from under their feet and enveloped them. The Rajas son was so affected by this miracle that he converted to Islam and became the first caretaker of the Bibis shrine. In times gone by, as one crossed the old Ravi Bridge into Shahdara, one was immediately struck by clumps of date palms looking like giant sentinels and stretching westwards along the river as far as the eye could travel. According to local belief, a long time ago, Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavis army had encamped here and the soldiers after eating their rations of dates had thrown away the stones that took root and sprouted into trees. It was also said that the clump like pattern of these palms corresponded exactly with the areas allocated to the various units within the Ghaznavid force. One can still spot what remains of these trees amidst the unplanned housing and other construction in the area, but the effect of their magnificence, as witnessed by many Lahoris has been lost forever. In one of my previous columns I wrote about the old haveli inside Yakki Gate. This gate derived its name from the martyr Saint Zakki, who fell while defending the city against Mughal invaders from the north. Over time, the name Zakki became distorted to Yakki. It is said that when the Saint was decapitated in the battle, his torso continued fighting and was later buried in another grave close by. Buddhu ka awa or Bhuddus kiln lay three miles outside Lahore and south of the road leading to Shalimar Gardens. Buddhu, son of Suddhu, was a renowned potter during the reign of Emperor Shah Jehan and supplied bricks for royal buildings. It is said that one cold and rainy day, a faqir came to the kiln and expressed the desire to rest awhile and warm himself. Buddhus servants, however, refused the request and turned the man away into pouring rain. In a fit of anger, the holy man, who some say was a disciple of the great saint Hazrat Mian Mir, laid a curse on the kiln extinguishing its fires. No amount of repentance by Buddhu or his servants could induce the faqir to remove the curse and Buddhus kiln remained unserviceable thereafter. The kiln is no more and the place is now a congested city locality. These and many other stories are an integral part of Lahores history and culture. The old city offers unlimited possibilities of adventure to those Lahoris, who have not had the time and inclination to explore the labyrinth that is the real Lahore. After all, how many of us know that a temple from antiquity dedicated to Loh, the founder of Lahore, lies hidden some where within the premises of the Lahore Fort or that there is a child saints tomb somewhere in Lahore, where devotees make offerings of toy horses. The writer is a freelance columnist.