Located on Saidpur Road, in the heart of Rawalpindi, Banni Chowk is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city. It is believed that a pool of water was once located there, which was called ‘Mai Veero di Banni’ (which means ‘The Abode of Lady Veero’ in Punjabi).Lady Veero, according to folklore, was a Hindu woman who was revered by the people who lived there and she created it for them so they could bathe and relax in it. The pool no longer exists, but lives on in a way, as Banni Chowk, named after pool, continues to be a popular residential neighbourhood in Rawalpindi.
Compact living… Banni Chowk provides compact residential living options within its winding, narrow streets. Most of the houses there were constructed decades ago, on plots measuring 150 and 250 square yards. Amenities on offer include several colleges, grocery stores, parks and schools.
From flowers to food… Some of Rawalpindi’s most popular outdoor markets are located in Banni Chowk, the most popular of which is Banni Flower Market where you can purchase flowers of every imaginable colour.Kartarpura, the famous food street, is also located there which boasts of some of Rawalpindi’s most popular eateries, including Bala Tikka House, Iqbal Tikka House, Kababish and Nusrat Steam Roast. Yet another attraction is a strip of shops which specialise in CDs and DVDs.
The real estate take… Purchase price and rentals have increased by approximately 15% in the last two years; they are comparatively more affordable than other neighbourhoods in Rawalpindi. commercial property options are increasing in volume, and include standalone shops and retail space in low-rise buildings. Commercial property is in moderate demand.
In a nutshell… Even though Banni Chowk is not one of Rawalpindi’s most prestigious areas, the fact that it has a rich history ensures that it holds a special place in the hearts of the older residents of Rawalpindi.
By Nimrah Butt
BANNI CHOWK, RAWALPINDI