Heeramandi Real Story: All About The Art & Culture Hub Of Pakistan That Turned Into An Infamous Red Light Area

Heeramandi Real Story: All About The Art & Culture Hub Of Pakistan That Turned Into An Infamous Red Light Area

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Heeramandi stars Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Manisha Koirala, Richa Chadha, Sanjeeda Sheikh and Sharmin Segal in lead roles

Sachin TUpdated: Wednesday, March 27, 2024, 04:31 PM IST
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Sanjay Leela Bhansali's magnum opus Heeramandi is all set to release on OTT soon and the makers are trying every trick in the book to hype the filmmaker's debut web series. The show is touted to be Bhansali's pet project, which he had been wanting to make for many years now, and his efforts are finally coming to fruition.

Heeramandi stars Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Manisha Koirala, Richa Chadha, Sanjeeda Sheikh and Sharmin Segal in lead roles and it tells the story of the courtesans of Lahore's 'Heera Mandi', meaning Diamond Market, at a time when India and Pakistan were going through partition.

What is the story of Heeramandi?

Originally known as Heera Mandi, the locality is one of the most popular regions of Pakistan's walled city of Lahore. Back in the 15th and 16th century, the area was famous for being a food grain market, and it was also the hub of the tawaif (courtesan) culture of undivided India.

The Mughals would bring women from the regions of Afghanistan and Uzbekistan and groom them into exceptional performers of Indian classical dances like Kathak to entertain them and their guests.

However, after Ahmad Shah Abdali invaded the region, Heera Mandi shifted from being an art and culture hub to a centre for a thriving prostitution business.

His troops captured women from surrounding regions and put them up in brothels. The brothels and the prostitution business in Heera Mandi saw a further rampant rise during the British Raj.

But when the partition was announced and the then-India was divided into two countries -- India and Pakistan -- Heera Mandi was set to be one of the worst-affected regions. Women staying in the brothels in the region fled to India before the lines separating the countries were drawn, and the ones who stayed were exploited under the guise of the unrest in both the regions.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Heeramandi

Filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali had once stated that the idea of making Heeramandi came to him almost 14 years ago when Moin Baig discussed it with him.

However, he was busy with the shoot of his other films at that time and the filmmaker also did not have the bandwidth to set up a project on such a large scale.

But better late than never, Bhansali's Heeramandi is all set to release as a web series on OTT soon and the teasers and posters have already been keeping fans on their toes.

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