35km South of Lahore you will find Malik’s country retreat in the village of Sikhan Walla, just outside Sharakpur Sharif. This is an absolute gem, especially if you need a break from the heat and hustle and bustle of Lahore city.

The hostel is set around a small courtyard full of potted flowers, climbing plants and a couple of peacocks! Behind the hostel is a large lychee orchard – a great place to relax in the shade with a good book. The friendly and excellent staff will make you feel at home with plenty of tea, good home cooked food and general hospitality. Milk comes fresh from the buffalo at 20 rupees.

Things to do:

The old town of Sharakpur Sharif is beautiful and charming. The narrow alleyways are less crowded than Lahore, paved and clean. The people are friendly and the street food is yummy, with more variety than the usual daal, samosa, pakora etc

Nankana, the birth place of Guru Nanak, founder of Sikhism is about 30km further south and an easy day trip from Malik Garden. The main Gurdwara is built on the site of his birth and there are also 7 other Gurdwaras in the town. Try to find a local Sikh to show you round and tell you a bit about Sikhism. We found some very friendly university students. All Gurdwaras serve free food, we had a tasty lunch of vegetables, pickle and roti. The Gurdwaras all have a very relaxed feel to them and it is nice to sit amongst people of all faiths enjoying the Sikh hospitality together. Both men and women must cover their heads inside the Gurdwaras, so make sure you have some kind of scarf with you. The best time to visit is November to enjoy Guru Nanak’s birthday celebrations.

There are a few Sufi Shrines around Sikhan Walla village. We didn’t get as far as exploring these have heard there is some impressive mirror work to see.

Practicalities:

To reach Malik Garden take bus number 140 from the far end of ‘Electronics Road’ on the left hand side. This will take you as far as Sharakpur Sharif for 30 rupees. Then a rickshaw to Sikhan Walla is 40 rupees. The hostel is at the bottom of a lane opposite the girls primary school.

To reach Nankana, you need to take 2 buses (change at Mangtan Walla). Each bus is approximately 20 rupees.