Sanjay Leela Bhansali's magnum opus, Heeramandi, which also marks his awaited web series debut, is inspired by the old city of Lahore and the Mughal era's recreation.
The new year 2024 is magnificent for the glamorous industry of Bollywood and its artists, as several anticipated projects are slated for their releases. One of them is filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali's magnum opus, Heeramandi, which also marks his awaited web series debut after nearly 2 years of excruciating waiting for the first look. However, not many are aware of the true inspiration of the film and its story, whose roots lie in Pakistan’s Lahore. Here’s more about the red-light district and its backstory.
Heera Mandi, or Diamond Market, is a renowned red-light district and neighbourhood located in the old city of Pakistan’s Lahore. However, the place earlier was the epitome of heritage, culture, and exquisite entertainment. Originally known as Heera Singh Di Mandi and the food grain market, the place derived its name in honour of Maharaja Ranjit Singh’s officer, Heera Singh. It is also referred to as Shahi Mohallah ("Royal Neighbourhood") and functioned as an epicentre of the tawaif culture in Lahore, catering to the recreation of the elite during the 15th–16th centuries Mughal era.
The women performed traditional Indian dances like Kathak for them and hail from nearly all countries in Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. However, in the present scenario, the historical place has lost its charm and is now infamous for prostitution.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s debut on Netflix has been abuzz on the internet ever since its announcement two years ago but the recently dropped first look on Thursday has made the wait even harder. One of the key reasons is the stellar ensemble cast of Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Richa Chadha, Sharmin Segal, and Sanjeeda Sheikh teaming up for the opulent web series.
Fans were overwhelmed to get a glimpse of the royal Heeramandi and its mesmerising women entertainers. Decked up in traditional attire and jewellery, the period saga takes you back in time. Take a look at the teaser below:
The story entails the epic saga of love, power, and liberalisation in the lives of courtesans who entertained people with their elegance and enticing beauty amid the backdrop of pre-independent India or British Raaj. The Gangubai Kathiawadi director will be returning with his royal charms like Devdas and Bajirao Mastani with this intriguing women-led project that narrates the story of courtesans who were also powerful queens.