Exploring the Moti Bazar Rawalpindi

Exploring the Moti Bazar Rawalpindi

Exploring the Vibrant Markets of Moti Bazar in Rawalpindi

Located in the heart of Rawalpindi, Moti Bazar is a bustling marketplace that exudes the essence of Pakistani culture and commerce. As one of the oldest and most popular shopping districts in the city, Moti Bazar has been a hub of activity for decades, attracting locals and tourists alike with its vibrant atmosphere and vast array of exotic goods. In this article, we'll delve into the world of Moti Bazar, exploring its history, attractions, and what makes it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Pakistani culture and shopping.

Seemingly, the Moti Bazar in Rawalpindi shrinks under the shadows of its neighbouring markets and bazars. Yet most people are unaware that the Moti market is an ancient tree with roots older than a century. Today, will take you through this living legacy of commerce and culture that has thrived for almost 139 years.

A Brief History of Moti Bazar

Moti Bazar owes its name to the precious stones that were once sold in the market. The word "Moti" means pearl in Urdu, and the bazar (market) was known for its beautiful pearl jewelry and other gemstones. Established over 100 years ago, Moti Bazar has a rich history that dates back to the early 20th century when it was a thriving center for trade and commerce. Over the years, the market has undergone several transformations, with the addition of new shops, eateries, and entertainment options. Today, Moti Bazar is a bustling hub of activity, attracting visitors from all over the world.

Attractions and Activities at Moti Bazar:

Moti Bazar is a shopper's paradise, offering an incredible array of goods at affordable prices. Some of the popular attractions and activities include:

  1. Shopping: With over 5,000 shops and stalls, Moti Bazar is a shopper's dream come true. Visit the market to find anything from traditional clothing and jewelry to souvenirs, handicrafts, and local delicacies.
  2. Food: Moti Bazar is famous for its street food, with stalls offering a wide range of Pakistani and Chinese cuisine, including delicious kebabs, steaming hot naan bread, and sweet treats like jalebi and falooda.
  3. Entertainment: Catch a live show or concert at one of the many open-air stages or indoor venues in the market.
  4. Historical landmarks: Visit the ancient streets and alleys of Moti Bazar to experience the city's rich history and architecture.
  5. Street performers: Enjoy the colorful street performers, including musicians, dancers, and acrobats, who add to the market's lively atmosphere.

Glimpsing Into the Origins of Moti Bazar

Like a shapeshifter, Moti bazar Rawalpindi has taken many forms to transcend through time. Let’s explore the story behind one of the busiest commercial hubs in Committee Chowk, Rawalpindi.


Exploring the Moti Bazar Rawalpindi


Bhola Ram Bali’s Mansion (139 Years Ago)

Over a hundred years ago, the seed for Moti Bazar was sown by Bhola Ram Bali. A Hindu cowherd who constructed a humble mansion for his late wife, Krishnavanthi. Though seemingly modest, this red brick structure would leave an unerasable mark on Pindi’s landscape.


Kanya Ashram Emerges (Early 1900s)

Following the passing of Krishnavanthi, the mansion changed hands, finding itself under the ownership of Moti Lal Ram. A compassionate and respectful businessman who made notable changes within the red brick mansion in the early 1900s.


Exploring the Moti Bazar Rawalpindi

Watering the Ram Bali’s seed, the structure evolved into Kanya Ashram. A safe retreat for Hindu women widows seeking refuge from the harrowing practice of Satti.  More than just a shelter, the place became a common institute for women to learn useful skills.

Women from almost all religious backgrounds began frequenting the “Moti Lal Haveli”. They gathered here to seek refuge and learn sewing or embroidery, eventually turning it into something resembling a community club dedicated to women.


Birth of Moti bazar (1901)

With a constant shower of compassion, the seed grew into a plant. 1901 financial crisis led Moti Lal Ram to showcase the exquisite needlework and stitched items crafted by the women of Kanya Ashram.

This display on the streets marked the initial stage of Moti bazar. The craftsmanship was well-received, and Moti Lal expanded the offerings. The area surrounding the Lal Haveli gradually turned into a vibrant marketplace where artistic and handmade products found a new home.


Post-Partition Transformation (1947)

The young tree was able to withstand the strong winds of change that swept across the subcontinent in 1947. As India cleaved open into two pieces, Moti Lal migrated to India, leaving behind a legacy that continued to thrive.


Exploring the Moti Bazar Rawalpindi

Post-partition, the Evacuee Trust Property Board stepped in, taking possession of the mansion and school associated with Kanya Ashram. With their preservation efforts, they pearlised this red brick architectural marvel into what we now know as Moti bazar Rawalpindi.


The Present-Day Moti bazar

What began as humble 15-20 makeshift stalls expanded into the twin cities’ largest functioning women’s market. Today, Moti bazar has over 7000 large and small shops scattered across 75 markets. Let’s explore how the infamous Moti Market impacts Pakistan today.


Economic Significance of Moti Market

For a marketplace that centres around women, Moti bazar lures over 5,000 visitors daily. Moti Market is a dreamscape offering a wide variety of goods ranging from dresses to accessories, shoes, home decor and baby items. Here is a list of shops that you should stop by.


Shoe Shops

Moti bazar Rawalpindi entails a vibrant range of shoe shops, tending to every footwear need imaginable. Whether you fancy the comfort of khusas, the simplicity of flats, or the allure of heels, these stores have it all.


Exploring the Moti Bazar Rawalpindi

The spotlight, however, shines on the bridal shoe collections, where intricate designs and quality craftsmanship meet affordability. Khusas, starting at a modest 600 PKR, and bridal heels, ranging from 1200 PKR to 8000 PKR, offer a spectrum of choices for every taste and budget.


Clothing Sections

Staying true to its essence, the Moti bazar has a range of clothing. This market has rich options for those enchanted by the artistry of embroidery. Embroidered artefacts adorned with Tilla and Dabka work, Nakshi, and various other embroidery styles line the shelves. 


Exploring the Moti Bazar Rawalpindi

The market has shops offering services like the meticulous ”pico” of dupattas. Moreover, you can find raw upon raw shops dyeing clothes in a kaleidoscope of hues to add an extra layer of customisation. For those wondering if the clothes shops here might make a dent in your pocket, the answer is no. You can find a good variety of pleasantly embroidered partywear starting from 2000 PKR.


Craftsmanship at service

Moti bazar isn’t just a marketplace; it’s a haven for those seeking tailored perfection. Numerous tailors stand ready to transform your fabric into a bespoke masterpiece, ensuring that your attire reflects your unique style.


Exploring the Moti Bazar Rawalpindi

The market’s diverse sections extend to baby items and dresses, offering gift boxes and complete maternal sets. The allure lies not only in the variety but also in the affordability, making the market a one-stop destination for all your tailoring needs.


Cosmetic Cornucopia

Moti bazar Rawalpindi emerges as a wholesale haven for cosmetic and skincare enthusiasts. These shops, major suppliers to salons and parlours in Rawalpindi, present an extensive array of beauty products. From makeup essentials to skincare wonders, Moti bazar ensures your beauty regimen is well-catered at economical prices.


Home Decor


Exploring the Moti Bazar Rawalpindi

Enhance your living space with Moti bazar’s diverse home decor offerings. From different plant decors to silverware, bedsheets starting as low as 900 PKR, and a myriad of utensils, the market invites you to transform your home into a haven of style. The variety ensures that every shopper can find something to add a touch of personality to their living space.


Food Stalls


Exploring the Moti Bazar Rawalpindi

No shopping experience is complete without a culinary adventure, and Moti bazar offers just that. Indulge in the famous dahi bhalla chaat, relish golgappas, and discover an array of street food delights. The tantalising aromas and flavours wafting from the food stalls complement a perfect shopping day.


Cultural Significance

Moti Bazar is not just a marketplace; it’s a vibrant social hub that reflects the true spirit of commerce. Yet its impact reaches beyond mere commercial prowess. The pearl market creates a space where diversity means growth, and every shopper finds a slice of retail paradise.


The Melting Pot of Cultures

Like other major commercial hubs in Rawalpindi like Saddar, the Moti bazar, too, is a melting pot where diverse traditions morphe. Visitors from Pakistan come here to shop, especially during the wedding season.


Exploring the Moti Bazar Rawalpindi

Suppose you visit this market on a weekday; you are sure to stumble upon some foreigners. Additionally, the shop owners belong to Rawalpindi, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Taxila, Hassanabdal, Hazara, and beyond.


Beyond Commerce

The Lal Haveli adds a significant layer of cultural importance to this bazar. Creating a unique synergy between commerce and heritage.


Challenges of The Pearl Market

Like any other big commercial properties for rent in Rawalpindi, the vibrancy of Moti bazar is not without its challenges. Boarded with other big marketplaces like Raja Bazar and Bara Bazar, Moti market tends to confuse people with its 18 entrances. 

The market faces issues of encroachments, particularly at these entrances, creating bottlenecks that hinder the smooth flow of visitors. Additionally, the poor drainage system in the area poses a recurring problem, with the market often facing floods during heavy rains. 


Exploring the Moti Bazar Rawalpindi

During July, the market usually faces substantial losses due to these conditions. Such challenges have not dampened the spirit of the traders and shoppers who continue to flock to Moti Bazaar.


Future Plans for Moti Market


Exploring the Moti Bazar Rawalpindi

Looking ahead, Moti Market aims to get even better! The government promises positive changes, including plans to restore the ”Andoor Pindi.” This means giving Moti Market a fresh look while keeping its history alive. The hope is for a busy and lively Moti bazaar that everyone can enjoy.


Enhance Your Trip to Moti Bazaar

Here are some tips to make your trip worthwhile.

  1. Get a Cab: You can avoid getting stuck in traffic and parking hassles by getting a cab to this place. However, if you take your car to Moti Bazar, make sure to park a few blocks away cause chances are you will get stuck.
  2. Plan Your Trips: If you’re someone who gets overwhelmed easily, pick a weekday to visit this marketplace. This way you can get a more relaxed environment and less crowd.
  3. Choose Comfy Clothes:  Ladies, consider pocketed outfits or burqas for added convenience.
  4. Bring Your Water Bottle:  Stay hydrated; even with food stalls, having your water is a smart move.
  5. Make a List: Jot down a comprehensive list of items you need before you enter the Moti Bazar. With such amazing variety can easily lead one astray from their intended purchases. Stay focused by ticking off your essential items first, and then take the time to explore the additional offerings in the market.
  6. Tag Along with Locals: Yes, exploring on your own is good. But it’s always better to take someone familiar with the area for an insider’s perspective.



Moti Bazar Rawalpindi is a place where history, commerce, and culture blend to create a unique and enchanting experience. It’s evidence of the city’s rich heritage and a reminder that the past and the present can coexist in harmony. So, when you find yourself in Rawalpindi, be sure to visit Moti Bazar, where you can explore, shop, and savour the rich history of this remarkable city.


Frequently Asked Questions

Let’s look into some additional questions you might have about this place.


What is Moti Bazar, and where is it located in Rawalpindi?

Moti Bazar is a historic market located in the heart of Rawalpindi, Pakistan. It is renowned for its rich cultural heritage and diverse shopping options.


What kind of products can I find at Moti Bazar?

Moti Bazar offers a wide range of products, including jewellery, fabrics, traditional clothing, modern attire, handicrafts, and more.

Can I find traditional Pakistani jewellery at Moti Bazar?

Yes, you can find exquisite traditional Pakistani jewellery at Moti Bazar, including gold, silver, and gemstone pieces known for their craftsmanship and intricate designs.

Are there any famous dishes or street food to try in Moti Bazar?

Moti Bazar is famous for its food stalls, including golgappas, chaat, kebabs, and jalebi. These are a must-try for food enthusiasts.

What makes the cultural experience at Moti Bazar special?

Moti bazar originated as a platform exclusively showcasing creations crafted by women. Historically, it stands as one of the pioneering feminist entrepreneurial markets in the subcontinent’s history.

Are there guided tours available for Moti Bazar?

Yes, there are guided tours available for Moti Bazar, which can provide in-depth information about the market’s history and the items available.

How do I get to Moti Bazar, and is parking available?

Moti Bazar is easily accessible by cab or public transportation. However, the parking facilities are not so easily available.

What are the operating hours of Moti Bazar?

Moti Bazar typically opens early in the morning and remains open until late in the evening. Operating hours may vary slightly by shop and season. For example, in Ramzan, the market stays open till sehri time.

Is haggling or bargaining common in Moti Bazar?

Yes, bargaining is a common practice in Moti Bazar. Shopkeepers expect customers to negotiate prices, so feel free to haggle to get the best deals on your purchases.

Did you like this deep dive into the infamous pearl market? Explore more like Shah Alam Market on

Leave a Reply

Scroll to Top