Student Living at LUMS Hostels
Although experiencing Lahore through Defence Housing Authority can limit your experience of the city to that of the liberal, urban, upper-class, the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) is still a great place to foray into the city from. Standing tall and red, it is located opposite Sector U, in the larger Cantonment Area. Probably the best thing about LUMS (apart from their stellar academics) are the hostels. Situated inside the university compound, the hostels were originally named M1 – M7 for males and F1 – F5 for females.
In a Nutshell:
- Have a friend in LUMS? Guaranteed roof over your head
- Food and laundry is sorted out for you
- Sneak peak into LUMS’ social scene
Don’t get your hopes up though! The LUMS boys hostels and girls hostels are aeons apart. Boys get shot at with rubber bullets if they try to get close to the LUMS female hostels. As far as I know, it is not an urban myth and actually happens. But to be honest, I don’t know anyone adventurous enough to have tried it out first-hand. Girls don’t seem to care enough to try and get close to the boy’s hostels. God knows what horrors reside there!
If you have a friend at the hostels, you can stay with them during your stay in Lahore. Needless to say, if it’s a female student, she can only invite over a female friend. Male students can similarly only host male friends. The stay is free, and you get access to open spaces and facilities like no other place in Lahore. The registration process includes informing the warden but there are no restrictions on the length of time you can stay.
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The hostel rooms are tiny. There is only enough space for two beds, a reading table and a closet. Despite being a dorm bed, it is large enough to fit the guest and their generous host. In case the idea of such close proximity does not appeal to you, spare folding mattresses that almost all hostilities have, make it surprisingly easy to accommodate a guest. That’s LUMS accommodation for you.
Each hostel is a bit different architecturally. But the layout for the rooms is invariably the same. They are divided into two wings with a shared bathroom in the middle. The bathrooms are generally clean (at least in the girl’s dorm), and have hot water at all times. The water pressure is also noteworthy in a city where power cuts can seriously affect basic services like water supply. There is also a small kitchen in every wing with a stove, refrigerator, toaster, microwave and water cooler.
You will not be disappointed with your options for food at LUMS. Apart from the budget meals at the Mess, fondly called PDC LUMS (an acronym for Pepsi Dining Center) in recognition of the large donation made by the soft drink manufacturer for its construction, there are many stand-alone restaurants. Zakir Tikka is famous for its desi food options, Chop Chop serves spicy pan-Asian cuisine and Subway offers its usual sandwich and salad menu, Flavors serves pizza and pasta while Jammin Java has a huge ala carte food and drinks menu. The garlic-mayo fries deserve a special mention. The superstore and the Khoka offer quick bites and snacks. In the summers, you will find people standing around, bottles of soda in hand, and in the winters, you will find them clutching cups of steaming cardamom tea. These establishments are open till late, and in case you are hit by the munchies, there are countless food delivery options that you can avail.
The best part is that since there is no curfew or lights out at the hostel, you can roam around the lawns, enjoy the sunrise on the fields behind the Sports Complex or just chill anywhere on-campus without the fear of getting mugged or harassed. A word of caution though: you are only allowed entry into the premises till 11 p.m. so all the late-night rendezvousing either happens at LUMS or you can spend a night gallivanting around Lahore before coming back and crashing at the hostel in the morning.
If you want to visit a friend in Lahore or just come see the glorious city, LUMS Hostels are a viable, free of cost option that is worthy of a lot more praise than it is usually rendered. Best for young folk, and especially fantastic for female travellers, the LUMS Hostels are a hidden gem for those seeking accommodation in urban Lahore.
Details about the LUMS hostel fee can be found on this link.