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The Lizard Man of Lahore


Lizard Man | Cryptid

Cryptids, mysterious and strange creatures, are part of folklore worldwide. From Scotland's 'Loch Ness Monster' to Russia's 'Yeti' and America's 'Bigfoot,' every region has its legendary tales. These cryptids are not ghosts or spirits but undiscovered or unusual animals.


Between the 1970s and 1990s, a cryptid was rumoured to roam the streets of Lahore: the Lizard Man.


The first recorded encounter with the Lizard Man occurred in September 1972 in the Keer Kalan area. A sanitation worker, Khaliq Hussain, was cleaning an underground sewage drain when he heard strange sounds and noticed movement in the mud. Shining his torch, he was stunned to see a six-foot-long creature with grey skin, a lizard-like face, a long tail, and human-like arms and legs ending in claws. Terrified, Khaliq climbed out of the manhole and alerted others, but the creature had disappeared by the time they searched the drain. Khaliq's account was dismissed as hallucinations, and the incident faded from memory.


In February 1973, another sanitation worker, Aziz Masih, reported a similar sighting near Kot Lakhpat. According to him, the creature resembled a young man with crocodile-like skin and moved swiftly through the sewage line.


On June 6, 1975, the Lizard Man drew media attention when a dairy farmer near Samanabad witnessed a human-like creature with lizard-like skin dragging a calf into a pond. The farmer found deep claw marks on the injured calf, spreading fear in the area. Two local newspapers, "Roznama Rozgar" and "Roznama Punjab," published extensive articles, complete with pictures of the wounded calf and the farmer's police statement. Other newspapers reported the story as minor news items.


As fear spread, people avoided drains, sewers, and ponds, and pranksters began spreading false rumors of sightings. On June 10, a columnist, Muhammad Qasim Goraya, speculated in "Roznama Punjab" that such a creature might be hiding in Lahore's abandoned underground tunnels and pathways from the eras of Hindu Rajas, Mughals, Sikhs, and the British.


This speculation gained credibility in December 1975 when the magazine "Monthly Subah-e-Nau" published a report detailing:


  • Over a hundred incidents of livestock disappearing along the Ravi River in the past fifteen years.

  • Locations of these incidents and nearby sewage lines or drains emptying into the Ravi, noting that at least 80 out of 100 incidents occurred near these points.

  • Statements from over twenty people claiming to have seen an "unusually large crocodile" near the Ravi in recent years, including an elderly man injured by such a creature near Kamran’s Baradari in 1961. He described it as having much longer legs than typical crocodiles.


In the 1980s, renowned French cryptozoologist Raphael Cedric visited Lahore twice in search of the Lizard Man. Though he did not see the creature, he filmed claw marks in the sand at three locations along the Ravi, which did not match any known local animals. These photos were later published in the French magazine "Le Soleil."


Despite repeated denials from the Punjab Wildlife Department about the creature's existence, sightings continued. The last reported sighting was in March 1991 during renovation work at Lahore Fort. After that, the Lizard Man of Lahore vanished into forgotten history.


Yet, who knows? Perhaps this elusive creature still lurks in the underground Mughal-era tunnels, sewage drains, and deserted banks of the Ravi.


 

 Translated from Urdu by Insia Huzefa.

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