Pakistan sits at the cultural crossroads of the ancient world, and the heritage sites in the country is a testament to it. Heavily influenced by Hinduism, Buddhism and Islam, it showcases its heritage through its preserved heritage sites. Currently, there are 5 properties that are listed as World Heritage Sites by the UNESCO. These include:
Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and Neighboring City remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol: This is the remains of a famous Buddhist monastery and a fortified city. The monastery dates back to the 1st century CE. The complex consists of numerous stupas.
Rohtas Fort: This fort near Jhelum is an exceptional example of the Muslim military architecture of central and South Asia. The fort has such a presence because it successfully blends architectural and artistic traditions from Turkey and South Asia to create the model for Mughal architecture. It was built in 1541 CE and survives intact till today.
Photo Source: mylandpakistan.com
Historic Monuments of Malki, Thatta: Built in the 14th century, the remains of the city and its necropolis provide a unique view of civilization in Sind. While the palaces have disappeared a rich collection of tombs continues to survive. For details please click here
Fort and Shalamar Gardens: Located towards the east of Lahore, the Fort is a trapezoidal composition spread over 20 hectares. The existing base structure was built during the reign of Mughal emperor Akbar (1556-1605), and was regularly upgraded by subsequent rulers. Among the various monuments within the fort, the highlights are: the Moti Masjid, Naulaka pavilion, Alamgiri Gate, and Sheesh Mahal.
The Shalimar Gardens are located 8 kilometers (5 miles) east of Lahore. They were commissioned by Shah Jahan in 1637. The form of the garden is inspired by the gardens of the same name, in Kashmir, and would later be copied in the Shalimar Gardens of Delhi. The Shalimar Gardens are among the best preserved Mughal gardens. For further details please click here
Mohenja daro: The Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro (or Mohenjo-daro) are the remains of one of the largest settlements of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. The city was built around 2600 BC, and was abandoned around 1700 BC. It was rediscovered in 1922. Moenjodaro was the most advanced city of its time, with remarkably sophisticated civil engineering and urban planning. The site was divided into two sections: the acropolis with the major structures, and the lower town with private houses and commercial buildings.
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Taxilla: Taxila is an archaeological site containing the ruins of the Gandhâran city of Takshashila, an important Vedic/Hindu and Buddhist centre of learning from the 6th century BCE to the 5th century CE. Historically, Taxila lay at the crossroads of three major trade routes: the royal highway from Pâṭaliputra; the north-western route through Bactria, Kâpiúa, and Puṣkalâvatî (Peshawar); and the route from Kashmir and Central Asia. Situated on the Indus, various invaders from Greece, Persia, and Central Asia left a mark on the city and its style over the ages.
Kim’s Gun or Zamzama
“He sat in defiance of municipal orders, astride the gun Zam-Zammeh, on her old platform, opposite the old Ajaibgher, the Wonder House, as the natives called the Lahore Museum. Who hold Zam-Zammah, that ‘fire-breathing dragon’, hold the Punjab, for the great green-bronze piece is always first of the conqueror’s loot.