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Saturday, April 13, 2024

The amazing and unusual Pakistan that you need to see

Pakistan is definitely a country full of surprises, not only in the political and diplomatic realms but also in the historic and unorthodoxly amazing sense. Here are some of the most amazing – and unusual – places to see in Pakistan

1. Mohenjo-Daro 


The name Mohenjo-Daro, meaning “Mound of the Dead Men,” is a modern one, as the original city was anything but. Spreading over an area of 300 hectares (about 750 acres) with a peak population of about 40,000, Mohenjo-Daro was one of the largest and most advanced cities in the world during its time. This ancient architectural wonder still stands today and grabs a large amount of tourist’s attention. It stands as a reminder of the subcontinent’s ancient roots and is a wonderful place to visit.

2. Khewra salt mines


In 326 BC, Alexander the Great, the Greek King famous for conquering an empire ranging from Asia into Africa and Europe, was making his way across Pakistan. Stopping his army for a rest in the area now known as Khewra, Alexander’s horse began licking the stones on the ground. Seeing that all the horses were doing so and taking note, a soldier himself tried one and found that the rocks were quite salty. The Khewra salt deposits had been discovered. Today these magnificent mines are known as the second largest deposits of rock salt and are often linked with the ability to cure many diseases. In fact there is a hospital constructed within as well.

3. Kalash Valleys


Also known as Kafiristan (the “Land of the Non-Believers”.) In the devoutly Muslim lands of Pakistan, the presence of the pagans in the Kalasha Valleys is quite an anomaly. The three valleys of the Kalash people, Bumburet, Rumbur, and Birir, from a cultural island where ancient traditions and pagan beliefs have managed to sustain themselves throughout time.

4. Makli hill


From around the 14th century through to the 18th century CE, the Thatta region was inhabited by local royalty who used Makli Hill as their communal burial site. Each new succession of rulers would build elaborate burial structures, often differing wildly from one another, creating a massive and varied cornucopia of historic graves. Dominating an area over 26,000 feet in diameter atop a Pakistan hilltop, Makli Hill is a sprawling city of the dead that is made of beautifully crumbling tombs.

5. Chaukhandi Tombs


Built between the 15th and 18th centuries, the Chaukhandi Tombs now form a remarkably well-preserved necropolis that often attracts visitors and archaeologists, but the area is not without foreboding legends.  These tombs are constructed out of huge sandstone slabs, which are delicately stacked into a finessed pyramid shape. The slabs were then clearly painstakingly carved with intricate patterns, drawings, and relatable scenes.

6. Lahore Fort (Elephant Path)


As the Mughal Empire expanded across the Indian subcontinent in the 16th century, Lahore became an increasingly important stronghold. Its strategic location was key in tying the expanded Mughal territories to the fortified cities of Kabul, Multan, and Kashmir. The city’s fortress was built under the reign of Emperor Akbar between 1566-1605 and housed several Mughal (and later Sikh) rules over the following centuries.  The elephant stairs (or Hathi Paer) are part of the private entrance to the royal quarters and effectively allowed royalty to ascend all the way to the doorway before dismounting. In order to accommodate the lumbering creatures, the stairs were designed with wide treads, but minimal height.

7. Derawar Fort


In the desert of Cholistan one of the most remarkable forts of the medieval world still exists as private property, owned by the royal Abbasi family who also keeps a necropolis for their family on the property. Derawar Fort is more than 1 kilometer in circumference and 30 meters high, featuring 40 stunning bastions rising out of the vast expanse of empty desert.

8. Hingol National Park


An important feature of the national park is a mud volcano, the only one in South Asia and at the same time the highest located mud volcano in the world. Its geological features aside, the 1650 square kilometers park is also an important habitat for Ibex, Gazelles, Urials and a large number of bird species. It is mostly famous for the Makran Coastal Highway.

9. Manghopir


Manghopir is one of the oldest areas of Karachi. Situated in the north of this bustling, chaotic and sprawling city, it is most famous for the shrine of a Sufi saint, Pir Mangho. Famous for the ancient reptiles (crocodiles) that are present in the area. These creatures have many myths around them amongst one is that the saint, Pir Mangho, turned lice into crocodiles. The area is often visited by tourists who go there to see the crocodiles which are so tame that there is not a single record of any death by these reptiles.

10. Arror Rock


The shape of rock was caused by unknown natural forces. There is also a Shrine on the top. In France, there is a famous similar shaped rock on sea shore caused by huge water waves but in the middle of the barren desert, the shape is an Amazing Wonder. Near this wonder, there are ruins of Bin Qasim Masjid (First ever Masjid built in Subcontinent, during the reign of Muhammad Bin Qasim) which makes the place worth the visit.

There are plenty more places to see in Pakistan. Hopefully, this small list will be the start of an adventure for many of you.