Pakistan is a culturally rich country known for its natural beauty, traditions, food, and of course, historical places. From lush green plains to vast mountain ranges to majestic deserts, Pakistan has it all. Pakistan is a paradise for people who like exploring old and historical places. The country was ruled by different empires. Many famous people passed the country during their expeditions as well.
In this article, we bring you top historical places in Pakistan that you should not miss especially if you have a knack for history.
List of Historical Places in Pakistan
- Hiran Minar
- The Noor Mahal
- Mohenjo Daro
- Taxila City
- Katas Raj Temples
- Lahore Fort
- Rohtas Fort
1. Hiran Minar
Located in Sheikhupura, Hiran Minar is an early Mughal era complex that was completed in the 17th century. It is also known as “The deer Tower.” The complex was built by Emperor Jahangir to honor his pet antelope named Mansraj.
The Hiran Minar is located in Sheikhupura, a city to the northwest of Lahore. Another famous historical place located near the Hiran Minar is the Sheikhupura Fort, which also dates from the early 17th century. Both sites are accessible from Lahore via the M2 Motorway.
The structure of the complex is also very interesting. It consists of four minarets that are 30 feet in length. The complex also has a massive pool and a pavilion giving it more beauty and grace. There are amazing pools in Karachi to dip in summers.
2. The Noor Mahal
Noor Mahal located in the city of Bahawalpur is a depiction of beauty and class. It was built in 1872 by the Nawab of Bahawalpur during the British Raj. Map of the city and gold coins were also buried in the foundation of the mahal.
Apart from the exterior of the mahal, the interior of the mahal also speaks of elegance and exquisite taste. Much of the beautiful furniture of the mahal was imported from England and Italy. The construction of the building was completed in 1875 at a cost of Rs. 1.2 million.
The mahal is spread across an area of 44,600 square feet (4,140 m2). It has 32 rooms including 14 in the basement, 6 verandas, and 5 domes.
Nawab Muhammad Bahawal Khan the fifth added a mosque to the palace in 1906 at the cost of Rs. 20,000.
The building was declared a “protected monument” in September 2001 by the Government of Pakistan’s Department of Archeology, and it is now open for the general public. The mahal also houses a lot of personal belongings of the Nawab including his old swords, old currency notes, and coins, old laws that were made in that time, an old piano that Nawabs used to play, old furniture used by Nawabs and the list goes on. There is also a long wall in it that contains imaginary pictures of Nawabs.
3. Mohenjo Daro
Mohenjo Daro is an archeological site located in the province of Sindh. Mohenjo Daro is also known as ‘Mound of the Dead Men.’
Mohenjo Daro was built around 2500 BC and it is said to be one of the largest and oldest settlements of the Indus Valley. The city was abandoned in the 19th century BCE due to unknown reasons. The city was rediscovered in 1920 and since then some major excavations have been conducted in the region.
Minar-e-Pakistan is equivalent to nationalism and patriotism in Pakistan. It is the national monument, located at the center of Lahore. The tower was built between 1960 and 1968 on the site where the All-India Muslim League passed the Lahore Resolution on 23 March 1940.
The tower is a perfect combination of Islamic and modern design and architecture. It was designed by the famous Russian born architect, Nasreddin Murat-Khan. The construction of the monument started in 1960 and it was completed on 21 October 1968 at an estimated cost of Rs 7,058,000.
The tower rises about 62 meters on the base, the total height of the minar is about 70 meters above the ground. The base of the minar transforms into big petals. The petals are 9 meters high. The diameter of the tower is about 9.75 meters. There are inscriptions on the petals which showcase the text of Lahore Resolution in Urdu, Bengali, and English, and Delhi Resolution’s text, which was passed on 9 April 1946. Besides this, 13 Gates of Lahore are also comes to the list of top historical places of Pakistan.
5. Taxila City
Taxila is an ancient city located near Rawalpindi city. Taxila means “City of Cut Stone in Sanskrit. It is located 32 km (20 mi) north-west of Islamabad and Rawalpindi near the famous Grand Trunk Road. Islamabad has some amazing places to visit and haunted places as well. There are many activities you can do in Rawalpindi.
Some of the ruins of the region date back to the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BCE, followed by the Mauryan Empire, Indo-Greek, Indo-Scythian, and Kushan Empire periods. This indicates the historical importance and diversity of the region.
The famous archaeologist Sir Alexander Cunningham rediscovered the ruins of Taxila in the mid-19th century. In 1980, Taxila was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and in 2006, it was ranked as the top tourist destination in Pakistan by The Guardian newspaper.
6. Katas Raj Temples
If you are interested in exploring temples and old Hindu establishments, then this place is for you. Katas Raj Temples, also famous among the masses. Katas is a complex of multiple temples that are interconnected with the help of walkways.
It is located near Kallar Kahar and is located at an altitude of 2,000 feet. It is approximately 100 kilometers away by road from another important Hindu pilgrimage destination – the Tilla Jogian complex.
The complex is surrounded by a pond named Katas which is regarded as sacred by Hindus. Temples are located near the town of Choa Saidanshah and are near the M2 Motorway. According to folk legends, the pond at the complex was created by the tears of Lord Shiva that he shed in the memory of his late wife, Sati.
Another tradition states that the Hindu deity Krishna laid the foundation of the temple, and established a hand-made shivling in it. The pond occupies an area of two Kanals and 15 marlas, with a maximum depth of 20 feet.
Harappa is another archaeological site located in Punjab, about 24 km (15 mi) west of Sahiwal. The site got its name from a village located at the bank of Ravi Bank. It is one of the best places to visit in Pakistan. The current village of Harappa is less than 1 km (0.62 mi) from the ancient site.
The ruins have things dating back to the Bronze Age. According to an estimate, the city has 23,500 residents and occupied about 150 hectares (370 acres).
The Harappan Civilization has its earliest roots in cultures such as that of Mehrgarh, approximately 6000 BC. Harappa along with Mohenjo Daro got established in 2600 BC along the Indus River Valley.
The civilization of Harappa was very modern. They had their writing system, urban centers, and diversified social and economic system. The Harappans were also traders and they used to trade with ancient Mesopotamia. Cotton textiles and agricultural products were the primary trading objects. If you are visiting Pakistan and looking for accommodation visit 3-star hotels and 4-star hotels in Pakistan.
8. Lahore Fort
The Lahore Fort, also known as the Shahi Qila, or Royal Fort is situated in the walled city of Lahore. It is one of the tourist attraction in Lahore. The fort is spread across 20 hectares. The fort also contains 21 monuments that date back to the reign of Akbar.
The later emperors also made changes to the fort. Shah Jahan added precious marbles and floral designs to the fort. Aurangzeb added the grand Alamgiri Gate to the fort. During the reign of Sikhs in Lahore, the fort acted as the residence of Emperor Ranjit Singh, founder of the Sikh Empire.
In 1981, the fort was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its “outstanding repertoire” of Mughal monuments. Moreover, it is famous for its Sheesh Mahal which is located at Shah Burj Block.
Takht-i-Bahi, also known as the throne of water spring is an Indo-Parthian archaeological site located in Mardan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. There are many things to do in city but you should visit this place as it is one of the most imposing relics of Buddhism in all of Gandhara.
The Buddist monastery was founded in the 1st century CE and the Buddhists used the place up till the 7th century. Takht-i-Bahi was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980.
There are four main areas of the Takht Bahi complex: The first one is the Stupa Court which is a cluster of stupas located in a central courtyard. The second area consists of monastic chambers, consisting of individual cells arranged around a courtyard, assembly halls, and a dining area. Then there is a temple complex, consisting of stupas and similar to the Stupa Court. And lastly, there is a Tantric monastic complex, which consists of small, dark cells with low openings, which may have been used for certain forms of Tantric meditation.
10. Rohtas Fort
Rohtas Fort also known as Qila Rohtas is a fortress located near the city of Jhelum. It was constructed in the 16th century, during the reign of Sher Shah Suri. The fort is said to be one of the largest forts in the subcontinent. Luckily, the fort was never attacked and as a result it is still standing firmly with all its glory.
Rohtas Fort was inscribed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1997 for being an exceptional example of the Muslim military architecture of Central and South Asia.Rohtas Fort covers an area of 70 hectares, enclosed by 4 kilometers of walls that were bolstered by 68 bastion towers, and 12 gates. The large fort could hold a force of up to 30,000 men.
If you are interested in exploring old towers and architecture, you should not miss this fort. And if you are someone who wants an escape from the regular urban life, then visit famous hill stations in Pakistan.
These are some of the most famous historical places in Pakistan. If you are a traveler or have a knack for history, then you should visit these sites. If you want to travel outside Pakistan, there are many countries offering visa-free entry for Pakistani passport holders. For more information about ancient places in the world visit our blog.
Until then, happy travelling.