Pakistan belongs to the list of countries having the earliest civilizations of the world. It has some of the great landmarks and historical places that depict the true values of culture and history. It is a country famous for its cultural history and diversity.
Pakistan has myriad museums, forts, mosques, landmarks and other monuments that attract hundreds of locals and thousands of tourists every year and it’s increasing with every passing day.
Here is a list of Pakistan historical places that you should visit if you aim to discover the historical places in Pakistan.
Let’s delve in…..
Badshahi Mosque – Lahore
This is not possible to talk about historical places in Pakistan and not mention Badshahi Mosque.
The iconic Badshahi Mosque, also known as “Emperor’s Mosque” is one of the oldest mosques in the region and was constructed back in 16731-73 by one of the Mughal Emperor named Aurangzeb in Lahore. It’s one of the most beautiful landmarks in the city and attracts many foreigners and locals.
It depicts the true culture, beauty and values of the Mughal era. It’s so big and spread over 26,000 square meters and can accommodate over 95,000 people at a time. It was the largest mosque in the world for almost 300 years before the construction of the Faisal Mosque in 1986. Now, it has become the second largest mosque in Pakistan and the fifth largest in the world.
The architecture and design were inspired by Jama Masjid Delhi which was built by Aurangzeb’s father Shah Jahan in 1648.
The mosque has 196 feet long four minarets and 3 domes, the middle dome is relatively larger than two others. The overall color combination is red and white which looks stunning and provides breathtaking sights.
The mosque is one of the best Mughal structures but suffered a lot in the Maharaja emperorship later. After the independence of Pakistan, Pakistan took care of it and later in 1993, the mosque was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Hiran Minar – Sheikhupura
You might have got the idea from the name “Hiran” Urdu name of “Deer” animal. It is said that it was constructed by Mughal King Jahangir in the memory of his beloved pet deer named “Mansraj”. It is also known as Deer tower.
Back in the 1600s, Sheikhupura had been a popular hunting ground and Jahangir used to go there for hunting adventure. One day, when Jahangir was hunting, he mistakenly shoots his beloved deer. So, the Jahangir ordered to construct this “Hiran Minar” to keep her memory alive. Moreover, a large water tank was built too.
This is certainly a historical place that you should visit if you want to witness the human love for animals.
Noor Mahal – Bahawalpur
Noor Mahal also known as “Noor Palace” is located in Bahawalpur city. The history of this palace is around one hundred and fifty years old. It was constructed in 1875 and is one of the most visited places in Punjab in recent years.
The architecture was designed by a British engineer. The building is a double story having 32 rooms in total. The overall area that building covers is around 44,600 square feet. Moreover, there are 6 verandas and 5 domes.
It had suffered a lot of crisis and almost all of its belongings were sold out illegally. In 1999, the Pakistan army took the responsibility to look after and preserve the palace as an antique monument.
After being declared a “protected monument” by the Archeology department of Pakistan, it was opened to visit for locals and foreigners as well.
There are different stories being told about the construction of Noor Mahal, but the one that is famous among all is that Nawab Subah Sadiq Muhammad Khan (IV) built this palace in honor of his beloved wife. But, later the palace started to serve as a guest house.
If you’re heading to Bahawalpur, you must visit this place to see the real Nawab’s residence.
Wazir Khan Mosque – Lahore
This mosque is located in the old Lahore and can be visited by going through the Delhi gate. It is one of the best and historical mosques in Pakistan and commonly known as “mole on the cheek of Lahore”
During the reign of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, the viceroy of Punjab, Ilam-ud-din Ansari laid the foundation of this holy place in 1634 A.D and was completed in the course of seven years. The mosque derives its name Wazir khan from the common name of the viceroy.
The entire mosque is built with small bricks laid in “Kanker lime” with a sprinkling of red sand-stone. Even the grills are in terracotta. The outstanding architectural features are its 107 feet high octagonal four corner minarets decorated with Mosaic tiles.
A bazaar consisting of around 20 shops forms an integral part of the plan which is the first-ever provided in a mosque. The shops are in two parallel rows having a brick-paved passage in between.
The mosque covers an area of 279.5 feet x 159 feet in total and out of which the prayer hall occupies an area of 131 feet x 42 feet and is divided into five compartments by means of four arches on massive piers measuring around 19 feet x 11 feet.
The eye-catching calligraphy work on its wall is beautiful and attracts thousands of people every year.
Mohenjo Daro – Sindh
Mohenjo Daro was an ancient city and it wouldn’t be wrong to call it one of the oldest urban cities in human history. The city was situated in southern Pakistan’s Indus river valley. Mohenjo Daro is one of the largest and oldest preserved cities which depicts the Indus civilization which is certainly the earliest civilization of the subcontinent.
You might be amazed to know that Mohenjo Daro city and great pyramids were nearly built at the same time back in 2500 BC. Mohenjo Daro was so large that it covered a total surface area of 500 acres, a massive area for a city. Because of the large area, archeologists believe it may have served as a government base for the Indus civilization.
The city had two districts called “Citadel” and the “Lower Town”. The first was built on height compared to the second one. The Citadel had the great bath tank measuring 900 square feet and used to get water from the Indus river.
It is said that Mohenjo Daro had a great water drainage system. The houses had baths, toilets and sewage system. For drinking and other household water needs, there were around 700 freshwater wells. Even the most famous roman baths waterways were constructed many years after the Mohenjo Daro.
One thing that is quite interesting is that Mohenjo Daro has no sign of government palaces and worship places like temples and tombs.
The second district, the lower town was a purely residential area where houses were built in a grid pattern just like modern city structures. It was home to around 20,000 to 40,000 people at that time.
It is said that after approximately 600 years, the city was collapsed and the cause is not certain. But one common believe it that the river path might be the cause. And the city was left abandoned for the rest of its life.
However, in 1911, the archaeologists visited it for the first time which leads the world to know about this grand city and its civilization. But still, it holds so much to be discovered.
Minar-e-Pakistan – Lahore
Minar-e-Pakistan is a minaret which was built in the honor of “Pakistan Resolution Day”. The resolution was passed on 23rd March 1940, under the supervision of Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
The foundation stone was laid on March 23, 1960, and the construction of the main tower was completed on 21st April 1968. It took around 8 years at the cost of 75 lac rupees. The place was originally known as Minto Park which was later changed to Allama Iqbal park in the honor of Muhammad Allama Iqbal. The tower is right located, where the All-India Muslim league session was held. This is one of the most famous historical places in Pakistan.
The architect was designed by a Turkish engineer Murat khan. Akhtar Hussain, the governor of West Pakistan appealed the general public for donations and also constituted a committee for the whole process.
All the material used in the construction was from Pakistan. The marble used was shipped from district Hazara and Sawat. The minaret and the surrounding park is spread over an area of 18 acres. The total height of the minaret is 196 feet from which the lower 180 feet is made up of iron and concrete. Whereas, the upper part is made up of steel.
To go to the top it has 334 stairs, however, the facility of the elevator is also there. The bottom part resembles the petals of the flower. The verses of the Quran, the quotations of Muhammad Allama Iqbal and Quaid e Azam and the story of Pakistan independence, in short, are written on the walls.
Moreover, the Urdu and Bengali translation of the resolutions are also written there. In the surroundings of the tower, there are beautiful fountains, pathways and a lake which adds more to its beauty.
Even after the centuries of its construction, the Derawar fort stands tall and proud in the heart of the Cholistan desert. It is located in the Yazman district Punjab Pakistan, approximately 130 km from Bahawalpur in the south. It tells a lot about the gone era. It consists of 40 bastions that are spread over miles in the desert.
The walls are around 1500 meters in circumference and 30 meters in height. The first fort was built by Rai Jajja Bhatti in the 9th century. However, It was rebuilt by Nawabs in 1733.
The first name was Dera Rawal, and then renamed to Dera Rawar which is now pronounced as a single word “Derawar”
Back in the 18th century, the fort was used for residential purposes and served over 12,000 people. In 1849, Nawab Bhawal Khan constructed a mosque there.
There are some graves near the fort and it is said that some great Muslim reformers who devoted their lives spreading Islam are buried there. The exterior walls of the fort are made up of burnt walls which were delivered to the site from hand to hand.
If compared to other historical places in Pakistan, the Derawar fort has survived well and has come a long way and still standing with its glory.
However, it’s need of the hour to take action to preserve this treasure because it holds unparalleled history.
Historical Places in Pakistan
We tried to compile a complete list of Historical Places in Pakistan.
If you know any other hidden place that you would recommend let us know in the comments.
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