Punjab, Pakistan – The Abode of Old Civilizations

Punjab, Pakistan - The Abode of Old Civilizations

There are only a few countries that would provide satisfaction of having tryst with almost every facet of civilization. Pakistan has one of the oldest civilizations to visit. It had been a recipient of Vedic, Persian, Indo-Greek, Islamic, Turco Mongol and Sikh culture, now somewhat colored with the current western culture. Its cuisines are famous in the entire world. You shall find several restaurants serving Pakistanis recipes and that too always humming with consumers.

Pakistan has six cultural sites of historic and archeological importance selected as UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These are archaeological ruins at Mohenjo-Daro of the Indus Valley Civilization, First century BC Buddhist ruins ate Takht-i-Bahiand, Sahr-i-Bahlol, the ruins of Taxila of the Gandhara Civilization, the Lahore fort and Shalimar gardens in Lahore, and the city of Thatta.

Punjab is the second largest state in Pakistan. In matters of cultural heritage and cultural diversity, this province has perhaps no equal in the world. To begin with, one shall find the ruins of Indus valley Civilization at the ancient city of Harappa, which flourished before 3000BC. Taxila had been the abode of Gandhara civilization. The Greeks, Persians, Central Asians have at some point of time, ruled Punjab and their imprints are distinctly visible in the ruins. Umayyad Caliphate and the Ghaznavid brought Islam to the country through the route of Punjab. The Moguls were here for several centuries and their signature is visible in monuments, tombs and forts. After the Moguls, the Durrani Empire was at the saddle, which was followed by the Sikh empire. The Britishers ruled here until Pakistan got its independence in 1947.

There are large number of cosmopolitan cities in Punjab. Lahore has a galaxy of historical monuments such as Lahore fort, famous and the most beautiful Shalimar gardens, Badshaahi Mosque, tombs of Nur Jahan, Jahangir, Aasaf Khan, Chauburji, Qutb-ud-din Aibak and Samadhi of Rana Ranjit Singh that have an unparallel architectural presence. There are several other historical sites including Anarkali Market, which is still there with all its galore, and Hazuri Bagh Baradri, which is an exquisite example of the Sikh architecture.

Rawalpindi, the other city, is the gateway to hill stations namely, Muree, Patriata, Northern Areas, Gilgit Balistan and Azad Kashmir. The world heritage site Rohtas fort near the river Jhelum, built by Shershah Suri is here. The Katasraj temple is a major destination of Hindu devotees. The Sikhs frequently visit the Nankana Sahib, the birthplace of Guru Nanak, from all over the world. The clock tower and eight bazaars of Faisalabad, which represent the Union Jack, also hum with activities with vibrant and famous market places.

If one wants a feel of deserts and its beauty then he must visit Multan known for its mausoleum of Sufi pirs and saints. The city of Bahawalpur near the Thar Desert and the Cholistan desert is another place where annual jeep rally takes place. The sites of Uch Sharif of Delhi Sultanate, the Noor Mahal, Daarbar mall, Sadiq Ghar palace are some other attractions along with the Lal Suhanra Zoological National Park at the outskirts.