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Things to do in Pakistan

Exploring through Pakistan

Pakistan is a land enriched with history, culture, lush green valleys, sparkling rivers, and huge mountains. There is a range of places to visit in Pakistan, and each has its significance. Pakistan has always attracted thousands of tourists to its country, setting up camps in the northern areas or roaming around the streets of ancient cities.

Particularly the northern areas of Pakistan have been highlighted as the most famous tourist destination in Asia. After frequent terrorist attacks, Pakistan lost some of its tourists, but with a strong defense line, Pakistan regained its position in the tourist industry. However, how can one visit a place without knowing its details? Thus, this is a complete guide to specify things to do in Pakistan.

1. Lahore Fort

Lahore Fort - One of the Best Things to do in Pakistan
Image by Flickr

If you plan on visiting Pakistan, how can you not add Lahore Fort in your places to visit? Thus, this is one of the best places to visit in Pakistan if you are fond of history because this ‘Shahi Qila’ dates back to the time of Mughal Emperors. It was built in the 11th century by the great Mehmood of Ghazni.

With the latest developments made to this place, now you can feel taken back in time because the whole environment has been renovated. You will be greeted by people dressed in ancient clothing, and this ‘Mughalayi’ treatment will be continued in your entire tour. The most visited place here is the ‘Sheesh Mahal’ (Palace of Mirrors).

2. Baltit Fort

Baltit Fort

In the breath-taking valleys of Hunza stands the glorious Baltit Fort. This fort has been a part of Hunza since the 14th century, standing tall and strong in its place. To all the history lovers out there: Balitit Fort is a must to visit the place. You will get a closer and in-depth look at historians’ carvings and learn about their culture and lifestyle. The Fort guides will help you dig in a little deeper and explore the un-heard facts of history.

This fort has been subject to many uprisings and conflicts. The Royal Geographic Society of London, along with the UNESCO world heritage center, took immediate notice of preserving this fort and returned it to its glory.

3. Rohtas Fort

Rohtas Fort
Image by Flickr

Adding to the list of historical places, Rohtas Fort has located 16km North-West of the Jhelum river. This foundation of this fort was laid to protect the Peshawar to Calcutta road by Sher Shah Suri. However, he could not see the completion of this fort and passed away. His successors continue his project, and thus, Rohtas Fort came to being.

This fort has not been in good hands, and there is little left to explore here. It is now located in ruins and welcomes fewer tourists towards it. However, if you want to visit all the historical places, you can add Rohtas fort to your list and visit the best-preserved part west. Winters would be an ideal time to visit this place because the blazing heats of summer will drain your energy.

4. Shah Faisal Mosque

Shah Faisal Mosque

As mentioned earlier, Pakistan is a land of religion and culture, so if you visit Pakistan, make sure that you visit its religious places. These sacred mosques have been built with the same grace and care as the other buildings in Pakistan.

Shah Faisal Mosque’s foundation was laid in 1967; however, its infrastructure is as modern as any other mosque. The unique design of the mosque makes it one of the most eye-catching mosques in Pakistan. Unlike other mosques, you would not find a typical dome here; instead, it is shaped like a Bedouin camp aligned with four minarets. The mosque is made so spacious that it can accommodate up to 300,000 people at a time in its courtyard.

5. Mazar-e-Qaid

Mazar-e-Qaid

There would have been no Pakistan if there had been no Quaid-e-Azam, which is why one of the things to do in Pakistan is to pay tribute to the founder of this country in Karachi. The mausoleum has been designed keeping in mind the significance of the one who lays in it. The stoic white marble structure, which is astonishing yet straightforward, has attracted tons of tourists towards it.

This mausoleum is also the resting place of Fatima Jinnah (sister of Muhammad Ali Jinnah) and Liaquat Ali Khan (first prime minister of Pakistan).

6. Badshahi Mosque

Badshahi Mosque

Situated near the Lahore Fort, Badshahi Mosque is both: a religious place and a historical place. If you are visiting Lahore in particular, then the Badshahi mosque is a must to visit. The great Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb built it, who designed it with such glory that this place would take your breath away.

It has the capacity of 40,000 worshippers who can stand along for prayer without any uneasiness. The fact that it is entirely made of red stones makes it look more glamorous. It is because people find it a privilege to get their Nikkah done from this mosque.

7. Jehangir’s Tomb

Jehangir's Tomb
Image by Flickr

Jehangir’s tomb is situated in Lahore, Stretched along a broad field, surrounded by beautiful iconic gardens. It was designed by the wife of Jehangir, Nur Jahan, under the supervision of his son, Shah Jahan. You will also catch sights of large empty rooms, which were once a place for travelers to rest. A total of 180 such compartments can be found in this place.

Moreover, this place is not only the resting place of Jehangir but also Asif Khan (the brother-in-law of Jehangir and father of Mumtaz Mahal). At a few distances, you can also visit the tomb of Nur Jahan. Although it is not as well established as that of Jehangir, yet it holds its importance.

8. Masjid Wazir Khan

Masjid Wazir Khan - Best thing to do in Pakistan
Image by Flickr

Another religious yet historical place to visit in Pakistan is the Wazir Khan Masjid (mosque). It gained its importance as a place where calligraphy was taught to beginners. It was built during the region of Shah Jahan under the supervision of Wazir Khan (Sheikh Ilm-Ud-Din Ansari).

Although the government has not put in proper efforts to maintain the mosque, it does not lose its attraction.

9. Shalamar Gardens

Shalamar Gardens
Image by Flickr

One of the things to do in Pakistan is to look at its beautiful gardens and valleys. Shalamar Gardens are located near Jehangir’s tomb, and it is the perfect place to visit for nature lovers. The well-preserved gardens are under the UNESCO world heritage site.

The credits of this place also go to the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, who built it in 1641. The whole site spreads over 80 acres of magnificent gardens. It also depicts the famous eye-catching Mughal architecture.

10. Lahore Museum

Lahore Museum - Best Things to do in Pakistan
Image by Flickr

Another place for history lovers is the Lahore museum, which is home to many artifacts of the sub-continent. Some of the collections were removed after partition; there are still 20 galleries loaded with items from the stone age to the 20th century.

Tourists are especially fond of the Gandharan sculpture, manuscripts, and Quran. Other than these, miniatures, paintings, and other forms of art can also be found. Another attraction would be the ancient coins and articles of Mohinjedaro and Harepa, which will take you back in time.

11. Minar-e-Pakistan

Minar-e-Pakistan

If you visit Lahore, how can you not pay a visit to the revolutionary Minar of Pakistan? It is one of the most iconic things to do in Pakistan. Thus, this is the place where the idea of Pakistan’s origin came into being.

The area around Minar-e-Pakistan is all park and greenery, so your kids will enjoy themselves as well. You can pack a basket of food and enjoy a picnic here. This Minar is located in the old Lahore because of which it is very crowded.

12. Lahore Wagha Border

Lahore Wagha Border - Best Place to Visit in Pakistan
Image by Flickr

Lahore has got several places for you to visit, and Wagha Border is one of those. The excitement and enthusiasm of the crowd will make your trip to the next level. Seeing the two rival countries standing in front of each other with crowds chanting slogans from both sides is undoubtedly a sight.

The ceremony at Wagha Border, along with the small drills, is among the top things to do in Pakistan. If you plan on going here, make sure you reach before time, or else you won’t find a perfect seat to enjoy.

13. Khewra Salt Mines

Khewra Salt Mines
Image by Flickr

Imagine yourself in a mine where you are surrounded by salt. Yes, such a place does exist, and it is called the Khewra Salt Mines. It is one of the largest salt mines, and it is a perfect place for tourists to explore nature. The guides at this place will give you an in-depth knowledge of the site.

The government has taken safety measures for the tourists and has ensured a comfortable environment in the mines. You can also get yourself some artifacts made of pure salt or shells such as lamps and jewelry boxes. These can be the perfect little gifts for your friends and family.

14. Mohenjo-Daro

Mohenjo-Daro
Image by Flickr

If exploring history is listed amongst your things to do in Pakistan, then paying a visit to Mohenjo-Daro is a must. One of the earliest known civilizations used this place as their home. Thus, Mohenjo-Daro has the key to the past. It is one of the Indus Valley civilizations, and the guides here will take you back in time to explore history.

This place was rediscovered in the 1920s, after which efforts were made to preserve it. Archeologists have made discoveries and elaborated more details of the past.

15. Chaukhandi Tombs

Chaukhandi Tombs
Image by Flickr

A place well known to the archeologist visitors is the Chaukhandi tombs, which is made of sandstone slabs that are carved with intricate patterns. These tombs date back to the 15th and 18th centuries. The elaborative decorations of the monument have made it a tourist choice.

Interestingly, these tombs are said to be haunted, so people avoid going here at night. The same suggestion would be for you, as well. If you want to have a good experience at this place and enjoy history, go in broad daylight.

16. Attabad Lake

Attabad Lake

The Northern beauty of Pakistan has no match, so take out some time to visit these. Hunza is a land filled with the most exuberant places. One such place is the Attabad Lake, filled with sparkling turquoise water.

In 2010 after the massive land sliding, the whole Attabad village was buried under rocks. The Hunza River began to overflow, and efforts by the local authorities and the government of Pakistan took immediate action. Thus, the Attbad lake came into being.

This lake would take your breath away. The still and calm water with such a beautiful turquoise color would make your day.

17. Derawar Fort

Derawar Fort
Image by Flickr

Who would imagine that a dessert can be a home to such a vast and historical palace? However, the Cholistan desserts contain one such fort known as the Derawar Fort. At first, this fort was not available for the common public, or tourists and soldiers marked it as their territory. However, these soldiers are no longer present here because of which this stone palace is all set to welcome its tourists.

It is not easy to reach out to this place without any assistance because of which you will have to hire an excellent guide. They will assist you in a one day tour to the fort. Thus, if you are making up your mind on visiting this place, then plan out all the details beforehand.

18. Makli Hill

Makli Hill

Makli Hills was a royal burial ground in the 14th century, and now it serves as a tourist destination. It is a city of the dead which is made of crumbling tombs. I am sure this statement of mine would make you lose interest in the place. However, the true beauty of Makli Hills is the ancient burial ground.

If you are fond of history, this would have sparked the desire to visit this place. Necropolis would be especially fond of this place. However, this site is in dire need of renovations and preservation.

19. Hingol National Park

Hingol National Park
Image by Flickr

Hingol National Park is in Balochistan, where it is famous as a tourist destination for its mud volcano, lunar landscape, and rock formation. You will find many bizarre rock formations here, which you can have a bright look at while driving on the Makran Coastal Highway. The most famous rock formation found here is of the ‘Princess of Hope’ or the Sphinx of Ghiza.

Another attraction of this place is the mud volcano because it is the only volcano found in south Asia. Furthermore, this place is home to many rare species of birds such as Ibex and Urials.

20. Shangri-La Lake

Shangri-La Lake - Things to do in Pakistan

Adding in the list of natural beauties of Pakistan is the Shangri-La Lake. Skardu is filled with the most eye-catching resorts, lakes, and valleys. Shangri-La lake is one such lake in Skardu, which is a famous tourist destination.

This lake is found in one of the most beautiful valleys of Pakistan. I have visited this place and have never been able to get it out of my mind ever since. The peaceful and quiet environment of the valley adds in the beauty of the lake. For sure, Pakistan has got some of the most beautiful regions in its North.

21. Kalasha Valley

Kalash Valley
Image by Flickr

Another Northern beauty region of Pakistan is Kalash Valley, located in Chitral. If you are looking forward to discovering the diverse cultures of Pakistan, then Kalash valley is one of your best shots. There are three valleys in Kalash: Bumburet, Rumor, and Birir.

The beauty of Kalash is double with the colors of dresses that the locals wear. You will find them wearing multi-colored frocks with traditional hats. However, as it is located in the de-facto no control over the area because of which it is not as well preserved or known to the tourists as the other regions.

22. Hussaini Hanging Bridge

If you are seeking some adventures on your trip, look forward to going to the Hussaini Hanging Bridge. The long ropes which are used to make this bridge will make you shiver. Adding in the serious looks is the fact that many planks are missing from the deck.

However, this was the only path that could be used by the locals for traveling. Rich people use an airplane as a mode of travel. Although this bridge does look a little spooky, it is still one of the safest bridges. Tourists, especially hikers, come here to test their nerves.

23. Hiran Minar

Hiran Minar - Best Things to do in Pakistan

The beauty in Pakistan has no end. Hiran Minar, located in Sheikpura, draws the attention of many tourists. Mughal Emperor, Jehangir also built this place. Interestingly, Jehangir made this Minar for his pet antelope, who got killed when Jehangir and his friends were out for hunting.

This place contains a remarkable water tank, which is the main attraction of this place. Adding more to the beauty is the octagonal pavilion, which resides in the middle of the water tank and can be accessed by a stone bridge. The perfect royal retreat indeed!

24. World’s Highest ATM

This place is undoubtedly one of the most exciting places. The Pakistan National Bank got a world record under their name after installing an ATM 4693 meters above sea level. If you have forgotten your cash, then there is no need to worry because high above the grounds, this solar-powered automated machine will handle it all for you.

25. Thalpan Petroglyphs

If you are traveling by road to the Northern beauty of Pakistan, then you have a golden chance to catch a sight of the town of Chilas. You will find a sizeable ancient museum that has stored in its multiple old paintings and artifacts. Not only this, but you will also get a look at sculptures of meditating Buddhas along with scribbling in various languages.

This route was a part of the Silk Route for many years because of which it became a famous tourist resting place. However, this place is not as well preserved as it should have been. Some people have destroyed their charm by graffiti paintings on the rocks. However, real beauty never dies.

Conclusion

Pakistan is loaded with places for tourism, and with advanced security measures, it has regained its place in the international tourist industry as well. From the cold Northern areas of Pakistan to the blazing hot desserts, Pakistan has tourist attractions everywhere. Even the large cities and small streets have pilled up tourist destinations within them. Just pick on the right weather conditions and plan your trip before time so that you never miss out on any place.

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