Pakistan is a land of many different cultures and traditions. The land of Pakistan has seen many phases in its (One of the oldest ) History of Pakistan. The remains of all those people, who inhabited this land and contributed their spice to its culture, are spread all over the country. There are hundreds of known archeological sites in the country and many are not even identified yet.
Below are just a few of the worth seeing sites beside numerous others. Please do return to this page as we will be adding more information on all these sites from time to time.
1. Mahar Garh 7000 BC
The site of Mahar Garh is located at the foot of Bolan Pass. When you drive from Sukkur to Quetta you can take a left turn Just before Bolan pass and reach the site. Mehar Garh is probably the oldest village culture found in Pakistan. 7000 BC. We have found mud & stone houses some tools and interesting figurines of women with heavy jewelry from this Site. Ceramics of very fine quality were also found from the site which shows that they had mastered the art in a span of many centuries. All these are Kept in Karachi , Sibbi , Quetta and Islamabad Museums.
2. Kot DG & Amri 3300 BC
They are two sites of pre Harappan period. Kot DG is located at a distance of 50Kms from Sukkur and Amri is located on the Indus Highway between Hyderabad & Sehwan. A village culture developed after Mahargarh. People have made house with stones and mud. They built better ceramics and probably had trade links with some western lands.
3. Moen Jo Daro & Harrappa 2500 BC
One of the most Important archeological site. The main city of Indus civilization. The site was probably built around 3000 BC and was destroyed 1700 BC. It was nearly the same period when Mesopotamia and Egypt were at boom More info on our Moen Jo Daro Page. Harrappa is the sister site of the same period and is located in Sahiwal District on the road between Lahore& Multan
4. Post Moen Jo Daro Sites 2500-1700BC
There are many sites in the province of Sindh , Punjab and Baluchistan from 2000 - 1000 BC most of them are simply identified and not excavated.
5. Taxila 516 BC to 6 AD
Just 40 Kilometers from Islamabad the present capital this site was the capital of Gandhara the eastern most province of Achminidian empire of Persia. Later this site was conquered by many invaders including Alexander the great and Temurlane. This was the site where Buddhism flourished and The famous Gandhara art emerged. The site has over 40 different cities , Monasteries and Stupas , excavated in 1911 this site has a lot to offer for a general tourist and for an experienced archeologist.
6. Takht Bhai (2nd to 6th Century AD)
Most well preserved Buddhist monastery. Located 90 Kilometers from Peshawar, on the way to Swat. It is a complex of a well defined monastery a large stupa and over 35 votive stupas. The excavations are quite well restored and give a picture of the grander of the Monastery. Best way to visit Takht Bhai is either while driving from Peshawar to Swat or vice versa.
7. Gandhara Sites in Peshawar valley. (2nd to 6th Century AD)
There is a large group of Ghandharan sites in Peshawar valley Staring from the Stupa at Khyber pass , Charsadha , Shehbaz Garhi, Jamal Garhi and many other sites from 2nd to 6th century AD built during the Kushan Period. The Peshawar Museum has big collection of the statues from these sites.
8. Swat Group of Buddhist Sites.
There are over 150 Buddhist sites located in the valley of Swat from 2nd to 8th century. Main sites Include Butkara1, Butkara2 , Udegaram , Haibatgaram , Ghalega , Shingardar and Saidu.
9. Gilgit Chitral & Skardu pictographs and sites
In the 4th century Buddhism had already reached China through the high mountain valleys of the river Indus. There are several sites where one can see the rock drawings of those Buddhist Pilgrims who passed by these valleys and left their Marks. In Gilgit there is a Rock Buddha too so are some sites in Skardu & Chitral.
10. Sindh & Punjab sites of Buddhist period 2 - 5th Century AD.
The Stupa on Moen Jo Daro , Kahoo Jo Daro and some other un-excavated Stupas can be classified as the lower Indus basin sites. They are different in art & material. Mud & terracotta is widely used instead of stone.
11. Post Buddhist period 6 to 8th century.
12. Arab or Muslim period 711AD
Banbhore , Mansura , Multan & Aror are a few examples of this period. With the arrival of Arab Muslims there was a big change in the structure of the towns and the art which can be seen in those places.
13. Moghul period Architecture:
From the 16th century to 18th century we have the Golden period of Lahore which gave birth to the magnificent Architectures Like Taj Mahal. There are numerous buildings of this period in Lahore and there is also the Mohabat Khan Mosque and Shahjehan Mosque very well preserved to boast the greatness of those architects
14. Uch & Multan Architecture.
Beautiful mausoleum in Multan & Uch Sharief built with terracotta and blue glazed tile present a class of architecture in it self. Mostly built by the local Kings these buildings are incredibly beautiful and must be part of any tour in Pakistan.
15. Cholistan Forts and Mosque in Derawar.
I personally feel this be classified as a separate school of architecture as the material and the design are unique and so is the period and status of people who built them. They are all located near Bahawalpur in Derawar , Dingarh and Chanan pir areas. The forts are beautifully built with baked bricks and the Mosque in Derawar is built with white Marble.
14 Makli Thatta & Chaukundi type sites
This group of architecture is very unique . Stone has been carved as wood and motifs and designs are taken from the ancient symbols local life and warriors. In Makli alone there are dozens of beautiful buildings specially to be mentioned are the Mausoleums of Jani Beg , Baqi Beg Uzbek, Mirza Isa Khan Turkhan , Mirza Jan Baba (IKT) and the glorious mausoleum of Jam Nizamuddin. Chaukundi is rather different but can be grouped together due to the region and the similar motifs. Only at a distance of 27 Kilometers from Karachi it is most unique cemetery in the world with beautiful stone carving , differentiation of Males & female graves by turbines & Jewelry. Click here for a daily tour from Karachi to Thatta
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