Pakistan is full of famous ancient, historic, and cultural tourism sites to visit, however, just six of them have made it to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In case you’re wondering what difference does it make, UNESCO badge helps boost the promotion of tourism at these historical/ cultural tourist sites of Pakistan, besides also ensuring assistance from the UN body in their preservation.
So, here’s a list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Pakistan.
- Rohtas Fort in Jehlum, Punjab (1997)
- Makli Necropolis in Thatta, Sindh (1981)
- Fort and Shalimar Gardens in Lahore, Punjab (1981)
- Takht-e-Bahi and Sahr-e-Bahlol in Mardan, KP (1980)
- Taxila/ ruins of Gandhara civilization in Rawalpindi, Punjab (1980)
- Mohenjo-Daro ruins in Larkana, Sindh (1980)
Let us know explore these top ancient, historical, and cultural tourism sites to visit in Pakistan. Happy reading!
Rohtas Fort in Jehlum, Punjab (1997)
Rohtas Fort is the latest historical site of Pakistan to get the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a historic marvel and is also one of the best cultural tourism sites to visit in Punjab.
Sher Shah Suri constructed the Rohtas Fort to prevent the exiled Mughal King Humayun from gaining control of his former kingdom in the 16th century.
Rohtas Fort was once the largest military base in the entire South Asian region. It has 4 km of heavily fortified walls, that have 12 gates and 68 bastion towers. And its total area is around 12.5 acres!
Standing near Jhelum in north Punjab, this historical fort became a UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pakistan in 1999.
Makli Necropolis in Thatta, Sindh (1981)
Makli Necropolis in Thatha, Sindh is the second latest historical site of Pakistan to get the status of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It’s 10km long cemetery that contained tombs and graves of numerous persons (both nobles and ordinary people) who died from 14th to 18th century.
According to some historians, Makli Necropolis has up to 1 million graves in it.
Hailed as one of world’s biggest communal burial sites, this necropolis is located in Thatta/ Thatha, that was once the capital of Sindh in ancient times.
Makli Necropolis was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pakistan in 1981.
Fort and Shalimar Gardens in Lahore, Punjab (1981)
Fort and Shalimar Gardens is probably the most easy UNESCO World Heritage Site to visit in Pakistan, but only if you live in Lahore!
It’s one of the most popular historic and cultural tourism sites to visit in Pakistan.
More famously known as Shahi Qila, Lahore Fort was built by Akbar the Great in 1556 AD. It was a one-of-kind fort not just in strength, but also in architecture and beauty.
Over the next few centuries, Lahore Fort/ Shahi Qila was also used by Sikh Emperor Ranjit Singh and English colonialists.
Lahore Fort, along with Shalimar Gardens, also became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981.
Takht-e-Bahi and Sahr-e-Bahlol in Mardan, KP (1980)
If you believe there’s no ancient or historical site in KP, you might be wrong. There is more than just one! In fact, some of them like Takht-e-Bahi and Sahr-e-Bahlol are world’s most valuable historic gems!
These buddhist remains are present in Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
Takht e Bahi is a highly intact Buddhist monastery that dates back to 1 AD. The reason behind its surprising preservation is that it’s present in a mountainous range that was mostly unapproachable to invaders.
Sahr e Bahlol is a neighbouring city of Takht e Bahi.
It was a population center and people lived there until 7th century. Both Takht i Bahi and Sahr e Bahlol were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Pakistan in 1980.
Taxila/ Ruins of Gandhara Civilization in Rawalpindi, Punjab, 1980
The ancient city of Taxila – once the mighty Gandhara civilization – is located in Rawalpindi near Islamabad, at a distance of just 30 kilometres.
The ruins of Taxila goes all the way back to the 1st Persian Empire in 550 BC. Besides that, Taxila was an educational hub and contained world’s first university (Takshilla university).
This UNESCO heritage site, along with Taxila museum that details everything about the ancient Gandhara civlilzation, is immensely popular with tourists due to its proximity to Islamabad.
Taxila was also added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Pakistan in 1980.
Mohenjo-Daro Ruins in Larkana, Sindh (1980)
Mohenjo-Daro ruins are the remnants of the Indus River civilization. These ruins present an insight into the culture of one of the earliest civilizations of the world.
According to historians, Mohenjodaro dates back to 2600 BCE. Located in Larkana, Sindh, this historical site of Pakistan was discovered by Indian archaeologist R D Banerji in 1922.
One of the best cultural tourism sites to visit in Sindh, Mohenjo-Daro is famous for its unbelievable urban planning as well as an extensive water supply and drainage system.
This ancient site also became a UNESCO World Heritage Site of Pakistan in 1980.
List of Ancient/ Historical Sites of Pakistan Nominated for UNESCO
Pakistan has further nominated around 26 more ancient, historic, and cultural sites to be included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites list.
The following ancient, historic, and cultural sites are likely to be included in UNESCO’s list:
- Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Punjab
- Wazir Khan Mosque in Lahore, Punjab
- Hiran Minar in Sheikhupura, Punjab
- Katas Raj Temples in Chakwal, Punjab
- Tomb of Shah Rukn-e-Alam in Multan, Punjab
- Tombs of Jahangir, Asif Khan & Akbari Sarai in Lahore, Punjab
- Baltit Fort in Hunza, Gilgit Baltistan
- Shah Jahan Mosque in Thatta, Sindh
- Rani Kot Fort in Dadu, Sindh
- Chaukhandi Tombs in Karachi, Sindh
Pakistan is so full of notable ancient, historic, and cultural sites to visit that one can hardly imagine. These historical sites have the potential of making Pakistan the hub of worldwide cultural tourism.
Some other famous historical/ cultural/ ancient sites include Banbhore, Harappa, Khewra, Derawar, and Cholistan, to name a few. If these sites can get UNESCO’s heritage status, Pakistan can generate a lot of revenue through foreign tourism.
So, that was the list of top ancient, cultural, and historic tourism sites of Pakistan. Hope you enjoyed it!
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