The ruins at Moenjodaro (third millennium B.C.), belong to the Indus Valley Civilization. The citadel is built almost entirely of baked brick. The acropolis, set out on high embankments, includes a Great Bath, while the lower town is set out on a grid system and shows sophisticated urban planning. Washing and drainage facilities were provided in all the houses, using an efficient system of collection of waste water. A wealth of ornaments, terracotta figurines, the carved and engraved steatite seals for which this civilization was famous, and other items such as the King Priest were unearthed. They tell us about the way of life, trade networks and the artistic abilities of the people. The script inscribed on the Indus Valley seals has remained undecipherable to date.
TAXILA Center of the Gandhara Civilization and of Buddhist learning, the sites at Taxila span a time period beginning in the Neolithic Age (Saraikala) to the cities of Sirkap (2nd century B.C.) and Sirsukh (1st century A.D.). They include the Dharmarajika Stupa and the Jaulian monastery. Mohra Moradu, a monastery and stupa, contain exquisite stucco reliefs depicting the life of the Buddha.
The Buddhist remains at Takht-i-Bahi are a monastic complex of the Gandhara period, dating from the 1st to the 7th century A.D. The name means ‘Spring Throne,’ after the spring on the hill where it stands. The Court of Many Stupas consists of about thirty five votive stupas. Many fine sculptures have been unearthed from the site.
Rohtas Fort near Jhelum is a prime example of Muslim military architecture of the mid 16th century A.D. It was built by Sher Shah Suri to prevent the Mughal emperor Humayun from returning to India after his defeat. Its massive walls and bastions run for over four kilometers, and are a masterpiece of civil engineering. The fort has ten gates which enclosed the citadel and the quarters for the army. The architecture of Haveli Maan Singh, built during the reign of the Mughal emperor Akbar, shows Hindu influence. Within the fort walls is the living community of Rohtas Town.
Makli Hills Thatta
The necropolis at Thatta is the largest Muslim cemetery in the world, representing four centuries of funerary architecture in Sindh. The tombs belong to four dynasties of Sindhi rulers, as well as to Sufi saints and scholars, making it a center of Sufi pilgrimage even today. The tombs, hermitages and madrassahs are built of intricately carved brick or honey colored limestone, decorated with blue tiles or tile mosaics. The Jamia Masjid dating from the late 14th century A.D. is notable for its fusion of pre-Islamic Hindu temple architecture with Islamic elements.
Lahore Fort & Shalimar Gardens
The Fort and Shalimar Gardens are outstanding architectural monuments of the Mughal era. The earliest structures of the Fort were built by Emperor Akbar in the mid 16th century A.D., when Lahore became a center of culture and art. The Diwan-i-Am in the Iranian style built in red sandstone belongs to this period. Additions were made to the complex of palaces by his successors. Among these, Shah Jahan’s Naulakha Pavilion and Sheesh Mahal are exquisitely decorated with marble jaalis, inlay with semi precious stones, and frescoes. The famous picture wall with tile mosaics was built by Jahangir.The mid seventeenth century A.D. Shalimar Gardens were built by Shah Jahan. They follow the traditional layout of water courses and plantation called chahar bagh (four gardens, referring to the division of space). Multiple fountains in water channels, spread over three descending terraces and five cascades, provided a play of water and light against the mosaics, marble fretwork, plants and trees when illuminated at night. The gardens were built after the completion of the Shah Nahar canal in Rajpot (modern Madhpur, India), 161 kilometers away.
TENTATIVE LIST OF WORLD HERITAGE SITES
- Badshahi Mosque, Lahore (1993)
- Wazir Khan's Mosque, Lahore (1993)
- Tombs of Jahangir, Asif Khan and Akbari Sarai, Lahore (1993)
- Hiran Minar and Tank, Sheikhupura (1993)
- Tomb of Hazrat Rukn-e-Alam, Multan (1993)
- Rani Kot Fort, Dadu (1993)
- Shah Jahan Mosque, Thatta (1993)
- Chaukhandi Tombs, Karachi (1993)
- Archaeological Site of Mehrgarh (2004)
- Archaeological Site of Rehman Dheri (2004)
- Archaeological Site of Harappa (2004)
- Archaeological Site of Ranigat (2004)
- Shahbazgarhi Rock Edicts (2004)
- Mansehra Rock Edicts (2004)
- Baltit Fort (2004)
- Tomb of Bibi Jawindi, Baha'al-Halim and Ustead and the Tomb and Mosque of Jalaluddin Bukhari (2004)
- Tomb of Shah Rukn-e-Alam (2004)
- Port of Banbhore (2004)
- Derawar and the Desert Forts of Cholistan (2016)
- Hingol Cultural Landscape (2016)
- Karez System Cultural Landscape (2016)
- Nagarparkar Cultural Landscape (2016)
- Central Karakorum National Park (2016)
- Deosai National Park (2016)
- Ziarat Juniper Forest (2016)
- The Salt Range and Khewra Salt Mine (2016)