Mandirs, Masjids & More

Rock Art Sites

From prehistoric all the way to the Islamic period, the rock art of Pakistan have provided an interesting timeline of art styles and religious practices.

Petroglyphs at Hunza © Wikipedia Commons

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Mandirs (Temples) 

Simultaneously threatened by human inaction as much as human action, temples belonging to a number of gods can still be found in the most surprising of places around Pakistan.

 

Ruins of Hindu temple, Lahore © A. Khan

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Prehistoric Settlements

As one of the cradles of human civilisation, the region is rich with sites that provide insight into how humans went from nomadic peoples to city states.

Settlement of Mehrgarh © Wikipedia Commons

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Stupas and Monasteries

Some of the most striking and unique archaeological structures to be found in this region are Buddhist stupas and their associated monasteries.

Ruins of Takht i Bahi monastery © A. Khan

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Qilas (Fortresses)

Some of the most iconic and impressive displays of power. These qila's can be found throughout Pakistan, towering over the landscape just as they would have in centuries past. Used as resting stop for merchants as well as a show of might, military or otherwise, many have now fallen into disrepair.

Buttress walls of Qila Derawar © A. Khan

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Masjids (Mosques)

Some mosques exist from the time of the very first introduction of Islam to the country. However it can be argued that the zenith of the architecture in the Mughal period when the likes of Badshahi and Wazir Khan masjids were created. Many are still active sites of worship to this day.

Badshahi Masjid, Lahore © A. Khan

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Mahals (Palaces)

Built and sometimes rebuilt over the different centuries and made in all shapes and sizes. Palaces were often where rulers of the past displayed there power in the form of grand architecture and art. 

Sadiq Garh palace, Bahawalpur © A. Khan

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Bagh (Gardens)

Many of the gardens that still exist are from the Mughal period and, much like the masjids, they continue to be used by the local people as places of respite and leisure.

Shalimar Gardens, Lahore © A. Khan

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Shrines

Shrines to various Sufi sants can be found in most cities. There will normally be a main shrine augmented with smaller connected shrines that form a sort of spiritual territory. Many of these shrines are still active areas of worship and respite.

Shrine of Shah Rukn e Alam, Multan © A. Khan

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Gurdwaras (Sikh Religious Sites)

There are some important gurdwaras and other sites that are actives places of worship and pilgramage for Sikhs in Pakistan and around the world.

Gurdwara Panja Sahib, Hasan Abdal © Wikipedia Commons

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Churches

A latter addition to the religious architectural landscape of Pakistan with most of the older churches being built in the 19th century onwards. The first however was said to have been built in 1597 by Emperor Akbar, although it was later demolished. 

Sacred Heart Cathedral, Lahore © Wikipedia Commons

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Trade Related Sites

A broad term to cover a range of different sites that are more directly linked with trade. These include sites such as caravansarais, baolis (well) and even a port in Karachi.

Outer walls of Sarai Kharbooza © Wikipedia Commons

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