You’d be knowing what Pakistan offers to the tourists if you are a peripatetic. And for the first time travellers, I am not going to say anything. Just visit this country having culture with deep pockets and picturesque sceneries and fall in love with it. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. After being the guest of this sensational country for the first time, I can make my case with this line; “Yes, I met with the most beautiful people and landmarks on earth out there”.
Alright, if Pakistan is the next place on your bucket list (especially if you are a first time traveller), I am here with a few beneficial tips that you should carefully take a note of. Let’s jump into this:
Entry Requirements to visit Pakistan
In order to get into Pakistan, you stand in the need of three things; a valid passport, Visa and a ticket and you are all set to take off. One more thing, do ask for your country from the Pakistan Embassy inside your country. That’s that. Once you have weighed up the entrance requirements, you are done. And if the excess luggage is doing your head in, nothing is to worry about. There are a bunch of cargo companies which offer the services of cargo shipping to Pakistan at economical rates.
Well, Pakistan has an Islamic culture and rich traditions. That being the case, dressing up in an adequate manner is something fructiferous. That’s a given. Take off your shoes before setting your feet in mosques, shrines and other holy places. Also, placing a scarf over your head and chest (in case you are a female) is high-yielding. Or otherwise get ready to receive a hell lot of staring. That’s not gross (people do stare when they spot something different).
Alright, don’t you want to look like locals while staying with them? Most probably, your answer will be in yes. We recommend you to dress up like natives and you’ll be appreciated. I kid you not.
Watch Out for Food
Yes, you must keep a close weather on what you are eating. Don’t dare to eat food from streets that’s open to dust and flies. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Also, do not drink tap water in any case (though Pakistan is developing rapidly, still the problem of clean drinking water remains). Keep bottled water on you all the time and drink it (but check out for the seal weather seal is intact before purchasing from the local shops).
If you spend a moment just talking about the Pakistani food, it’s one of the most delicious foods on the planet. Unequivocally, it’s going to excite your taste buds in particular if you are a spice lover. Don’t overeat in any case. Also, the street foods in Lahore and Karachi are just mouth-watering. Therefore, it is advised to give them a try, at least. Be that as it may, watch out for unhygienic food.
Transportation in Pakistan
Travelling around Pakistan is super easy. Everything is just within easy reach; trains, buses, flights, taxis, autos and so on. It is recommended to use public transport i.e. trains and buses (for relatively larger distances) if you are on budget. For shorter moves, go for taxis and autos. Be that as it may, always bargain for the fares (sometimes the auto and taxi drivers ask more fares in case they notice that you are travelling around for the first time). It’d also be beneficial to get the services of Google maps to get an estimate of the distance you are about to cover and bargain accordingly. Still and all, keep your sensations sharp while talking to people and hiring a ride. No kidding!
Be Aware of Frauds and Touts
There is no denying the fact that good and bad people are everywhere and as a backpacker, you get to cover all the bases every time. Just keep your eyes open all the time you are travelling around (specifically on the go hours). Right after that, don’t throw thumping great amount of money to beggars (as the frauds and touts wait for your first move). Also, use your sensations while talking to people especially at railway and bus stations.
Must-See Historical Places of Pakistan
Wazir Khan Mosque
Located in Lahore, Wazir Khan Mosque is regarded as one of the most famous historical places of Pakistan. Completed in 7 years, this mosque was built by Shaikh Ilm-ud-din Ansari in the year 1634, who was the Viceroy of Punjab under the Mughal ruler Shah Jahan.
You will be leaving a piece of your heart out here after your first visit. One simply can’t take his eyes off the beautiful design of this mosque. The most beautiful feature that distinguishes the mosque from others is the flawless use of minarets inside out.
Unequivocally, Wazir khan mosque depicts the true blue picture of the historical era gone by. Another appealing feature of this mosque is the extensive and immense faience tile work and that’s the same reason this mosque has been in lime light for from decades.
Minar-e-Pakistan is another one of the most popular historical places of Pakistan. Also located in Lahore, Minar-e-Pakistan was built in the memory of the resolution passed on 23 March 1940 by the Muslim League for the separate homeland, Pakistan.
Minar-e-Pakistan is a 62 meter tall minaret that represents the country’s birth. It’s located in a large park and it you can catch the glimpse of the entire Lahore from the minaret top dome. The tower is placed on a raised up base, in the form of a five-pointed star, which encompasses of four platforms.
The stones used to construct each platform are much more delicate from the bottom up (ranging from uncut stones to graceful white marble), to indicate the challenging developments but final success of the Pakistan Movement for freedom. Like the Pakistan Monument in Islamabad, this minaret’s base is constructed in the shape of a blooming flower, from which the tower leaps up as a sign of the country’s birth.
Shah Faisal mosque
Located in the capital city of Pakistan, the eye-catching Shah Faisal Mosque is one of the prestigious and largest mosques on the planet. Arresting architecture and the grand size makes it very famous amongst the backpackers from across the world. If you spend a moment just talking about the size of this beautiful mosque, it covers the area of around 5000 meters getting well-nigh 300,000 worshipers the opportunity to offer prayers at the same instant.
The Faisal Mosque is designed by the famous Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay and the mosque is named after Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, the then King of Saudi Arabia. If you talk about the whereabouts of this imperious mosque, it is situated at the verge of Shaharah-e-Islamabad, just right in front of the picturesque Margalla Hills. Faisal Mosque is also known as the heart of the Islamabad and is famous amongst the tourists to a great extent. The thing that we are beating drums for is the architectural splendour of this mosque and it is visited by huge number of people every day. Vola!
As the name reveals, this Fort is also situated in Lahore. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Lahore Fort is most visited place in the old Lahore. The Fort presents the pristine pure picture of the Mughal architecture. It’s not just about the prestigious building, it’s about the living history of the eras it has gone through. Lahore Fort was declared as a world heritage site by UNESCO in the year 1981.
There are no two ways about the fact that Lahore Fort is the only memorial in Pakistan which is the representative of the complete history of Mughal era. Inside and out of the Fort reflects the architecture of the Mughal era. Mughal emperor Akbar built this monument in the year 1566. Lahore Fort is a must-visit place in Pakistan (I’m being brutally honest).
The list of historical places of Pakistan will be incomplete with mentioning the Rohtas Fort. Yes, you heard it right. The Fort is situated near the Jhelum city of Pakistan. Basically, the fort was built as a fortified military base on the command of the Afghan ruler Sher shah Suri.
The fort measures well-nigh 4 km in area putting on view the first example of the phenomenal fusion of Pashtun and Hindu architecture in the sub-continent. There are 12 gates, all built in ashlar stone, which present the picture of masculine architecture. This place is, indubitably, the bee’s knees for the history lovers. Rohtas fort was included in the list of World Heritage Sites back in 1997.
Once again, the credit for the construction of Badshahi Mosque goes to the Mughals. Mughal emperor Aurangzeb built this mosque during his span. Being the second largest Mosque in Pakistan and fifth largest in the world, Badshahi mosque is regarded as an epitome of grandeur and beauty. Nearly 55,000 worshippers can offer prayers in Badshahi mosque at a single time. This beautiful mosque has been designated as a world heritage site in the year 1993.
Noor Mahal is made by the fifth ruler of Bahawalpur State Nawab Sir Muhammad Sadiq or the ‘Shahjehan of Bahawalpur’ in the memory of his wife. Inspired by the Italian construction style, this building is second to none when it comes to the architecture. A British Engineer named as Heenan constructed the Mahal in the year 1875 at a cost of Rs1.2 million.
Noor Mahal receives a huge number of visitors each year due to the exuberant and vibrant exterior made of cut and dressed bricks and the Palace is only one of its kinds. The most prominent feature of this palace is the use of five domes constructed in the traditional way.
So, which of the aforementioned historical places of Pakistan you are going to pay a visit to?