Punjab is the home to many historical and archaeological places which have great importance in history of this land. It is land of historical forts minars mosques temples most of those built by the great Mughal empire. Following are the 7 of the most historic places of this diverse land.
Rohtas Fort, or Qila Rohtas as the natives call it, is a garrison fort with great historical importance. It is at a distance of approximately 8 km from the city Dina in district Jhelum. The Afghan king, Farid Khan, more commonly known as Sher Shah Suri, had Todar Mal build this fort in the 16th century. Farid Khan is the founder of the Suri Empire. The circumference of the fort is 4 km. Its construction took as many as 8 years for completion. Meanwhile, Sher Shah Suri died on 22 May 1545 during the siege of Kalinjar Fort due to a fire erupted in result of a gunpowder explosion in his store room.
Derawar Fort is located 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Bahawalpur, Pakistan. This stronghold is the largest and most magnificently sustained fortress of Cholistan. It is square fort and each wall is 204.8 meters (672 feet) in length, vertically 30 meters (98.4 feet) high and total circumference of its walls is 1500 meters (4921.5 feet). The gate of fortress is on its southern side and is reached by a winding ramp. Most of the bastions of fort present geometric design made by burnt bricks. The strong fort standing over the semi desert is visible from miles around.
Hindu Rajput, Rai Jajja Bhati of Jaisalmer was the one who initially built a fort on this sight. The fort remained under the control of royal family of Jaisalmer until 1733 A.D, when, nawabs of Bahawalpur captured this fort. It was then completely rebuilt under the supervision of the Nawab. The fort was lost from the hands of Abbasis owing to Bahawal Khan’s preoccupation at Shikarpur. In 1804 A.D, the stronghold was taken aback by Nawab Mubarik Khan.
Katas Raj is located about 16 kilometers (10 miles) from Kallar Kahar on the road between Kallar Kahar and Choa Saidan Shah, in District Chakwal of province Punjab, Pakistan. It is situated about 40 kilometers from the city of Chakwal making it a popular tourist place among people of Chakwal. Basically, Katas Raj is a temple complex consisting seven ancient temples called Satgraha, some temples of middle ages and some recently constructed temples. The oldest temple dates back to 6th century A.D. All these temples are built around a pond acknowledged holy to Hindus.
In the mountains of Pothohar Plateau, these Hindu temples are famous worldwide. A large number of people belonging to Hinduism visit these temples each year to perform their religious practices and rituals. The pond in the center of temples is considered holy among Hindus because they believe it is filled by the tears of Shiva and taking bath in this pond provides forgiveness to sins.
Noor Mahal is a palace located in Bahawalpur, Pakistan. Built in 1875 AD, the palace is nearly one hundred and fifty years old, and, is the most recent monument in Punjab to be notified under the Antiquities Act. The state of Bahawalpur was merged in Pakistan in 1956 AD and control of the palace was given to Dep. of Auqaf under the Antiquities Act. It was locked under a judicial order but not before most of its rich holdings were smuggled out. Its furniture, carpets, paintings and crockery were sold almost all over the country.
Pakistan Army took responsibility for palace in 1999 and helped to restore and preserve the building into its original shape. The building was declared a “protected monument” in September 2001 by the Government of Pakistan’s Department of Archeology. Currently department of Archeology is responsible for the look after of the palace and they have opened it for general public, students, and to delegations and visitors from other countries.
Harappa is a large village presently in the province of Punjab in Pakistan. The modern town is a part of, and lies next to, the ancient city. The site of Harappa is important in that it has provided proof of not just the Indus valley civilization as it was in its prime, but also of preceding and succeeding cultures as well and is the only site included in this category. The old path of the Ravi River runs to the north of the site, which has since shifted six miles further north.
It is speculated that its oldest mention is in the Rigveda, as the scene of the defeat of the Vrcivants by Abhyavartin Cayamana. The name is recorded as Hari-Yupuya. The previous inhabitants were presumably non-Aryans who were vanquished. Thus it might be said that this site is one of the famed sites where the so-called Aryans overcame the local population and established their dominance. However, until further proof is uncovered to support the theory, this is mostly conjecture.
Hiran minar is set in peaceful environs near Lahore in Sheikhupura, Pakistan. It was constructed by Emperor Jahangir as a monument to Mansiraj (lit: ‘Light of the Mind’), his favorite pet deer or antelope.The structure consists of a large, almost-square water tank with an octagonal pavilion in its center, built during the reign of Mughal empire shah jahan; a causeway with its own gateway connects the pavilion with the mainland and a 100-foot (30 m)-high minar, or minaret.At the center of each side of the tank, a brick ramp slopes down to the water, providing access for royal animals and wild game. The minar itself was built by Emperor Jahangir in 1606 to honor the memory of a pet hunting antelope.
The Tomb of Shah Rukn-e-Alam
The Tomb of Shah Rukn-e-Alam located in Multan, Pakistan, is the mausoleum of the Sufi saint Sheikh Rukn-ud-Din Abul Fateh. The tomb was built between 1320 and 1324 CE in the pre-Mughal architectural style. The tomb is said to have built by Ghias-ud-Din Tughlak (r.1320-1325 AD) during his governorship of Depalpur, between 1320 and 1324 CE and was given by his son, Muhammad bin Tughluq to the descendants of Shah Rukn-e-Alam for the latter’s burial in 1330. In the 1970s, the mausoleum was thoroughly repaired and renovated by the Auqaf Department. The entire glittering glazed interior is the result of new tiles and brickwork done by the Kashigars of Multan.