First Urban Civilization of South Asia
The land where the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is situated today had been a seat of world’s leading Civilizations from the time immemorial. people generally know of Indus Valley Civilization (3500-1800 BC) of Moenjodaro and Harappa. But earliest evidence of sedentary lifestyle in South Asia discovered on the west bank of Bolan River and plains of Kachhi, about 30 kilometres from the town of Sibi, Balochistan (Pakistan) at place called Mehrgarh in 1979 took archaeologists by surprise to find the remains of a civilization that thrived immediately preceding the Stone Age (70,000–7000 BC). There is plenty of evidence from the pre-historic and historic period to support this argument, e.g. fossil jaws of apes, circa 14 millions years old found from Pothohar. They belong to a species named “Sivapithecus Pakininsis”, said to be the ancestor of Man. A 2 million years old earliest stone hand axe. Now on display in Islamabad Museum, Islamabad.
The legacy of our predecessors at the time of our independence, on August 14, 1947, came to us as a treasure which may be called as Pakistan’s national heritage. So rich and diversified is this heritage that Pakistani nation can be proud of its glorious past, be Islamic, Post Islamic or pre-Islamic period as far back as pre-historic times. No other country of the world can produce the treasure of by gone days as can be found in Pakistan. It is now incumbent upon us to treasure our national heritage and save it from further deterioration and theft.
Cradle of Civilization
Located on the west bank of the River Indus, 350 miles from Karachi lies Moenjodaro (Mound of the Dead), an archaeological site which has been rated amongst the most spectacular of the world's ancient cities. Considered one of the earliest and most developed of urban civilizations, Moenjodaro flourished from 3rd till the middle of the 2nd millennium BC, when it vanished, leaving only traces of its culture.
The remains of famous Indus Valley Civilizations were first discovered in 1920-21 when engraved seals were discovered near present-day Sahiwal in Pakistani Punjab at a place called Harappa. It was from here that archaeologists in their quest to find more remains finally bumped into the remains of Moenjodaro in Sind.
Moving northwards from Harappa and Moenjodaro, come remains of another city that thrived between 518 BC to 600 AD. Around the present day Taxila and a little over 20 miles north of Islamabad, lie the remains of the an ancient city whose actual name varies from scripture to scripture and from one language to another. "Tashasila" as it was called in Sanskrit gives some idea of the meaning of this name. Sila in Sanskrit means rock or stone
Landmarks of Pakistan
Each country has symbols, monuments, structures which become its recognition the world over. As of Pakistan, Koh Kambaran (Ras Koh Hills), Minar-e-Pakistan, the Grand Trunk Road, the Badshahi Mosque, Shahi Qilla, Shalamar Bagh, the River Indus, the K-2 , the Trango Towers, the KKH, Zamzamma (the Kim's Gun), the Rohtas Fort, Khyber Pass, Chauburji, Bhong Mosque, Makli Necropolis and the Blind Dolphin of River Indus are some of the many landmarks that have become synonymous to Pakistan. Two buildings attributed to Jinnah (Quaid-e-Azam), founder of Pakistan, one his mausoleum at Karachi and his last resting place at Ziarat, Balochistan just before his death have assumed significant importance. The tower like structure of Government College (and University) at Lahore not only is a symbol of structural might but also of quality education and torch bearer of enlightenment for future generations.
The Coastline of Pakistan extends 1,050 km (650 mi) along the Arabian Sea. Karachi, Ormarah, Pasni and Gwader are some of the important coastal areas. In addition to Karachi and Bin Qasim (some 40 km west of Karachi), a new sea port at Gwader is presently under construction with the Chinese assistance. Upon completion, it will serve as a major hub of economic activities for CARs. A naval base is also under construction at Ormarah. Thus the chain of seaports will greatly improve the living of fishermen living all along the coast. A coastal highway from Karachi to Gwader is also fast completing. The Makran Coast Range forms a narrow strip of mountains along about 75 percent of the total coast length, or about 800 km (500 mi). These steep mountains rise to an elevation of up to 1,500 m (5,000 ft).
MAKRAN COASTAL HIGHWAY
The construction of Gwadar port would have been be meaningless if it were not linked with a highway with Karachi - the main business centre of Pakistan. Therefore, it was decided to construct a Coastal Highway linking Karachi with Gwader some 675 kilometres in length. The highway has since been completed by the Frontier Works Organization of Pakistan Army Engineers and is considered to be a marvel of technology and human determination. Concurrently highways, from Pasni to Gwader (135km), Ormarah - Gwadar (275km) and Gwadar -Turbat (188 km) are also being built to support the main highway.
The origin of the Thar desert is a controversial subject. Some consider it to be only 4000 to 10,000 years old, whereas others state that aridity started in this region much earlier, two states in Pakistan and covers an area of about 446,000 square kilometres. Deriving its name from 'thul' denoting the sand ridges of the region. Presently the portion of Thar Desert in Pakistan falls in the Sindh province and sharing the rest of it with Rajasthan in India.
Cholistan is locally known as Rohi. This famous desert is 30 Km from Bahawalpur and comprises of an area of 16,000 sq.km. which extends upto the Thar desert extending over to Sindh. The word Cholistan is derived from 'Cholna' which means moving. The people of Cholistan lead a semi-nomadic life, moving from one place to another in search of water and fodder for their animals. The area bordering with India in the south east is flat desert known as Cholistan or Thar Desert, which is known as the Rajhistan Desert on the other side of the border.
Derawar Fort is located 48 Km from Dera Nawab Sahib. It is still in a good condition. The rampart walls are intact and still guarded by the personal guards of the Amir of Bahawalpur. The tombs of the ex-rulers of Bahawalpur and their families are located in this fort. The tombs have nice glazed blue tile work. Prior permission of the senior Amir of Bahawalpur is required to enter the fort. The fort was built in 1733. The fort with decoratively carved sandstone walls, which take your breath away, as they rise magnificently from the flat desert wasteland like something so grand it's difficult to imagine.It is extremely photogenic, but is best seen in the morning or evening before or after the desert's midday sun takes hold.
The SALT RANGE and POTWAR PLATEAU
The area between Tilla Jogian - Bakrala Hills near River Jhelum to Suleiman mountains is the area of Slat Range. The range sits at an altitude of no more than 600 - 700 metres, except on point near Khusahb, where its rises to about 1500 meters at Skesar and one is fascinated to find snow amidst some of the driest and hottest plains and low hills in Pakistan. The Khwera Salt Mines are the biggest salt mines in the world, discovered in 1922 and till continue to produce the best quality of salt. One must never miss to visit these mines, which are hardly half an hour drive from the motorway (Balkasar interchange). The Salt Range is dotted with Hindu temples, of which the most notable is the Katas Raj, located 25 kilometers from Chakwal.
KOHAT ROAD TUNNEL
Smooth flow of traffic in the rugged mountains of north of Pakistan has always been a problem. About 10 km northeast of Kohat city, Bosti Khel mountains intercept smooth traffic flow and the traffic had to pass over rugged mountains, making it hazardous and time consuming as well. There there was a need for a tunnel to circumvent the traffic congestion. The mountain range at Bostikhel has extremely complex geology. Intensive geotechnical studies, therefore, were undertaken prior to initiation of the Kohat Road Tunnel project. These studies included geophysical exploration and other survey techniques. After execution of the survey project a study was undertaken at National University of Sciences & Technology, Risalpur Campus, to determine success/failure of the techniques used for predicting tunnel geology.
Pakistan is a tourists paradise. It has everything one wishes to see. While every inch of Pakistan is worth visiting as every stone and corner carries in itself history of thousands of years, the northern areas of Pakistan provide some of the breathtaking and picturesque places no where to be found on the world map. On the foothills of the snow clad mountains, lie some of the most beautiful valleys of the world.
Pakistan is a blessed country to have the major mountain ranges in the world It has everything one wishes to see.Thirteen of the world's 30 tallest peaks are in Pakistan (of eleven over 8,000 meters high mountains tops, five are located in Pakistan). K-2, the world's biggest pyramid and second to Mount Everest and the Trango Towers are just the two examples of richness of our mountain treasure. The glory and the beauty of the mountain world all concentrated in here. Those who love natural beauty in awesome silence, should meet in our mountains and witness the wonders of the world in awesome silence, the northern areas of Pakistan provide some of the breathtaking and picturesque places no where to be found on the world map. On the foothills of the snow clad mountains, lie some of the most beautiful valleys of the world.
In the north and west are mountains rising to the skies. There are some of the highest pinnacles of the world (at least five above 8,000 meters including The K-2, the second highest after Mt Everest). The northern parts of the country receive more rainfall than the rest of the country and serve as the storage of huge water reservoirs to produce electricity and water for irrigation. However, generally Pakistan is a dry, sun-scorched region, and most parts of its southern regions are desert or semi desert areas.
The Karakorams and the Himalayas. The Karakorams are also known as the highest mountains range of the world since it houses seven peaks over 26,000 feet and thirty others over 25,000 feet. That is on an average the Karakoram tops are 25,000 feet and above. The Karakorams house some of the rare sights and wonders in natural beauty.
The Nanga Parbat
Nanga Parbat Meaning the Naked Mountain in native language, a 8,125 Metres or 26,657 feet tall Himalayan peak. The summit is shaped like a reclining women, as remarked by some imaginative mountain and beauty lover. If flying to Skardu, one can see the Nanga from the right window of the aircraft. One can feel the grandeur of the height when flying almost to the level of its peak.
Dominating the Gilgit Valley is the massive bulk of famous climbing mountain, Rakaposhi, the summit of which is 25,550 feet is perennially snow clad. The peak resembles a huge and jagged shark's tooth. Tourists go to a place near Hunza, where one can see the mighty Rakaposhi rising from ground level to its pinnacle.
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