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List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Pakistan

List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Pakistan

By Noor Tariq 

We hear of many ancient places that once existed but are no longer present for us to see anymore, since they were not preserved properly earlier. Sadly, they only live in writing now. 

However, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites is on a mission to preserve places which are of utmost significance to the cultural and natural heritage of humanity.


Pakistan is home to six sites that have been included in this list:


Rohtas Fort, 1997 

Located near the city of Jhelum, this fort was built by Sher Shah Suri after he faced defeat at the hands of Mughal Emperor Humayun in 1541. The structure of this fort is extremely strong, which is the main reason why it has been able to withstand several extreme weather conditions. The fort occupies 70-hectares of land and is bordered by 12 gateways and 68 bastions. 


Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro,1980

Situated in the Indus Valley, the ruins of the city of Mohenjo Daro is the most well preserved urban settlement of South Asia. The city was completely made of unbaked bricks. The city consisted of efficient sewerage systems, public baths, a college of priests, wells and much more, which is evidence that the citizens enjoyed cultural, social and economic welfare here. 



Taxila, 1980

Taxila, a city located on the Indus in Punjab was a vital place of learning for the Buddhists back in the day. It’s development is influenced by Persia, Central Asia and Greece. Remains of a mosque, madrassa, and Buddhist monasteries can be found here, along with an old cave and four important settlements; Saraikala, Bhir, Sirkap and Sirsukh. Each one of these settlements have a history and significance of their own. 


Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi and Remains at Sahr-i-Bahlol, 1980

This complex is another significant Buddhist site found in Pakistan. It is built on the top of a tall hill, which has made it possible for this complex to withstand many invasions and for it to be preserved in a very good condition. The remains of Sahr-i-Bahlol, a small protected city are also situated close by. 

The remains include a few stupas, conference halls, some protected buildings and much more. 


Ancient Monuments at , Thatta, 1981 

Makli was the capital of three successive ancestries, and was later ruled by Mughal Emperors of Delhi. It is a glimpse of what the old civilisations in Sindh looked and felt like. The large burial ground of Makli consists of various tombs, and, provides home to many ancient kings, queens, scholars, philosophers and governors. The structures present here are a mix of local and foreign architectural styles. 


Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Lahore, 1981

Present in current-day-Lahore, both the Fort and the Gardens were built back in the time of the Mughals. The fort shelters palaces and mosques of marble, whereas the gardens built on three terraces, consist of waterfalls and huge aesthetic ponds. These structures are known to encapsulate the exact aura of the Mughal art.

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