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Top 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Pakistan

As you tour the country, you will be amazed to discover about 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites popular with tourists from around the globe. Learn about some of Pakistan’s most exciting sites that have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as palaces, religious sites, and historical settlements. Each of these sites is a unique representation of Pakistan’s varied and extensive past, and the experience of visiting them will take visitors on a rich and fascinating journey through Pakistan’s history.

UNESCO distinguishes sites vital to humanity’s collective interests in its World Heritage List. In most cases, international treaties protect them as they can be either natural or manufactured. Tourism income often motivates national governments to prioritize the security of their World Heritage Sites because of the income generated from tourism. The curious traveler has a vital role in preserving our human heritage, which is one of the primary roles of traditional travelers.

With various partners, including armed forces, national governments, and Time magazine, UNESCO organizes campaigns to protect some of the most threatened world heritage sites.

Rohtas Fort

Originally built as a garrison fort by Sher Shah Suri, the great Afghan king. Rohtas Fort is one of the largest and most impressive fortresses on the Indian subcontinent, located near Jhelum in Pakistan. Rohtas has survived the ravages of time remarkably well, as it was never overrun by forces.

This fort measures approximately 4 kilometers in circumference and represents the first example of Pukhtun and Hindu architecture successfully combined on the sub-continent. As a result of Sher Shah Suri’s capture of Rohtasgarh Fort from Hari Krishan Rai in 1539, it became known as Qila Rohtas after the conqueror. World Heritage Site Qila Rohtas by UNESCO since 1997.

Amongst the best masonry work from the Sur Empire is to be found on the Sohail Gate, which is the first thing that greets visitors to the Rohtas Fort. Sohail Bukhari, a local saint whose remains were interred within the gate, was the name given to this ceremonial entrance.

Khewra Salt Mine

Mines such as the Hewra Salt Mine are famous for producing pink salt, the world’s second-largest. It will be a great day as we will leave early this morning to visit Rohtas Fort in Jhelum. After our visit, we will have lunch. The visit should last about two to three hours. In addition, we will visit Khewra Salt Mines, which are the oldest salt mines in the world. Compared to this, the salt reserves in this region are estimated at 6.687 billion tons. It is likely that salt mining and trading have taken place here since Alexander the Great’s time, despite not being officially recorded until the 1200s.

Lahore Fort

Punjab, Pakistan, is home to the Lahore Fort, also called Shahi Qila citadel. It is situated in Lahore’s northwest corner, adjacent to the Walled City, and hosts several famous sites, including Sheesh Mahal, Alamgiri Gate, Naulakha pavilion, and Moti Masjid. A 1400 foot long, 1,115 foot wide fort. It was designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1981, along with Shalamar Gardens in Lahore. Lahore Fort is one of the most magnificent buildings in the world. The walled city’s northwest corner has been a symbol of the city’s beginnings. Listeners would be left breathless if it could talk.

Takht Bahi

UNESCO states that the site predated the Buddhist period by about 2,600 years and was originally a Zoroastrian complex, then converted into a Buddhist monastery. Approximately 1st century BC dates for this artifact. Archaeologists regard the complex as particularly representative of Buddhist monastic buildings from the period.

UNESCO listed the complex as a world heritage site in 1980. Takht means high or throne in local dictionaries, while Bahi is water. Therefore, this site may have been given its name since there are two water springs on top of the site.

Takht Bhai has different meanings according to different explanations. Considering that Takht and Bahi both mean “capital” in Avestan, thus meaning “the good capital” as a whole.

In Mardan, the ruins are located about 15 kilometers away, and Peshawar and Islamabad are about 110 kilometers away. A busy bazaar is found in Takht Bahi today, and there is a restaurant called Chapli Kebab that serves a special Kebab. Sugar cane, wheat, mazes, vegetables, and orchards are all commonly grown.

Makli Necropolis

Located in the province of Sindh in Pakistan, makli Necropolis is the largest funerary site globally, spreading over 10 kilometers. Over 400 years, 500,000 to 1 million tombs have been built. Several significant funerary monuments belonging to kings, saints, and scholars are found at Makli Necropolis.

Consequently, the Makli site contains several tombs of historical and cultural significance. Architectural terra-cotta from Persian and Asian regions was also brought to Makli and adapted. A unique stone decoration concept, possibly inspired by painted and glazed tile models, was created at Makli. Makli necropolis stands as one of the most significant historical testaments of Sindh’s social and political history.


An archaeological site located near the Indus River on the left bank of Sindh province in northern Pakistan called Moenjodaro. About 50 miles (80 km) southwest of Sukkur, it is located on a flat alluvial plain of the Indus. Harappa, in Punjab province, about 400 miles (640 km) to the northwest, is the other major center of the Indus civilization.

The name Mohenjo-Daro means mound of the dead; it was first recognized as an archaeological site in 1922, a year after Harappa’s discovery. Indus civilization’s most significant city once residuums were discovered following further excavations. Considering the size of the city and the comparative wealth of its monuments and contents, it has generally been regarded as the capital of an extensive state. The two cities’ relationship is uncertain–i.e., if one succeeded the other or if they were contemporary centers.

Shalimar Garden

Punjab’s government has been given permission by the UN’s cultural arm to proceed with the construction of the Orange Line near Shalimar Gardens. Pakistan’s World Heritage Committee accepted the claim that an international consultant would also study traffic flow control strategies around Shalimar Gardens to prevent the site from becoming endangered.

WHC expressed concerns about the performance of the Walled City Authority as well as expressing concern about the delay in constructing drainage in Lahore Fort and repairing the facility.


Sindh province, Pakistan, is home to the district of Tatta, located north of the Indus River and inland from Karachi and the Arabian Sea. The Samm* dynasty ruled Lower Sindh in the 16th century from Here. This city was incorporated in 1854 and contained two mosques, historic tombs, and a library. An extensive necropolis is located nearby in Makli Hills. Silk and cotton lung*s (sarongs) are its main products.

Indus delta land is surrounded by a barren and rocky region called Kohistan. Sugar cane is the main crop, and camels are the most important livestock. Nearby excavations have revealed occupations dating back to the first century BC.


The ancient city of Taxila, or Takshashila in Sanskrit, is located in northwest Pakistan, about 35 kilometers northwest of Rawalpindi. At the time of the ancient Greeks, the city prospered due to its location at the meeting point of three important trade routes from three directions: one from eastern India (called the “Royal Highway”), one from western Asia, and one from Kashmir and Central Asia. In the 5th century CE, the Huns destroyed the city when these routes ceased to be necessary. The site was included in the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1980.

Baltit Fort

In Gilgit Baltistan, an ancient fort called Baltit Fort dates back to the 13th century. Since 2004, it has been listed as an intangible cultural heritage site by UNESCO on the tentative list of World Heritage Sites.

Hunza’s feudal regime was ensured by the impressive fort that overlooks Karimabad in the past. Over the centuries, the fort has been rebuilt and altered, with foundations dating back to 700 years ago. According to local legend, the local prince married a princess from Baltistan whose dowry included master Balti craftsmen who renovated the building.

Altit Fort

Altit Fort is located in Gilgit Baltistan’s Hunza Valley, above the town of Karimabad. The Hunza state’s hereditary rulers, known as Mir, originally lived here, but three centuries later they moved to the Baltit fort nearby. In Gilgit-Baltistan, the Altit Fort and Shikari tower are the oldest monuments. In their presentation of the awards, the UNESCO Awards for Conservation hope to encourage other property owners to engage in conservation projects, either independently or through public-private partnerships, in their communities.


‘Harappa’ is a large town in Pakistan’s Punjab province, which is renowned for its fabled temples. It is possible to imagine that the modern town is part of the ancient city and lies next to it. There is no other site in the world that provides proof of not just the Indus Valley Civilization at its peak, but also preceding and succeeding cultures.

Old Ravi River paths run to the north of the site, which has moved six miles to the north. In the Rigveda, it is mentioned as the site of Abhyavartin Cayamana’s victory over the Vrcivants. According to Hari-Yupuya. Apparently, there were previously non-Aryans who occupied the region. Therefore, this is one of the sites where the so-called Aryans established their dominance over the locals. This is mostly conjecture until further evidence is found to support the theory.

Shiger Fort

Shigar Fort Palace in Skardu in the Northern region of Pakistan won the 2006 Asia Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation. People and organizations who have restored and conserved heritage structures and buildings in Asia-Pacific are recognized by the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards. Restored projects must be older than 50 years and have been restored within the past decade. The buildings must be at least one year old since the Awards were announced.

Khaplu Fort

UNESCO’s Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards 2013 has awarded the Khaplu Palace in Gilgit-Baltistan an Award of Distinction for its cultural heritage conservation efforts. In Bangkok earlier this month, awards were given for restoring and conserving at least 50-year-old structures. In November 2012, the project won commendations for contributing to poverty reduction at the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards. After reviewing and deliberating on 47 submissions received from 16 countries throughout Asia and the Pacific, a panel of eight international conservation experts selected the palace to receive the UNESCO award in June of this year.

Derwar Fort

As a result of UNESCO’s nomination, eight historical sites in Pakistan have been included on its list of world heritage sites. Derawar Fort stands out in the Cholistan desert with its landmark architecture symbolizing centuries of historical grandeur. Although it is awe-inspiring, the authorities neglect it and have allowed it to fall into ruin. Under the rule of Rai Jajja Bhati of Jaisalmer in India’s Rajasthan state, the Derawar Fort was first built in the 9th century.

Ranikot Fort

The historical Talpur fort of Ranikot is in Jamshoro District, Sindh, Pakistan, near Sann. On the Indus Highway, the Ranikot Fort is 90 kilometers from Hyderabad. “Rankot Fort,” part of the Great Wall of Sindh, is also called the Rankot Wall. A 32-kilometer circumference accompanies the fort, making it the largest on earth. In legend, the fort’s ramparts resemble the Great Wall of China.

Ranikot Fort was nominated by the Pakistan National Commission to UNESCO in 1993. Rankot Fort is a historic site under the Antiquities Act of 1975.  Kirthar hills connect the fort with several bleak mountains. A semicircular wall surrounds this fort. The mini fort within Miri Fort’s main fort is known as Miri Fort.

Makli Hill

The Makli archaeological sites provide a fascinating insight into Sind’s civilization from the 14th to the 18th centuries. There is a particular Islamic monument in Thatta which combines diverse influences into a local style. It is unique in its design. The entire structure consists of blue and white buildings topped by 93 domes.

As the capital city of successive Samma, Argun, and Tarkhan dynasties from the 14th to 18th centuries, Thatta served as the site of successive Mughal rule from 1592 to 1739.

As a result of the cession of Sind to Shah Nadir of Iran in 1739, Thatta entered a period of decay and neglect. In the valley and on the Makli plateau, there are traces of the city itself that have been preserved in a remarkable state of integrity.

Wazir Khan Mosque

From the east, a flight of 22 steps leads to an impressive upstanding gateway of traditional Moghal type that leads to the mosque and its expansive courtyard. An elaborately decorated double-story entrance with carved panels on its facades. Red sandstone pseudo pavilions top each corner with white marble cupolas. There are octagonal towers at each corner of the courtyard. In the corners of the prayer chamber are four smaller minarets, also octagonal. Atop them are three large marble domes. White marble inlay is used externally to decorate the red sandstone of the building. Adding Zanjira interlacing and flowers, and illustrating them in bold relief, to the prayer chamber is a unique work of unsurpassed beauty and craftsmanship in Moghal architecture.

Shah Jahan Mosque

In the Pakistani province of Sindh, the Shah Jahan Mosque, also known as the Jamia Masjid of Thatta, serves as the city’s main mosque. Shah Jahan built the mosque for the city as a gift. Known for its elaborate tile work and geometric brickwork, the mosque is one of the most interesting mosques from the Mughal era.

A mosque can be found in the eastern part of Thatta, Sindh’s capital in the 16th and 17th centuries before it was relocated to Hyderabad. Karachi is 100 kilometers from the site.

Turkic and Persian styles overtly influence Shah Jahan Mosque. In addition to extensive brickwork and blue tiles, the mosque displays aspects of the Timurid architecture from Central Asia, the origin of the Tarkhans, the previous rulers of Sindh before the region fell to the Mughals in 1592.

Chaukhandi Tombs.

One visit to Chaukhandi Tombs will never be forgotten. Those who visit the cemetery are left in awe by the incredible architecture and intricate design. These tombs belong to ancestors of a local tribe and are tentatively listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Chaukhandi’s carvings are one of its most unique features; they’re characteristic of Sindh.

Check out one of the most famous graveyards of Pakistan to look at its history and architecture. Pakistan has always been a top tourist destination worldwide thanks to its unmatched beauty and vibrant culture. In addition to the vast mountains in the north of Pakistan, Sindh has many historical sites equally popular with tourists.


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