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Serena Bharucha

on 3 June 2013

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Pakistan's beauty - something to be proud of ... Pakistan has mountains, beaches, beautiful scenery, Caves, Karakoram highway (highest paved international road in the world that connects China and Pakistan), Kewra Salt Mines (second largest salt mine in the world), 2nd tallest mountain in the world (K2) and more.
The country's attraction range from the ancient ruins, to the Himalayan hill stations, to old fortresses, ancient architecture & the Hunza and Chitral valley. k2 mountains Beautiful scenery of Murree hills Kund Malir, is one of the most famous beaches in Balochistan Top five tourist sites in Pakistan Lahore- main cultural centre of Punjab and Pakistan Taxila - an ancient town and an important archaeological site of Punjab province dated back to Gandhara Period. The Karakoram Highway - highest paved international road in the world that connects China and Pakistan Karimabad - capital of Hunza (a mountainous valley in Gilgit-Baltistan, northern Pakistan.) Lake Saiful Muluk is an alpine lake located at the northern end of the Kaghan Valley Personal pictures taken in Pakistan Beaches in Pakistan Pakistani village life Hill country - Ziarat Topographically, Pakistan is characterized by high mountains, fertile land, desert terrain and coastal landscape. Pakistan is divided into three major geographic areas Geographical information of Pakistan Next few slides will show the rich culture and heritage of Pakistan. World Heritage sites in Pakistan Pakistan is a treasure-house of ancient heritage. UNESCO has designated six sites in Pakistan as World Heritage Sites and several other important sites.

Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro in Sindh
Taxila in Punjab
Buddhist Ruins of Takht-i-Bahi in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
Rohtas Fort in Punjab
Historical Monuments at Makli in Sindh
Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Punjab Taxila - Buddhism cultural heritage in Punjab Taxila is another important archaeological site, dated at least the 5th century BCE. The city contains the ruins of the Gandhran city of Takail, which was an important Hindu and Buddhist centre and is still considered a place of religious and historical sanctity in those traditions. Historical Monuments at Makli, in Sindh Makli, one of the largest necropolises in the world, is supposed to be the burial place of some 125,000 Sufi saints. The monuments and mausoleums in Makli are built from high quality stone, brick, and glazed tiles representing the civilization of Sindh of seventeenth century. Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro, in Sindh The ruins of an ancient city of Moenjodaro, built entirely of unbaked brick in the 3rd millennium B.C., lie in the Indus valley. This 5000 year old city, comprises two sectors: a stupa mound and the lower city along the banks of the Indus. Takht-i-Bahi in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Takht-i-Bahi, is a Buddhist monastic complex dated to 1st century BCE. Despite numerous invasions into the area, Takht Bhai's hilltop location seems to have protected it from destruction. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. Rohtas Fort in Punjab Rohtas Fort is a historical garrison fort, built in 1541-43, by King Farhid Khan (also known as Sher Shah Suri). The fort is an exceptional example of Islamic military architecture, integrating artistic traditions from Turkey and the Indian subcontinent. It was built at a strategic location on a small hill alongside Kahan River to control the Ghakkars (an ancient invading warrior clan.) Fort and Shalamar Gardens in Punjab The Fort and Shalamar Gardens, constructed by the emperor Shah Jahan in 1641-42, are two distinct royal complexes from the Mughal era. The Shalimar Gardens are laid out in the form of an oblong parallelogram, surrounded by a high brick wall, which is famous for its intricate fretwork (an interlaced decorative design that is either carved or cut out.) It is reportedly the best preserved Mughal garden having survived in the last 400 years. Other important sites listed under the cultural category Shah Jahan Mosque (1647) is known for its beautiful architechture Badshahi Mosque (1673), a major tourist attraction, is known for its beauty & grandeur of the Mughal era. Wazir Khan Mosque (1635 AD) is known for its "Qashani" tile work (mosaic) from the Mughal period An ancient archaeological site of Harappa, from a bronze age fortified city (2600–1900 BC). There are 16 other sites listed under the cultural category. Some of which are mentioned above. Chaukhandi tombs, discovered in 20th century, are graves in buff sandstone. Their carved decoration shows exquisite craftsmanship. Hiran Minar - monument to one of Emperor Jahangir's pet deer. It is unique construction from all of Mughal places. Mazar-e-Quaid or the National Mausoleum refers to the tomb of the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah. It is an iconic symbol of Karachi (Capital of Pakistan until Islamabad was constructed in 1960) Minar-e-Pakistan (tower of Pakistan) was constructed on 23 March 1940. It is the first official call for a separate homeland for the Muslims living in the Indian subcontinent, that later became Pakistan. ** This picture was taken by me when we visited Jinnah house in Ziarat (hill country). Founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-azam, spent his last days at this house in Ziarat. ** Personal picture taken by me PAKISTANI MONUMENTS Monument of Pakistan, in Islamabad (capital of Pakistan), is a national monument representing the nation's four provinces and three territories. From air, it looks like a star (center) and a crescent moon (formed by walls), representing the star and crescent on Pakistan's flag. Local festivals and events Pakistan celebrates a number of cultural and festive events apart from many religious festivals that take place throughout the year. Eid Celebrations Independence day, celebrated on 14th August, includes flag-raising ceremonies, parades, cultural events, and the playing of patriotic songs. Other Celebrations Nawruz, meaning New Year is celebrated on 21st March and marks the first day of spring. Basant is a Punjabi festival, celebrating the onset of the spring season. This festival is celebrated with kite flying competitions all over the city. The sky is filled with colorful kites of all shapes and sizes flown from rooftops. The festival not only boosts the kite industry but also the tourism industry. Mela Chiraagha(n) (Festival of Lamps) is to mark the Urs of Punjabi Sufi poet and saint Shah Hussain. The festival used to be the largest in the Punjab (province), but now comes second to Basant. It takes it names from thousands of candles & lamps lit by the devotees in memory of the saint. The festivities and handcrafts reflect the folklore and traditional rituals of Punjabi mystics and culture. Whirling dervishes dance to the tunes of drums Art in Pakistan Sadequain Naqqash, was a world-renowned Pakistani artist, known for his skills as a calligrapher and a painter. He exhibited his works on all continents. He would paint gigantic murals in public buildings at no cost & declared the giveaways as gifts to the citizens of the cities. Visual Art Ismail Gulgee, an award-winning Pakistani artist born in Peshawar. He was a self-taught abstract and portrait painter. Guljee received many awards, including in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Japan and France. Abdur Rahman Chughtai, a national artist of Pakistan, was influenced by Mughal art. His works are displayed at the British Museum, the Peace Palace in Hague, UN Headquarters, President's House in Bonn, Queen Juliana's Palace in the Netherlands, Emperor's Palace Bangkok and other countries around the world. Sughra Rababi was first female artist from Pakistan. She donated most of the proceeds from her art sales to support humanitarian causes. In recognition & memory of her contributions, UNICEF created a Sughra Rababi Fund & the Mayor of San Francisco declared 19 January 1994, as Sughra Rababi Day in San Francisco. - Rababi was truly a woman far ahead of her times. Visual Art on Architechture Pop Art - Art on wheels Trucks, horse carriage and rickshaws in Pakistan are the most unique form of transport the world has seen. While each province has its own distinct style of truck painting, the materials, colors, the arrangement, & the overall art style serves as a cultural representative of the region. ** My husband in a decorated rickshaw ** Me riding a decorated cycle ** picture taken by me showing the beautiful art on bus Performing Art Arts in Pakistan can broadly be categorized in to three sections such as:
Visual art such as calligraphy, paintings and modern art.
Pop art: It appreciates popular culture such as pop art on wheels, billboard art, Sculpture etc.
Performing art: It considers human body to be its medium, and seeks to explore themes and emotions through live, unique performance. Performing art that's practice in Pakistan are drama & theater, Puppetry. Pakistani Handcrafts The legacy of Pakistani culture has a rich history of beautifully decorated handicrafts ranging from fabric, material, embroidery, to jewelry, carving, mirror work, handmade carpets and other items. Balochi dress Sindhi Dress Punjabi Dress khyber pakhtunkhwa dress Sports Id–ul-Fitr, Id-ul-Azha (feast of the Sacrifice) and Shab-e-Bara’at are islamic, religious holidays and are celebrated widely in Pakistan. They are the most religious and biggest festivals of the Islamic calendar. The festivals begin with special Prayers. After the prayers gifts are exchanges and sweets are distributed among relatives, friends and poor. Lok Mela: is a famous folk festival celebrated annually in April. The festival lasts for 10 days and comprises of folk music, songs, music contests, folk dances, craftsmen at work, exhibition and sale of handicrafts. The festival brings the culture and crafts of the whole country at one place. This event is a true depiction of rural Pakistan and the direct beneficiaries are rural folk. Pakistan has 4 provinces (states) named Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.

Pakistan borders Iran, Afghanistan, India, China and the Arabian sea. The Sistan Basin: This area is subject to frequent seismic disturbances because the tectonic plate under the Indian plate hits the plate under Eurasia as it continues to move northward and to push the Himalayas ever higher. The Northern highlands: Includes part of Hindu Kush, the Karakoram Range, and the Himalayas. This area includes famous peaks such as K2 at 8,611 meters (the second tallest peak in the world.) Music:
Pakistan is home to many famous folk singers such as the late Alam Lohar and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Pakistani music ranges from diverse provincial folk music and traditional styles such as Qawwali and Ghazal to modern traditional and western music. Dance:
Kathak - classical dance was developed in the Royal courts of the Mughals. Folk dances are popular in Pakistan and vary according to region such as Bhangra, Dhammal, Jhumro etc Puppetry:
It is one of the most ancient forms of entertainment in the world. The puppets are made of many different materials and they come in a wide variety. In Pakistan, string puppets and human puppets are rated as the most popular of all. Pakistani dress of different regions The shalwar kameez is the national dress of Pakistan and is worn by men and women in all four provinces. Each province has its own style. . Pakistan's many wonders - breath taking places in Pakistan Baltoro Glacier pool - a glacier in the Karakoram mountain range (K2) Nanga Parbath - highest mountain face in the world Altit fort - Ancient fort in Hunza Valley Ansoo (tear drop) Jheel (Lake) located in the Himalayan range Astore Valley - a breath taking mountainous area in Gilgit Pakistan BataKundi (most beautiful area of Kaghan Valley) Gwadar Bay: is a planned free trade port city on the coastline of Balochistan province. It is an important route for oil tankers bound for Japan and western countries out of Gulf. Astole Island or 'Island of the Seven Hills', is an uninhabited island in the Arabian Sea. There are several natural caves and coves on the island. Hillan waterfalls Skardu's cold, white dessert: Skardu is a city which is located in the northern area of Pakistan and is the highest desert of the world. Kalash Village - A part of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. The Kalasha (Kalash people) have their own religion with gods & goddesses & maintained their own cultural traditions. Mai Pir - largest cave city in the world Palace Umer Hyat is a 19th century wooden architectural wonder of Chiniot Kashmir is the one of the most beautiful regions in the world. It's sometimes referred to as "Heaven on Earth" for its scenic beauty. Saindak dam - land of copper & gold The rural villagers of Pakistan commonly live in houses made of bricks, clay or mud. Most of the villagers are farmers but other rural occupations include blacksmiths, tailorers & shepherds. The majority of rural Pakistani inhabitants livelihoods is based upon the rearing of livestock, Ziarat is a famous holiday resort of Balochistan and is also very famous for its juniper forest. The junipers are considered to be the real treasure of Ziarat. There are trees in the valley which are more than 5000 to 7000 years old Pakistan's southern coastline meets the Arabian Sea, running along the provinces of Sindh and Balochistan. The Indus Plain: A 5000 year old fertile land formed by silt from the Indus River (one of the great rivers of the world). Due to the recent turmoil in Pakistan, the magnificent and ancient culture of Pakistan has been overlooked. Murree: A famous hill station that is draped in forests of pine, and oak. Balochi women wear Kameez full of heavy Embroided Shisha work. Sindhi have different embroidery style, they use Ajrak & wear bangles. Punjabi women prefer light embroidery. Khyber pakhtunkhwa (Pushto or Pathans): Women wear traditional long dresses with a light piece of cloth or cap used to cover their hair click on the video to see 1992 World cup Some popular sports are: The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has enlisted six Pakistani sites as ‘world heritage sites’ and 18 other important sites. Pakistan is filled with ancient Islamic tombs, Moghal mansions, Hindu temples, Buddhist monuments, old forts and magnificent gardens. Geographically, it's surrounded with snow-capped mountains and lush, green valleys in the north and Indian ocean in the south. It has a blend of deserts, plateaus, forests, scenic hill stations, azure skies and clear blue rivers. Pakistanis are also very welcoming by nature. They may be poor and may not have food to eat but if you visit any home in a village, they will ask you for a cup of tea and will offer you whatever food they have. It is sad to say that even with the beautiful culture, the ancient history and a great geographic location, it usually makes headlines for all the wrong reasons. Wikipedia
Google images
The news
Dawn news
SAARC Tourism Pakistan
Youtube video (1992 world cup)
Sounds of Sufiaana CD (music) Credits Cricket, Squash and hockey are the most popular sports in Pakistan Polo is believed to have originated in Persia, and continues to be an important sport within the country. Gulli Danda and Kabaddi (wrestling) is a traditional game in Pakistan. It is mostly played in villages.
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