Pakistan has been in the limelight, for over two decade now; a subject of muck and measly discourse. It’s beauty has been lost to the air of terror that surrounds it, its values lost to the world that only chooses to see extremism of a select few, defining a land of many words by just a few.
But in her bosom, Pakistan beholds the kind of beauty unknown to the world. At par with the most popular tourist locations in the world, Pakistan, home to all four seasons, is home to all kinds of landscapes that Mother Earth is capable of producing. And given its rich history spanning centuries of quests by ambitious leaders, the country is home to remarkable man-made feats.
These 10 places will leave you awe-struck. And they belong right in the middle of the mystery that is Pakistan. Their stories are enriched by local myth, culture and religion(s) that add to their beauty.
10. Ras Muari – the Cape Mount Beach, Karachi
Ras Muari is nearly 80 Km from Karachi, located near Gadani Beach on the Arabian Sea coast. Karachi and its vicinity is home to numerous beaches, all unique in their beauty.
9. The Katas Raj Temple – Chakwal
Said to have been built by Hindu God Krishna himself, the temple has existed even before the days of Mahābhārata. Dedicated to God Shiva, the Temple houses a natural pond; legend has it that the pond emerged from the tears of Shiva as he mourned the death of his wife Satti.
8. Traditional Dine-out by the Swat River – Swat Valley
The banks of River Swat are adorned by traditional straw strewn, wooden beds, locally known as “chaarpai” (meaning four-legged). These form a dine-out hotspot. Waiters serves food and cold-drinks, cooled in the chilling water of River Swat itself.
7. Moola Chotok – Khuzdar
An under-ground water cave in Khuzdar, Balochistan, is an eye-some sight deprived of outside reach due the insurgencies in the province. Nonetheless, the cave is competition to the caverns of the Grand Canyon.
6. Sajikot Waterfall – Sajikot Village
Located in the village Sajikot near the city of Abbottabad, Sajikot is a beauty of blue-green colours against the mountaineous landscape of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa province. It has recently gained popularity as accessibility to the waters has improved.
5. Arang Kel – Azad Kashmir
Located on an altitude of 8,379 feet, these huts are set at a 2km trek from Arang Kel in Neelam Valley, Azad Kashmir. Lush green and fresh, these huts house guests and are a popular tourist spot for the extraordinary beauty of the region.
4. Shandur Lake – Chitral, Gilgit Baltistan
Shandur Lake is situated in Chitral, GB, beside the magnificent Rakaposhi mountains. The Shandur Top is also called the ‘Roof of the World’, and is a flat a plateau. Locals enjoy Polo, and an annual tournament is held during the summer, which is a famous tourist stopover.
3. Rakaposhi-Haramosh Mountains – Karakoram
A trekkers delight; located in Gilgit-Baltistan, this subrange of the Karakoram Mountains is among the tallest mountains of the Earth and popular for mountain climbing.
2. Attabad Lake – Hunza Valley
A recent creation of Mother Earth, the Attabad Lake emerged out of a natural catastrophe. Despite being formed due a landslide dam on the Hunza River, the lake does not fail to lose its magnificence that is intensified by the backdrop of snow-capped Karakoram Mountains.
1. Derawar Fort – Bahawalpur
On the desertous side of Pakistan’s diverse landscape lies the Derawar Fort, created by Hindu Rajput, Bhutta of Jaisalmer, and was later captured by the Nawabs of Bahawalpur. Famous for its forty bastions that are visible from the wide expanse of the Cholistan desert, the fort is a famous archaeological and heritage site.
Bonus: Hingol National Park – Hingol
Located in Hingol, in the Balochistan province, the Hingol National Park spans an area of 1,650 km² and is the largest National Park of the country. Home to a variety of wildlife and rock mesas like the one pictured above, it also holds the Hingol Mud Volcano in its premises.