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