Design Destination: The Colours of Pakistan
Despite all the turmoils of Pakistan presented by the media, it is a country with beautiful landscape, elegant historical buildings and rich art and culture.
1. Handcrafted Souvenirs
A visit to Pakistan is not complete without a visit to one of the markets. It’s one of the places where you can truly experience the culture and interact with the local people. Shop for beautiful handicrafts and test your haggling skill. Handwoven goods, pottery, stone jewellery, carpets, clothes, you name it, it’s there.
2. Lahore Fort
The existing citadel is a rebuilt in the 17th century after being damaged, ruined and rebuilt several times. It was first built in the 13th century and has been a silent witness of many dynasties that occupied the area. Each of the era has influenced the architecture of the fort, including the use of elephant-shaped column brackets from Emperor Akbar, the massive Picture Wall from Jahangir period and the Alamgiri Gate from the Emperor Aurangzeb. With so many strong character of styles no wonder it became the star of tourism of the Walled City of Lahore.
3. Minar e Pakistan
Also known as “Tower of Pakistan”, this public monument in Lahore was built on the location where Pakistan resolution was passed, where the Muslims asked for a greater autonomy within British India. The construction work took eight years and finished in 1968. Comparatively young to many other historical landmarks throughout Pakistan, the tower is yet to make more histories as its location is always used for political and religious events.
4. Shah Faisal Mosque
The architecture of this mosque is a unique mixture of traditional Islamic and modern building styles. Instead of using traditional domes, Turkish architect Vidat Dalokay designed a main hall that resembles an Arab Bedouin’s desert tent. Built in 1986, it became the biggest mosque in the world until the completin of Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco, in 1993. Another interesting fact of this building, which is located in Islamabad, is that a part of the mosque is used as the mausoleum of Pakistan’s former president general Zia ul Haq.
5. Pakistan Monument
The monument was erected as a tribute to the people who sacrificed their lives for Pakistan independence. The construction began in 2004 and ended in 2007, and is shaped as a blooming flower petal made of granite. A visit to the monument when the petals are lit with golden lights against the dark blue sky gives a more impressive sight of Islamabad, where the monument is located.
6. Derawar Fort
The fort history goes way back to the ninth century. It is now the best surviving fort in a group of desert forts that lined across the Cholistan Desert. However, it took a rebuilding in 1733 by Sadeq Mohammad Khan I to make it look like it is today. With its 30 metre high bastions and 1.5 km walls, the fort’s red-bricked facade seems to glow with the heat of the desert and is visible from miles away.
New modern styles of women’s accessories keep emerging, but they never killed the Pakistan’s traditional handwoven art. From cloth to rugs to bags and purses, colourful and elaborate patterns have been an international favourite. Tourists bring back these hand-woven products as souvenirs and the local Pakistani women are still loyal wearers of the beauty. Khaadi, one of Pakistan’s local brands, incorporates the craft style in their trendy yet traditional items.
8. Tomb of Shah Rukun e Alam
Perched on a fortified hill overlooking the old city of Multan, this 14th century mausoleum is easily spotted from a great distance in many directions. It was built entirely of red bricks, which was a common material for buildings in Multan, bounded with wood and ornamented with an elaborate tile work on the façade. It is considered to be the culmination of the Multan-style tombs, and one of the architectural treasures of Pakistan until today.