Pakistan has numerous attractions for the tourists from all over the world. Pakistan cradles half a dozen ancient civilizations which include Indus valley civilization (2500BC) Arian civilization (1500BC) Persian civilization (600BC) Greek civilzation (327BC) Muslim civilization. (712BC) Ancient Civilization sites of Mehrgarh (Balochistan) Moenjodaro, (Sind) Harapa and Taxila (Punjab) provide invaluable opportunity of study particularly to the curious minds interested in a ancient history. Likewise over 900 Km long coastline of the country’s crystal clear water and clean sandy beaches lagoons, mangroves, swamps and soothing sunshine offer plenty of attractions to the marine life lovers. Manchar lake in Sind province with its highly pulsating expanse of about 200 sq miles of area is famous for its foliage of towering grasses, its meadows of floating lotus, and its inhabitants in their boat houses. Away from Arabian sea shores, in the interior of Sind, “Haliji Lake” is the largest fowl reserve of Asian Continent serving as a temporary abode for the hundreds of thousands of migratory birds. For the birds watcher, the lake is next to paradise.
Majestic landscape of the Northern Pakistan is unique as it is adorned by three of the mightiest moutain systems – the Hindukush, the Karakorum and the Himalayas. For the benefit of those intrested in statistics, 40 out of 50, world’s highest moutain peaks are in Pakistan. In Baltistan, as northern district of the North West Frontier Province, over 45 peaks touch or surpass 20,000 feet mark. In Gilgit the capital city of Northern Pakistan, there are over 24 peaks ranging in height between 18,000 to 26,000 feet. The number of glaciers in the laps of these lofty mountains in an area of 13,600 square kilometers are more than any other country outside north and south pole. About 37 percent of Karakorum moutain range of the Northern pakistant is under glaciers against the Himalayas 17 percent and European Alps 22 percent. Some of the important glaciers of Northern Pakistan include Siachin, (75Km), Hispar (53Km). Batura (58Km) and Baltoro (62Km). The awe inspiring lofty mountains, lush green valleys with its hospitable and peace loving inhabitants, the northern part of Pakistan is an ideal place for tourists to plan vacations.
Adjacent to the northern areas is the picturesque valley of Chitral – A northern district of NWFP, where indigenous “Kalash” people who now number around 3000, live in the three valleys of Bumburet, Rumbur and Birrer. These people thought to be descendants of Sikander-e-Azam, the Macedonian ruler of the 4th century BC, still retain their unique religion and culture. In the same district, the Wakhan migrant community of Boroghil valley celebrates “Shandur Polo Festival” held each year near famous 35 Km long Kurunibar Lake, which attracts many tournists to experience the unexplored exotic culture.
Down in the plains of central Pakistan, a series of invasion beginning with King Osiris of Egypt to Babylonians, Greeks, Huns, the Ghazanvides, the Tatars and successive Muslims dynasties of Ghauris, Khiljis, Tughalaqs, Lodhis, Suris and Muguls have left their indelible mark. Highly impressive forts, splendid palaces, and beautiful mosques build over the centuries adorn the cities of Lahore, Multan, Bhawalpur, and Peshawar. All the gates of the lahore, city which is abode of splendid Mughal architecture are being renovated with the assistance of World Bank.
Pakistan’s Western moutains have a number of passes which have considerable geographical interest. For centuries, they have been gazing those mighty Kings, generals and preachers passing through them, who were instrumental in bringing momentous changes in the Khyber and Bolan passes are particularly imporant from historical perspective. Khyber Pass, the largest and the most renowned, is 56Km long and connects kabul in Afghanistan to the fertile vale of Peshawar in NWFP. Whereas Bolan pass connects Sind plains with Quetta in Balochistain and further west through Chaman, with Afghanistan.
Pakistan is also custodian of the much revered historical religious sites of Hindus, Sikhs and, Budhist, which are being well maintained. Government takes special care of the pilgrims and tourists visiting the sites from the pointof arrival in Pakistan until their departure. Government owned provincial as well as federal tourism organisations are playing a pivotal role in promoting tourism through a comprehensive, dynamic and sustainable marketing strategies. Equipped with comfortable transport network and, chain of hotels, motels and resorts in width and breadth of the country. Apart from public sector tourism organisations, multifarious private travel companies are also doing toruism business which provide extensive range of servies to the visitors.
With an extensive communication network blended with warm hospitality, precious heritage and changing seasions, the landscape of Pakistan is an ideal destination for the tourists.