The central and southern parts of Pakistan are rich with culture, history and civilizations and are famous for their rich cuisine. Being located in the tropical/sub tropical zone, the weather is hot and humid and therefore the best time for tourists from northern climates to visit these areas is fall, winter and spring (Oct to April).
The ancient city of Lahore is known as the cultural heart of Pakistan. Lahore is the second largest city of Pakistan and the hustle and bustle of the city rivals many busy cities of the world. The old walled is known to have existed for over a thousand years. Remnants of the ancient wall and a few of the 13 gates still survive. The city is most known for its monuments from the Mughal period such as the Lahore Fort, the Badshahi Mosque, Shalimar Gardens, Jehangir’s tomb and the Wazir Khan Mosque. However, for the avid tourist and explorer there are many more to find. The Lahore Museum has perhaps the biggest collection of artefacts that could be found in any Museum of Pakistan. The city is also dotted with old churches, temples and Gurdawaras that evidence its multicultural past and present. Lahore is best known for its vibrant cuisine ranging from Cuckoo’s den housed in an old haveli in the walled city, the food street in Gwalmandi to the hundreds of restaurants in all parts of the city. It is said about Lahore that “that those who have not seen Lahore were not born.”
Watch a tourist explore Lahore here
Multan and Bahawalpur:
Multan’s history stretches deep into antiquity. The ancient city was site of the renowned Multan Sun Temple, and was besieged by Alexander the Great during the Mallian Campaign. Multan was one of the most important trading centres of medieval Islamic India, and attracted a multitude of Sufi mystics in the 11th and 12th centuries, earning the city the sobriquet City of Saints (madinat-ul-auliya). The city, along with the nearby city of Uch, is renowned for its large number of Sufi shrines dating from that era.
Founded in 1748, Bahawalpur was the capital of the former princely state of Bahawalpur, ruled by the Abbasi family of Nawabs until 1955. The Nawabs left a rich architectural legacy, and Bahawalpur is now known for its monuments dating from that period. The city also lies at the edge of the Cholistan Desert, and serves as the gateway to the nearby Lal Suhanra National Park. The Derawar Fort built by the Nawabs is also close from Bahawalpur city.
The port city of Karachi in the deep south is the largest city of Pakistan. Originally the capital, the city is now the main financial center of Pakistan. Karachi offers a remarkable variety of attractions and activities – from sunny, sandy beaches and scurf-infested old colonial buildings, still preserved and in some cases inhabited, to traditional bazaars and modern shopping malls. Upscale luxury hotels overlook modish restaurants with flavors from all over the nation and much of the world. They make the city a hotspot for local and tourist activity.
The city is known as the “City of the Quaid” because the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was born, raised and spent his last years here. Additionally due to its round-the-clock liveliness, Karachi is now more popularly and affectionately referred to as the “City of Lights”. While visiting Karachi one must visit the Mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam, Mohatta Palace Museum, Flag Staff House, Frere Hall and the National Museum of Pakistan.
From Karachi one can go to the Chaukhandi cemetery and its magnificent intricately carved tombs, and that of the archaeological site of Bhanbore which dates from the 1st century BC. A little further on, do not miss especially not the city of Thatta and its sumptuous Shah Jahan mosque, and the necropolis of Makli, one of the largest in the world. The pre-historic ruins of Moenjo Daro also have to be accessed from Karachi by road.