Pakistan is famous for its natural beauty and sceneries all around the world. Being rich in natural beauty, Pakistan also possesses some of the best and unique architectures designed by man.Although the list is very long, here we are sharing only those places to which most of the folks are not familiar with.
There is particularly a certain building in Clifton which looks like a palace and is a very popular attraction for anyone who comes here — the Mohatta Palace. Currently a center for cultural activities, the Mohatta Palace was constructed by a wealthy businessman of Karachi, Shivratan Chandraratan Mohatta. The story behind the construction of the Mohatta Palace is an interesting tale of love. It reminds us of the story of Taj Mahal.The difference is that Shah Jehan built Taj Mahal after his wife died, while Mohatta had the palace built in order to save his wife from dying.After partition, Quaid-e-Azam’s sister Fatima Jinnah moved here and in 1995 it was converted into a Museum by Government of Sindh.
Usman Damohi, a well-known Karachi historian, writes in his book "Karachi Taareekh Kay Aaeenay Main": "In 1927, Shivratan Mohatta, a successful Marwari entrepreneur, commissioned a palatial house in the affluent seaside neighborhood of Clifton. The architect commissioned for the assignment was Ahmed Hussein Agha, one of the first Muslim architects of India. He came from Jaipur to take up the assignment. Working in a Mughal revival style with a combination of locally available yellow Gizri stone and pink stone from Jodhpur, he sought to recreate the Anglo-Mughal palaces of the Rajput princes."
Mohatta Palace has an area of 18, 599 sq. feet and its façades are adorned with windows, stone brackets, spandrels, domes, balustrades, carved floral motifs, and railings. It consists of stately rooms designed originally for entertainment on the ground floor and more private facilities on the first floor with a balcony facing the Arabian sea. An elegant configuration of five domes adorns the rooftop while octagonal towers stand proudly at the corners.It is said that the reason behind its commission was a serious illness that Mohatta’s wife suffered from. Doctors had told Mohatta that the refreshing winds of the sea would cure his wife’s illness. Thus, Shivratan had this fascinating bungalow built in the previous century in Clifton, covering a very large area.
Entering Bahawalpur, the road leads to the stunning Noor Mahal – the palace built by the fifth ruler of Bahawalpur State Nawab Sir Muhammad Sadiq or the ‘Shahjehan of Bahawalpur’, who is renowned for his passion of constructing beautiful buildings.This beautiful building inspired by Italian construction style is one of the hidden gems of Bahawalpur.It was built by a British Engineer named Heenan in 1875 at a cost of Rs1.2 million. The palace is known for its colorful, exquisite exterior made of cut and dressed bricks that make this a unique piece of historical architecture. Although there are several stories told in Bahawalpur about the construction of Noor Mahal among all, famous legend is that Nawab Subah Sadiq Muhammad Khan IV laid the foundation for constructing this palace in honor of her wife.The palace was meant to be the residence of the late Subah Sadiq Muhammad Khan and his family but legend says they spend only one night as they were cautioned against so on account of its proximity to the Basti Maluk Shah graveyard.The Nawab also held occasional cabinet meetings here and gave audience to notable guests. The construction work for Noor Mahal began in 1872 AD. The palace was completed in 1875 AD at a cost of Rs 1.2 million. It is currently used as a guest house for foreign delegations.
It is located in Shahrah-e-Iraq, Saddar Town, near Empress Market and is considered the largest cathedral in Karachi after St. Peter’s Cathedral, which was built in 2001 in Akhtar Colony. Built-in 1881 and standing tall at 52 meters, in one of the most congested areas of Karachi, is the architectural wonder of St. Patrick’s Cathedral.The marbled white structure, which is 54 feet high, was built in 1931 and can take in around 150 people. The area is off limits due to conservation reasons; it has already been restored once in 2013, to counter the effects of weather and time. At the center is the statue of St. Francis Xavier, a Christian missionary whose work has had considerable influence in the Indian Subcontinent, especially Goa. The first Catholic church in Sindh, St. Patrick’s was established in 1845 at a cost of Rs. 6,000 raised through public subscription. A fine example of Gothic style, it was designed by Father Wagner, Brother Kluver and Brother Lao (Members of the Society of Jesus). Its lofty and spacious interior, with a capacity of 1500 worshippers, is lavishly decorated and is enhanced by carrying the vault of the nave in a single stretch from the portal through the transept to the peak of the apse 70 ft tall and 70 ft wide.An interesting feature of this Church is the use of stained glass windows. The Church with its board front and two striking corner spires is further enhanced by a grand marble monument (erected 1931) to perpetuate the memory of the Jesuit Mission in Sind (1858-1935) and dedicated to Christ, The King, and is inscribed with the words. “Thou art Peter, and upon that rock, I will build my church”. In a chamber underneath this monument were displayed models of heaven and hell.
In Khairpur there is a building, a palace that has a history of more than 200 hundred years is known as “Fiaz Mahal” built by the imperial family of Kahirpur, the Talpur Mirs in 1798.The building currently serves as the residence of the Talpur dynasty.8. This historical asset is also called “Aram Garr” a place of rest.The Faiz Mahal served as the principal court of the Talpur monarchs until the abolishment of their monarchy by the state government.
The classical palace consists of many buildings and gardens that still looks beautiful and catches the visitor’s attention. This palace is a classic piece of Mughal construction style and artwork. the outer side of the palace it is stunning, the inner side we can say is beautiful, cool, and airy that takes us back to the old Mughal time’s buildings.The interior decoration and the setting environment are concluding at comfort and luxury. Simply this palace is unique by its structure, its calligraphy work, and designs, handicraft, and its gardens. There were no such palaces was built that looks like Faiz Mahal and its structural beauty, which is an extreme example of the architect.
The Magnificent Lahore museum, designed by the famous architect Sir Ganga Ram, features a distinct blend of Mughal and British colonial styles. it is the biggest museum of the country, housing some of the finest collections of paintings and histories artifacts in the country.Lahore Museum’s majestic red-brick building stands on Shahrahe-Quaid-e-Azam, previously known as the Mall. Blended with the old tradition of Mughal Architecture, Lahore Museum stands out among the structures built in Lahore during the British period (1849-1947). This building is home to the country's largest and oldest collection of historical, cultural and artistic objects. Its collections of Gandhara sculpture, miniature paintings rare manuscripts, and old coins are known throughout the world. Similarly, its treasure of modern paintings, arts and crafts and ethnology are a national heritage beyond comparison.These collections attract research scholars, students and tourists from all over the world and constitute a unique cross-section of the cultural history of the Subcontinent The history of areas outside the Subcontinent is also brought to life here-the Museum houses artefacts from many countries and regions such as Burma, Bhutan, Nepal, Tibet, Central Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
Islamia College the powerhouse of Muslim students during Pakistan Movement is located in Peshawar. This beautiful building of rich architecture and history was established by Nawab Sahabzada Abdul Qayyum and Sir George Roos Kepel in 1913. This building is also famous for its serene ambiance.Islamia College Peshawar, the symbol of academic excellence is rich in history. It's building, which is the best embodiment of Muslim civilization in South Asia and its lush green lawns attract visitors from all over the country and abroad. It is not only the culminating point of the Aligarh Movement, it is, in fact, the beautiful combination of Aligarh and Deoband Schools of Thought.
Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah visited this College in 1936, 1945 and 1948. Quaid-e-Azam who became a lifelong honorary member of the Khyber Union ICP in 1936 made the College one of the heirs of his property in 1939. The Quaid Trust, later on, paid an amount of Rs.1, 08, 11, 600 /- in different installments to the College.
Pakistan Monument located in Islamabad is conceived as the National Monument of Pakistan. The monument was constructed as a tribute to the people who sacrificed their lives for the independence of Pakistan. It represents the history, civilization, and culture of Pakistan and mainly focuses on historical events of Pakistan Movement.The murals on the petals of flower shaped architecture feature Pakistan’s cultural heritage and historic events of Pakistan Movement.The blooming flower shape of the structure represents Pakistan as a rapidly progressing country.
Pakistan Monument was built by Ministry of Culture. After the approval of the idea of a National Monument, the Ministry of Culture with the help of Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planners (PCATP) The foundation stone for the architecture was laid on 25 may 2004. Pakistan Monument was completed on 23 March 2007 with a total cost Rs. 580 million. The monument is shaped like a blossoming flower. It is spread over an area of 28000 square meters. The design of Pakistan Monument consists of four large petals and three small petals. The four large blossoming flower’s petals are made of granite. They represent four provinces Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh of Pakistan three smaller petals represent three territories Azad Jammu & Kashmir, FATA and Gilgit Baltistan.
The inner walls of Pakistan Monument’s granite petals are decorated with murals. These murals are mainly based on Islamic Art. The decorating team led by Zarar Haider Babri and Kausar Jahan spent 119,000 hours of artwork.
The Tomb of Bibi Jawindi is a monument in Uch Sharif and on the tentative list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. According to historians, the shrine was built around 1493 by an Iranian prince for Bibi Jawindi, the great-granddaughter of a famous Sufi saint Jahaniyan Jahangasht. Overall Uch Sharif, is famous for shrine culture because of several monuments and shrines in the area.The shrine of Bibi Jawindi is a very ancient structure, predating even the Mughal Empire. It is one of best-preserved examples of medieval Iranian architecture in Pakistan.The tomb is part of the "The Uch Monuments Complex" which contains Tomb of Bibi Jawindi, Baha'al-Halim and Ustead and the Tomb and Mosque of Jalaluddin Bukhari. It was built with dressed bricks. The structure is further decorated, internally and externally, with enameled tiles in floral and geometric designs.
Over the time, the tomb had been badly damaged due to environmental conditions. In 1817, floods washed away half of the structure. Only half of the structure remains today. The government of Pakistan invited international bodies and city officials to work on the conservation of the complex. The World Monument Fund has been working there on conservation since 1998, but due to humidity, salt infiltration, and erosion, the monument is still crumbling. Poor repair methods have further damaged the complex.
Quetta - The Quaid-e-Azam Residency – also known as Ziarat Residency – is one of the most widely visited national monuments in Pakistan. It is this residency of Ziarat wherein the ‘Founder of Nation’ Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah retreated from Karachi in June 1948 and spent the last 70 days of his life in the valley of Ziarat.Muhammad Ali Jinnah rushed to the beautiful valley of centuries-old Juniper forests for his recreation when doctors advised him to rest on account of his shrinking health.On 15 June 2013, Indian funded militants of Balochistan Liberation Army attacked the residence. It was badly damaged as a result of the intense attack.The reconstruction work was completed under the supervision of renowned architect Nayyar Ali Dada. The Ziarat Residency was reopened on August 14, 2014 by Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.
Faisal Mosque the largest mosque In Pakistan and until 1993 was the largest in the world. The iconic building was named after the late King Faisal bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia, who had supported and financed the project. Completed in 1986, the Faisal Mosque (also known as Shah Faisal Masjid) is an exceptionally large and unique mosque in Islamabad. It functions as the national mosque of Pakistan.Faisal Mosque in Islamabad, Pakistan is the biggest mosque of South Asia and the sixth largest mosque in the world with a covered area of 5000 square meters (54,000 square feet), and room for containing as many as 300,000 worshipers in its main prayer hall, porticoes, courtyard and adjoining grounds.
The design made by Turkish architect Vedat Dalokay not only reflects modern but also the basic Islamic principles of design. This unique mixture of traditional Islamic construction style and modern building principles has made Shah Faisal Mosque very popular throughout the world. Instead of using traditional domes Vidat Dalokay designed an eight-sided main hall that looks like an Arab Bedouin’s desert tent. Additionally, he added four minarets all of 90 meters (300 feet) on all four corners of the main hall. The main structure of the building is the main prayer hall and four minarets. The giant structure of 40 meters (131 feet) high hall is supported by four concrete girders.
At the entrance of mosque, there is a small courtyard containing a small round water pond with fountains and introductory plaque inside it. Next to this courtyard, on the left hand are stairs leading to the main courtyard of mosque and going straight leads to another but comparatively larger water pond with fountains. On the left side of this pond is ablution place for worshipers. This second water pond looks very beautiful. Stairs go to the main courtyard from all four corners of this pond.There is an adjoining ground on the east of mosque that contains mausoleum of a former president Gen. Zia-ul-Haq of Pakistan. Another ground is located at front side of the mosque but it is a smaller one. There is also a water pond with fountains at front side of the building.It is interesting to note that the national monuments of Pakistan are primarily restricted to sites and buildings which identity with the leaders or event of the partition. Still, there are other sites with glorious offerings of their own. one who is fond of uniqueness must visit these places.