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Old Wednesday, March 28, 2007
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Default Mountain passes in Pakistan

BABUSAR PASS
Babusar Pass or Babusar Top (el. 4173 m. /13,691 ft.) is a mountain pass at the north of the 150 km. (93 miles) long Kaghan Valley connecting it with the Astore Valley. It is the highest point in Kaghan Valley.

The Kaghan Valley is at its best during summer (months ranging from May to September). In May the maximum temperature is 11 C (52 F) and the minimum temperature is 3 C (37 F). From the middle of July up to the end of September the road beyond Naran is open right up to Babusar Pass.
However, movement is restricted during the monsoon and winter seasons. The Kaghan area can reached by road via the towns of Balakot, Abbottabad and Mansehra.


BOLAN PASS
Bolan Pass is a mountain pass through the Toba Kakar Range of mountains in western Pakistan, 120 kilometers from the Afghanistan border.

Strategically located, traders, invaders, and nomadic tribes have also used it as a gateway to and from the South Asia.

The British took the threat of a Russian invasion of South Asia via the Khyber and Bolan Passes very seriously so in 1837, a British envoy was sent to Kabul to gain support of the Emir, Dost Mohammed. In February of 1839, the British Army under Sir John Keane took 12,000 men through the Bolan Pass and entered Kandahar, which the Afghan Princes had abandoned; from there they would go on to attack and overthrow Ghazni.

Traditionally, the Brahui of the Kurd tribe are in charge of the law and order situation through the Pass area. This tribe is still living in present day Balochistan in Pakistan.

In 1879 at the close of the Second Afghan War, the Treaty of Gandamak, the Bolan Pass was brought under British control; this was when the Sind-Pishin Railway was built by the British across the pass between Kandahar and Quetta.

The Bolan Pass is an important pass on the Baluch frontier, connecting Jacobabad and Sibi with Quetta, which has always occupied an important place in the history of British campaigns in Afghanistan. Since the treaty of Gandamak, which was signed at the close of the first phase of the Afghan War in 1879, the Bolan route has been brought directly under British control, and it was selected for the first alignment of the Sind-Pishin railway from the plains to the plateau. From Sibi the line runs southwest, skirting the hills to Rindli, and originally followed the course of the Bolan stream to its head on the plateau. The destructive action of floods, however, led to the abandonment of this alignment, and the railway now follows the Mashkaf valley (which debouches into the plains close to Sibi), and is carried from near the head of the Mashkaf to a junction with the Bolan at Mach. An alternative route from Sibi to Quetta was found in the Harnai valley to the N.E. of Sibi, the line starting in exactly the opposite direction to that of the Bolan and entering the hills at Nari. The Harnai route, although longer, is the one adopted for all ordinary traffic, the Bolan loop being reserved for emergencies. At the Khundilani gorge of the Bolan route conglomerate cliffs enclose the valley rising to a height of Boo ft., and at Sir-i-Bolan the passage between the limestone rocks hardly admits of three persons riding abreast. The temperature of the pass in summer is very high, whereas in winter, near its head, the cold is extreme, and the ice-cold wind rushing down the narrow outlet becomes destructive to life. Since 1877, when the Quetta agency was founded, the freedom of the pass from plundering bands of Baluch marauders (chiefly Marris) had been secured by the British Indian Army.

BROGHOL PASS
Broghol, also spelled Boroghil and several other ways, (el. 3798 m. /12,460 ft.) is a high mountain pass that crosses the Pamir Mountains and connects the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan with Chitral in Pakistan.

Broghol is a relatively low pass. It was closed for about three months each winter because of snow, but for much of the rest of the year it was passable even for cart traffic.

It is one of the four major mountain passes entering Chitral; the others are the Dorah Pass from Badakshan in Afghanistan, Shandur Top from Gilgit, and Lowari Top from Dir in Pakistan. The area of Broghol is inhabited by Wakhi and Kyrgyz people.

European migration
According to the National Geographic Genographic Project, Broghol Pass appears to be the route used by the ancestors of all modern Western Europeans to reach Europe. Modern Europeans carrying the M45 genetic marker crossed Broghol and then turned west; M45 further mutated to become M173 and then M343, which is carried by 70% of the population of England.

Historical significance
As a low pass, Broghol has been often proposed but seldom used as an invasion route. During the 19th Century, the British greatly feared that the Russians would use Broghol to invade the heartland of British India.
However, the Russians never did that, probably because after crossing Broghol they would have had to walk more than 200 miles down to Jalalabad or else would have had to cross another equally high pass to reach Ishkoman.


It is possible that Marco Polo crossed the Broghol Pass to reach China.

In popular culture
  • The 1985 comedy movie Spies Like Us depicts Dan Aykroyd crossing the Broghol Pass on a mountain yak.
CHAPROT PASS
Chaprot Pass or Daintar Pass is a mountain pass to the northeast of Mehrbani Peak (5639) in the northwest of Chaprot.

DORAH PASS
Dorah Pass, also spelled and pronounced Durah Pass, connects Badakshan in Afghanistan with Chitral in Pakistan. The Dorah Pass is more than 14,000 feet high. It crosses the Hindu Kush. It became important during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan because the Soviets were unable to stop the flow of arms and men back and forth across the pass. Almost the entire Munji-speaking population of Afghanistan fled across the border to Chitral during the War in Afghanistan.

Pamir is a high plateau sometimes called "The roof of the world" that joins Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, China and India. Marco Polo is believed to have crossed the Pamir Mountains on his way to China.

The Dorah Pass is one of the four major mountain passes that enter Chitral. The others are the Broghol Pass from the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan, Shandur Top from Gilgit, and Lowari Top from Dir in Pakistan.

GONDOGORO PASS
Gondogoro Pass is a high mountain pass on the Gondogoro Glacier near Vigne Glacier.

GUMAL PASS
Gumal Pass or Gomal Pass is a mountain pass on the border of Afghanistan and the southeastern portion of the Northwest Frontier Province of Pakistan. It takes its name from the Gomal River. It is midway between Khyber Pass and Bolan Pass.

HAYAL PASS

Hayal Pass (el. 4600 m.) is a high mountain pass to the north of Shani Peak in Naltar Valley. The pass lies in the west of Naltar Pass.

HISPAR PASS
Hispar Pass (or Hispar La) (el. 5128 m./16,824 ft.) is a high-altitude, non-technical mountain pass in the Karakoram Range in Pakistan.

At the pass, the Biafo Glacier (63 km. long) and Hispar Glacier (49 km long) meet to form the world's longest glacial traverse outside of the Polar Regions, 100 kilometers in length.

KARAKAR PASS
Karakar Pass (el. 1336 m./4384 ft.) is a mountain pass in the Hindu Kush in Pakistan.

From the top of the pass, one can view Buner Valley. It was at this pass that the Emperor Akbar lost most of his 8000-man army in an abortive attempt to invade Swat in 1586.

The 45 km-long road from Pir Baba (RA) to Barikot passes through Mount Ilam rising through mature pine forests to Karakar Pass.

KHUNJERAB PASS
Khunjerab Pass (el. 4693 m./15,397 ft.) is a high mountain pass on the northern border of Pakistan with the People's Republic of China. The name comes from the Wakhi for Blood Valley.

It is the highest paved border crossing in the world. It is also the highest point on the Karakoram Highway. This section of the road was completed in 1982.

The long flat pass is often snow-covered during the winter season and is closed from October 15 to May 1. There is excellent grazing on the Chinese side of the pass, and domesticated yaks and dzu (a cross between yaks and cows) may be seen from the road. On the Pakistani side, the highway travels about 50 km across the extensive Khunjerab National Park before reaching the security outpost of Dih. From there, it is another 35 km to the customs and immigration post at Sust. In March 2006, the respective governments announced that, commencing on June 1, 2006, daily bus service would begin across the boundary from Gilgit, Pakistan to Kashghar, the People's Republic of China and road widening work would begin on 600 kilometers of the highway.

KILIK PASS
Kilik Pass (el. 4827 m./15,837 ft.) 37° 05 N; 74° 41' E), 30 km to the west of Mintaka Pass is a high mountain pass in Pakistan. The two passes were, in ancient times, the two main access points into the Upper Hunza Valley from the north.

This was the shortest and quickest way into northern India from the Tarim Basin, and one that was usually open all year, but was extremely dangerous and only suited for travellers on foot. From Tashkurgan one traveled just over 70 km south to the junction of the Minteke River. Heading some 80 km west up this valley one reached the Mintaka Pass, (and 30 km further, the alternative Kilik Pass), which both led into upper Hunza from where one could travel over the infamous rafiqs or "hanging passages" to Gilgit and on, either to Kashmir, or to the Gandharan plains.

Laden animals could be taken over the Mintaka and Kilik passes into upper Hunza (both open all year), but then loads would have to be carried by coolie (porters) to Gilgit (an expensive and dangerous operation). From there, cargoes could be reloaded onto pack animals again and taken either east to Kashmir and then on to Taxila (a long route), or west to Chitral which provided relatively easy access to either Jalalabad, or Peshawar via Swat.

The Mintaka pass was the main one used in ancient times until the fairly recent advance of glacier ice has forced people in recent times to use the so-called "New Mustagh Pass" (5,800 m or 19,029 ft), about 16 km further west; but this is also heavily glaciated and very difficult.

The new Karakoram Highway heads further south, and then west over the Khunjerab Pass (4,934 m or 16,188 ft; 36° 51' N; 75° 32' E).

KOHAT PASS
Kohat Pass is a mountain pass in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan, connecting Kohat with Peshawar, crossing the Khigana Mountains.

As the current road to the pass is steep and too narrow for large vehicles, Kohat Tunnel is under construction.

KHYBER PASS
The Khyber Pass (also called the Khaiber Pass or Khaybar Pass) (el. 1070 m.) is the most important mountain pass connecting Pakistan with Afghanistan.

Throughout history it has been an important trade route between Central Asia and South Asia and a strategic military location. The pass summit is 5 km inside Pakistan at Landi Kotal. The pass cuts through the Safed Koh mountains which are a far southeastern extension of the Hindu Kush range.

Geography
Going northwest from the eastern end in Pakistan, the route across the pass starts from near Jamrud (15 km west of Peshawar) and ends west of Torkham, Afghanistan, a winding road of 48 km. The route passes Fort Maude and Ali Masjid to reach the narrowest point of the pass, just 15 m wide. The summit is at Landi Kotal, followed by a steep decline to Michni Kandao, Landi Khana and the Afghan border just east of Torkham. Here the gradient becomes easier as the pass exits at Haft Chah onto the Dakka plain. From Dakka, the Kabul River flows back to Peshawar through the Loe Shilman Gorge, a less direct and more difficult route, but the one chosen by Alexander the Great when he crossed over into South Asia in 326 BC in an attempt to invade the Indus Valley.

Jamrud is at an elevation of 491 m (1611 feet), while the summit at Landi Kotal is 1070 m. (3509 ft.). The current street/road/highway was built by the British through the Pass in 1879 and the railway from Jamrud to Landi Khana was completed, by Victor Bayley. FICE, in 1925. The Kyber pass is the pass through the Zagnos moutains.

History
In some versions of the Aryan migration theory, the Indo-Aryans migrated to India via the Khyber Pass. Recorded invasions through the Khyber Pass begin with the conquests of Alexander the Great, and also include several later Muslim invasions of South Asia, culminating with the establishment of the Mughul Empire from 1526. Going the other way, the British invaded Afghanistan through the Pass and fought three Afghan Wars in 1839-42, 1878-80, and 1919.

To the north of the Khyber Pass lies the country of the Mullagori Afridis. To the south is Afridi Tirah, while the inhabitants of villages in the Pass itself are Afridi clansmen. Throughout the centuries the Pashtun clans, particularly the Afridis and the Afghan Shinwaris, have regarded the Pass as their own preserve and have levied a toll on travellers for safe conduct. Since this form of extortion has always been their main source of income, they are naturally disturbed when anyone comes along to interfere with it. Hence their dislike of invading armies and penetrations, and other exercises of authority, even though some armies have been prepared to pay the blackmail, in the form of allowances. Resistance from the local tribesmen has always been fierce.
George Molesworth, a member of the British force of 1919, summarised it well. "Every stone in the Khaibar has been soaked in blood."

Rudyard Kipling called it "a sword cut through the mountains."

It became widely known to thousands of Westerners and Japanese who traveled it in the days of the Hippie trail. Taking a public or private bus or car from Kabul or the Afghan border, on the Pakistani side people were advised not to wander away from the road. A quick daylight passage was then made. Monuments left by British Army units, as well as hillside forts, could be viewed from the highway.

The area of the Khyber Pass has been connected with a counterfeit arms industry, making AK-47's and Martini-Henry rifles, among others including pistols and sub machine guns using local steel and blacksmiths' forges.

Trivia
  • The Khyber Pass was the alleged setting of the 1968 comedy film Carry On up the Khyber. The Khyber Pass scenes were actually shot in Snowdonia, Wales.
  • It is the nickname of a narrow passage in London's King's Cross St. Pancras tube station.
  • A steep, narrow close (lane) in Stromness, Orkney goes by the name Khyber Pass.
  • There is a Khyber Pass Rd in Auckland, New Zealand.
  • There is a Pink Floyd song called Up the Khyber on the album More.
  • There is a Ministry song called 'Khyber Pass' on the album Rio Grande Blood.
  • In the movie, "The Man Who Would Be King", directed by John Huston and starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine, the protagonists make a journey through the Khyber Pass in which they must fool a British military guard who knows them.
  • Khyber Pass is referenced in the song "Life is a Highway" by Tom Cochrane.
  • There is a restaurant in South Kensington, London, UK named Khyber Pass.
  • Khyber Pass is the name of a rapid on the Futaleufu River in Chile
LOWARI PASS
Lowari Pass (or Lowari Top) (el. 10,230 ft.) is a high mountain pass that connects Chitral with Dir in Northern Areas, Pakistan. Lowari Top is a relatively low pass, by far the lowest pass to enter Chitral, the rest all being 12,000 to 15,000 feet.

Lowari Top is closed by snow from late November to late May every year. During this time, jeeps cannot cross so men must travel by foot. This is dangerous, as there are high mountains on each side of Lowari Top, and a deadly avalanche can come at any moment without warning.

Every winter a few men are killed by avalanche while crossing Lowari Top. Their bodies are buried under the snow and it is only when the summer comes and the snow melts that their bodies are found and their fate learned.

Nevertheless, Lowari Top remains popular because it is the shortest route from Chitral to Peshawar. The other way would be down the Kunar River to Jalalabad through hostile Afghan Territory or the much longer route across Shandur Top to Gilgit.

Lowari Top crosses the Hindu Raj Mountains, a spur of the higher Hindu Kush. On the Chitral side of Lowari Top are the people of Ashret, who speak the Phalura language and were assigned by the Mitar of Chitral to be the guardians of Lowari Top.

On the Dir side reside Gujjars, some of whom make their living as porters carrying loads across Lowari Top.

In 1954, the King of Chitral was killed when his airplane crashed into Lowari Top. Even today, PIA pilots often turn back because of winds and fear of crossing Lowari Top.

The word "Top" is interesting. It is believed not to be the English word "top" but to be a word from an ancient language no longer spoken there.

The Lowari Top is one of the four major mountain passes to enter Chitral. The others are the Dorah Pass from Badakshan in Afghanistan, Shandur Top from Gilgit, and Broghol from the Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan.

There are constant proposals to dig a tunnel or a ditch through the Lowari Pass. An attempt was made to dig a tunnel under the Lowari Pass in 1980 but was abandoned after only a few hundred feet. The current President of Pakistan recently announced a new plan to build the Lowari Tunnel.

According to recent developments a Korean company has started work on the tunnel. Work is going quite fast and equipment is being brought in by heavy lift helicoptors. According to the manager of the project it will take around 4 years to complete and open for the public.

Work on the Rs8 billion lowari tunnel project was launched in 2005 and it will be completed in three years. The contract has been given to Korean Sambu Company.

MINTAKA PASS
Mintaka Pass (also known as Minteke Pass) (el. 4709 m./15,450 ft.) 37° 01' N; 74° 50' E) or the nearby Kilik Pass (4,827 m or 15,837 ft high; 37° 05 N; 74° 41' E), 30 km to the west, were, in ancient times, the two main access points into the Upper Hunza Valley from the north.

These were the shortest and quickest ways into northern India from the Tarim Basin, and were usually open all year, but was extremely dangerous and only suited for travellers on foot. From Tashkurgan one travelled just over 70 km south to the junction of the Minteke River. Heading some 80 km west up this valley one reached the Mintaka Pass, (and 30 km further, the alternative Kilik Pass), which both led into upper Hunza, from where one could travel over the infamous rafiqs or "hanging passages" to Gilgit and, from there, on to either to Kashmir, or the Gandharan plains.

Laden animals could be taken over the Mintaka and Kilik passes into upper Hunza (both open all year), but then loads would have to be carried by coolie (porters) to Gilgit (an expensive and dangerous operation). From there, cargoes could be reloaded onto pack animals again and taken either east to Kashmir and then on to Taxila (a long route), or west to Chitral which provided relatively easy access to either Jalalabad, or Peshawar via Swat.

The Mintaka pass was the main one used in ancient times until the fairly recent advance of glacier ice forced people to use the so-called "New Mustagh Pass" (5,800 m or 19,029 ft), about 16 km further west; but this is also heavily glaciated and very difficult.a

The new Karakoram Highway heads further south, and then west over the Khunjerab Pass (4,934 m or 16,188 ft; 36° 51' N; 75° 32' E).

NALTAR PASS
Naltar Pass is a mountain pass to the north of Shani Peak in Naltar Valley in Pakistan. The pass lies west of Chaprot Pass and east of Hayal Pass.

SHANDUR PASS
Shandur Top (el. 12,200 ft.) is a high mountain pass that connects Chitral to Gilgit in Pakistan.

The top is flat, a plateau and can be crossed between late april and early november. The grade is very gradual, and the area is extremely beautiful, crossed by small streams full of trout.

Every year there is a polo match played on Shandur Top between a team from Chitral and a team from Gilgit.

Shandur Top is one of the four major mountain passes to enter Chitral. The others are Dorah Pass from Badakshan in Afghanistan, Lowari Pass from Dir, and Broghol from the Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan.

The people who live on both sides of Shandur Top speak the Khowar language.
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Default Mountain ranges in Pakistan

GREAT HIMALAYAS
The Great Himalayas lie north of the Lower Himalayan Range. These mountains are bounded by the Indus River in the north and the west as the river takes a southward turn at Sazin. The average height of the range is about 6000 meters. Some of the highest peaks in the world lay in these mountains e.g. Nanga Parbat (8126 meters), which is the sixth highest peak in the world and the second highest peak in Pakistan. Since the mountains are perpetually covered with snow there are many glaciers, with Rupal Glacier being the longest (17.6 km). The glacial action has created many beautiful lakes like the Saiful Muluk Lake which lies in the upper Kaghan Valley. Another noticeable geographic feature of this area are the deep gorges carved by the Indus in this region. The deepest of which, located at Dasu-Patan region (Kohistan District), is 6500 meters deep.

HINDU KUSH
The Hindu Kush, Hindū Kūsh or Hindoo Koosh is a mountain range in Afghanistan as well as in the North-West Frontier Province and Northern Areas of Pakistan. It is the westernmost extension of the Pamir Mountains, the Karakoram Range, and the Himalayas.

Nomenclature
The name Hindu Kush is usually applied to the whole of the range separating the basins of the Kabul and Helmand rivers from that of the Amu Darya (or ancient Oxus), or more specifically, to that part of the range to the northwest of Kabul which was called the Caucasus by the historians with Alexander the Great. Many Greeks also referred the range as Caucasus Indicus. It was also referred to by the Greeks as the "Paropamisos."

The origin of the term "Hindu Kush" (and whether it translates as "Killer of Hindu") is a point of contention (Kush means beginning in Sanskrit) The earliest known use of this name was by the famous Muslim Berber traveller, Ibn Battūta (circa 1334), who wrote: "Another reason for our halt was fear of the snow, for on the road there is a mountain called Hindūkūsh, which means "Slayer of Indians," because the slave boys and girls who are brought from Hind (India) die there in large numbers as a result of the extreme cold and the quantity of snow." In the Persian language of the Sassanian period, Hindu referred to any inhabitant of Indian subcontinent (Hindustan), or Hind, rather than to followers of Hinduism as it does now. At that time inhabitants of India were mostly Hindu, except for in present-day lands of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Kashmir and the Lakshadweep where they were Buddhist.

There are others who consider this origin to be a "folk etymology", and put forward alternate possibilities for its origin:
  • That the name is a corruption of Caucasus Indicus, a name by which the Hindu Kush range was known in the ancient world after its conquest by Alexander the Great in the Fourth Century BC. Greek rule in the Hindu Kush region lasted over three centuries, and was followed by the rule of a dynasty known, significantly, as the Kushan. In its early period, the Kushan Empire had its capital near modern-day Kabul. The Kushans lost the Hindu Kush and became an Indian kingdom. Later, when the Hindu Kush region became part of the Sassanian Empire, it was ruled by a satrap known as the Kushan-shah (ruler of Kushan). A Fourth century CE Hebrew book, the Talmudic tractate of Megillah, uses the term "Kush Hodu" (Indian Kush), possibly a translation from the Persian words ("Hindu Kush") meaning "Indian Kush".
  • In modern Persian, the word "Kush" is derived from the verb Kushtan - to defeat, kill, or subdue. This could be interpreted as a memorial to the Indian captives who perished in the mountains while being transported to Central Asian slave markets.
  • That the name refers to the last great 'killer' mountains to cross when moving between the Afghan plateau and the Indian subcontinent, named after the toll it took on anyone crossing them.
  • That the name is a corruption of Hindu Koh, from the (modern) Persian word Kuh, meaning mountain. Rennell, writing in 1793, refers to the range as the "Hindoo-Kho or Hindoo-Kush".
  • That the name means Mountains of India or Mountains of the Indus (from the Indus River, the largest river in Pakistan) in some of the Iranian languages that are still spoken in the region; that furthermore, many peaks, mountains, and related places in the region have "Kosh" or "Kush" in their names.
  • That the name is a posited Avestan appellation meaning "water mountains."
  • That the name is a corruption of Hind-o Kushan, containing the name of the Kushan dynasty that once ruled this region for more than three centuries.
  • That the name is a corruption of Hindu-Kusha, where "kusha" in Sanskrit means "seat".
The mountain peaks in the eastern part of Afghanistan reach more than 7,000 meters. The highest, in Pakistan, is Tirich Mir at 7,690 m (cf. Mount Everest in Nepal which stands 8,848 m high). The Pamir Mountains, which Afghans refer to as the "Roof of the World", extend into Tajikistan, China and Kashmir and are among the world’s highest mountains.

Mountains
The mountains of the Hindu Kush system diminish in height as they stretch westward: toward the middle, near Kabul, they extend from 4,500 to 6,000 meters; in the west, they attain heights of 3,500 to 4,000 meters. The average altitude of the Hindu Kush is 4,500 meters. The Hindu Kush system stretches about 966 kilometers laterally, and its median north-south measurement is about 240 kilometers. Only about 600 kilometers of the Hindu Kush system is called the Hindu Kush Mountains. The rest of the system consists of numerous smaller mountain ranges including the Koh-e Baba, Salang, Koh-e Paghman, Spin Ghar (also called the eastern Safid Koh), Suleiman Range, Siah Koh, Koh-e Khwaja Mohammad and Selseleh-e Band-e Turkestan. The western Safid Koh, the Siah Band and Doshakh are commonly referred to as the Paropamisus by western scholars.

Rivers that flow from the mountain system include the Helmand River, the Hari Rud and the Kabul River.

Numerous high passes ("kotal") transect the mountains, forming a strategically important network for the transit of caravans. The most important mountain pass is the Kotal-e Salang (3,878 m); it links Kabul and points south to northern Afghanistan. The completion of a tunnel within this pass in 1964 reduced travel time between Kabul and the north to a few hours. Previously access to the north through the Kotal-e Shibar (3,260 m) took three days. The Salang tunnel at 3,363 m and the extensive network of galleries on the approach roads were constructed with Soviet financial and technological assistance and involved drilling 1.7 miles through the heart of the Hindu Kush.

Before the Salang road was constructed, the most famous passes in the Western historical perceptions of Afghanistan were those leading to the Indian subcontinent. They include the Khyber Pass (1,027 m), in Pakistan, and the Kotal-e Lataband (2,499 m) east of Kabul, which was superseded in 1960 by a road constructed within the Kabul River's most spectacular gorge, the Tang-e Gharu. This remarkable engineering feat reduced travel time between Kabul and the Pakistan border from two days to a few hours.

The roads through the Salang and Tang-e Gharu passes played critical strategic roles during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and were used extensively by heavy military vehicles. Consequently, these roads are in very bad repair. Many bombed out bridges have been repaired, but numbers of the larger structures remain broken. Periodic closures due to conflicts in the area seriously affect the economy and well-being of many regions, for these are major routes carrying commercial trade, emergency relief and reconstruction assistance supplies destined for all parts of the country.

There are a number of other important passes in Afghanistan. The Wakhjir (4,923 m), proceeds from the Wakhan Corridor into Xinjiang, China, and into Northern Areas of Pakistan. Passes, which join Afghanistan to Chitral, Pakistan, include the Baroghil (3,798 m) and the Kachin (5,639 m), which also cross from the Wakhan. Important passes located farther west are the Shotorgardan (3,720 m), linking Logar and Paktiya provinces; the Bazarak (2,713 m), leading into Mazari Sharif; the Khawak (3,550 m) in the Panjsher Valley, and the Anjuman (3,858 m) at the head of the Panjsher Valley giving entrance to the north. The Hajigak (2,713 m) and Unai (3,350 m) lead into the eastern Hazarajat and Bamyan Valley. The passes of the Paropamisus in the west are relatively low, averaging around 600 meters; the most well-known of these is the Sabzak between the Herat and Badghis provinces, which links the western and northwestern parts of Afghanistan.

These mountainous areas are mostly barren, or at the most sparsely sprinkled with trees and stunted bushes. Very ancient mines producing lapis lazuli are found in Kowkcheh Valley, while gem-grade emeralds are found north of Kabul in the valley of the Panjsher River and some of its tributaries. The famous 'balas rubies' or spinels, were mined until the 19th century in the valley of the Ab-e Panj or Upper Amu Darya River, considered to be the meeting place between the Hindu Kush and the Pamir ranges. Unfortunately, these mines appear to be now exhausted.

EASTERN HINDUKUSH
The Eastern Hindu Kush range, also known as the Low Hindu Kush range, is mostly located in northern Pakistan and the Nuristan and Badakhshan provinces of Afghanistan. The Chitral district of Pakistan is home to Tirich Mir, Noshaq, and Istoro Nal, the highest peaks in the Hindu Kush. The range also extends into Ghizar, Yasin Valley, and Ishkoman in Pakistan's Northern Areas.

Chitral is considered to be the pinnacle of the Hindu Kush region. The highest peaks, as well as countless passes and massive glaciers, are located in this region. The Chiantar, Kurambar, and Terich glaciers are amongst the most extensive in the Hindu Kush and the meltwater from these glaciers form the Kunar River, which eventually flows south into Afghanistan and joins the Bashgal, Panjsher, and eventually the much smaller Kabul River.

The jazz musician Katie Melua wrote a song called "Halfway Up the Hindu Kush", probably because in the 1960s and 70s Afghanistan was depicted in the media as the romantic haven of nomads and a resort for hashish-smoking hippies.

KARAKORAM
Karakoram is a mountain range spanning the borders between Pakistan, China, and India, located in the regions of Gilgit, Ladakh and Baltistan. It is one of the Greater Ranges of Asia, often considered together with the Himalaya, but not technically part of that range. Karakoram means "black gravel" in Turkic, as many of its glaciers are covered in rubble.

The Karakoram is home to more than sixty peaks above 7,000m (22,960 ft), including K2, the second highest peak of the world (8,611 m, 28,244 ft). Most of these peaks are in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. The range is about 500 km (300 mi) in length, and is the most heavily glaciated part of the world outside of the Polar Regions. The Siachen Glacier at 70 km and the Biafo Glacier at 63 km rank as the world's second and third longest glaciers outside the Polar Regions.

The Karakoram is bounded on the northeast by the edge of the Tibetan Plateau, and on the north by the Wakhan Corridor and the Pamir Mountains. Just to the west of the northwest end of the Karakoram lies the Hindu Raj range, beyond which is the Hindu Kush range. The southern boundary of the Karakoram is formed by the Gilgit, Indus, and Shyok Rivers, which separate the range from the northwestern end of the Himalaya range proper.

Due to its altitude and ruggedness, the Karakoram is much less inhabited than parts of the Himalayas further east. European explorers first visited early in the 19th century, followed by British surveyors starting in 1856.

The Muztagh Pass was crossed in 1887 by the expedition of Colonel Francis Younghusband and the valleys above the Hunza River were explored by George Cockerill in 1892. Explorations in the 1910s and 1920s established most of the geography of the region.

Marcel Ichac made a film entitled "Karakoram", chronicling a French expedition to the range in 1936. The film won the Silver Lion at the Venice film festival of 1937.
A portion of the Karakoram, disputed between India and China, has been re-created as a scale model by the Chinese government.

Geological importance
The Karakoram and the Himalayas are important to Earth scientists for several reasons. They are one of the world's most geologically active areas, at the boundary between two colliding continents. Therefore, they are important in the study of plate tectonics. Mountain glaciers may serve as an indicator of climate change, advancing and receding with long-term changes in temperature and precipitation. These extensive ranges may have even caused climate change when they were formed over 40 million years ago. The large amounts of rock exposed to the atmosphere are weathered (broken down) by carbon dioxide. This process removes the greenhouse gas from the atmosphere, and could have caused the global climate to cool, triggering an ongoing series of ice ages.

Highest peaks
Most of the highest of Karakoram peaks are in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Notable peaks are:
  • K2 (Qogir Feng) (8,611 m)
  • Gasherbrum I (8,068 m)
  • Broad Peak (Phalchen Kangri) (8,047 m)
  • Gasherbrum II (8,035 m)
  • Gasherbrum IV (7,925 m)
  • Distaghil Sar (7,885 m)
  • Masherbrum (7,821 m)
  • Rakaposhi (7,788 m)
  • Kanjut Sar (7,761 m)
  • Saser Kangri (7,672 m)
  • Chogolisa (7,665m)
  • Haramosh Peak (7,397 m)
  • The Ogre (7,285 m)
  • Muztagh Tower (7,273 m)
The majority of the highest peaks are either in the Baltistan or Ladakh regions. Baltistan has more than 100 mountain peaks exceeding 6,100 metres (20,000 ft) height from sea level.

Subranges
The naming and division of the various subranges of the Karakoram is not universally agreed upon. However, the following is a list of the most important subranges, following Jerzy Wala. The ranges are listed roughly west to east.
  • Batura Muztagh
  • Rakaposhi-Haramosh Mountains
  • Spantik-Sosbun Mountains
  • Hispar Muztagh
  • South Ghujerab Mountains
  • Panmah Muztagh
  • Wesm Mountains
  • Masherbrum Mountains
  • Baltoro Muztagh
  • Saltoro Mountains
  • Siachen Muztagh
  • Rimo Muztagh
  • Saser Muztagh
KIRTHAR MOUNTAINS
Kirthar Mountains range is loacted in Balochistan and Sindh provinces of Pakistan. It extends southward for about 190 miles (300 km) from the Mula River in east-central Balochistan to Cape Muari (Monze) west of Karachi on the Arabian Sea. The Kirthar National Park is one of the largest wildlife reserve in Pakistan. The range forms the boundary between the Lower Indus Plain (east) and southern Balochistan (west). It consists of a series of parallel, rock hill ridges rising from 4,000 feet (1,200 m) in the south to nearly 8,000 feet (2,500 m) in the north. It is drained in the north by the Kolachi River and in the south by the Hub River and Lyari River, which flow to the Arabian Sea. The inhabitants of the region, chiefly Balochi, Sindhi, and Brahui tribes, subsist by flock grazing. Gabol being the major baloch tribe living here.

KIRANA HILLS
A range of mountains in central Punjab districts Sargodha and Jhang running across approximately 40 miles northwest in the region. It is said the last formation of hills in geographic history and are said to be the kind of hills found in Aravalli series Rajasthan.

It is quoted by Hindus religious scholars that this series was formed when Hanumanji picked up some rocks from Himalays to fight with Ravana and some pieces of rocks dropped from his hands which formed this series of mountains. The highest peak is about 980 feet and its name is Koh-e-Kirana.

SALT RANGE
The Salt Range is a hill system in the Punjab province of Pakistan, deriving its name from its extensive deposits of rock salt. The range extends from the Jhelum River to the Indus, across the northern portion of the Punjab province. The Salt Range contains the great mines of Mayo, Warcha and Kalabagh, which yield vast supplies of salt. Coal of an inferior quality is also found.

Sakaser and Tilla Jogian are the high peaks of Salt Range. Khabikki Lake and Uchhali Lake are the lakes of Salt Range.

SIACHEN MUZTAGH
The Siachen Muztagh is a remote subrange of the Karakoram range divided between India and Pakistan along the disputed line of control of Northern Areas of Pakistan, Jammu and Kashmir state of India and Xinjiang, China. It lies just north of the Siachen Glacier, one of the longest glaciers outside of the Polar Regions. Its highest peak is Teram Kangri I, 7,462 metres (24,482 feet).

SAFED KOH
Safed Koh ("white mountain") is a range of mountains on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, up to 15,620ft (4,761 m) above sea-level at Mount Sikaram, straight and rigid, towering above all surrounding hills, it is near the Kabul River. A spur of the range is crossed by the Khyber Pass. The lower slopes are nearly barren; pine and deodar formerly grew on the main range, but devastation during the Afghan civil war reduced timber resources. The valleys support some agriculture.

SPANTIK-SOSBUSN MOUNTAINS
The Spantik-Sosbun Mountains are a subrange of the Karakoram range in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. The highest peak is Spantik, 7,027 m (23,054 ft). The other namesake peak is Sosbun Brakk, 6,413 m (21,040 ft).

The Spantik-Sosbun Mountains are a narrow range, about 120 km (80 mi) long, trending roughly east west. On the north, the range is bounded by the important Hispar and Biafo Glaciers, across which lie the Hispar Muztagh and Panmah Muztagh respectively. On the southwest, the Barpu Glacier and the longer Chogo Lungma Glacier separate the range from the Rakaposhi-Haramosh Mountains; the pass known as the Polan La (5840 m/19,160 ft) separates the Barpu from the Chogo Lungma, and links the two ranges. On the southeast, the Braldu River separates the range from the somewhat lower Mango Gusor Mountains.

SUKAIMAN MOUNTAINS
The Sulaiman Mountains are a major geological feature of Pakistan and one of the bordering ranges between the Iranian Plateau and the Indian subcontinent. Bordering the Sulaiman Range to the north are the arid highlands of the Hindu Kush, with more than 50 percent of the lands there lying above 2,000 m (6,500 feet). The highest peak of Sulaiman Mountains is Takht-e-Sulaiman (3,487 m or 11,437 feet) in Balochistan, Pakistan. The Sulaiman Range, and the high plateau to the west and southwest of it, helps form a natural barrier against the humid winds that blow from the Indian Ocean, creating arid conditions across Southern Afghanistan to the north. In contrast, the relatively flat and low-lying Indus Delta is situated due east and south of the Sulaiman Mountains. This lush delta is prone to heavy flooding and is mostly uncultivated wilderness.

Range
Takht-e-Sulaiman (3,487 m or 11,437 feet), Takatu and Giandari are some of the mountain peaks in the Sulaiman range. The mountain range approaches the Indus river near Mithankot in Rajanpur district of Punjab.

The Sulaiman Foldbelt, a north-south trending mountain chain is situated in the middle of Pakistan with three fold physiographic division; namely the Sulaiman Foldbelt in the west, the Indus Foredeep in the middle and Punjab Platform in the east. The Sulaiman Foldbelt consists of shale, limestone, and sandstone strata of Mesozoic and younger age. Zindapir Anticlinorium is an integral part of the Sulaiman Foldbelt. It is marked by low altitude rocks, which are built up of Paleocene through Plio-Pleistocene marine sediments of the Indo-Pakistan Plate and is overlying by thick Siwalik. Alluvial deposits brought by Indus River and its tributaries cover the Indus Foredeep and the adjoining west dipping Punjab Platform.

Field observations indicate that the structures style of Zindapir Anticlinorium is characterized by high angle faults. These faults are generally north south trending. Additionally at places en-echelon features and splay faults, which truncate the regional fault obliquely are noticeable.

Legends
The legend of the Sulaiman mountain range is east of Quetta, overlooking the plain of the Indus river. The highest peak (11,295 feet) is called Takht-i Sulaiman, Solomon's Throne; Ibn Battuta names it Koh-i Sulaiman. Of this it is related, that the Prophet of God, Hazrat Sulaiman (peace be upon him) climbed this mountain and looked out over the land of South Asia, which was then covered with darkness - but he turned back without descending into this new frontier, and left only the mountain which is named after him. (From Ibn Battuta)

TOBA KAKAR RANGE
The Toba Kakar Mountains are a Southern offshoot of the Himalayas in the Balochistan region of Pakistan. The historical route through the mountains is known as the Bolan Pass, and though the mountains are sometimes inaccurately referred to as the "Brahui Mountains", Brahui is the term for an ethnic group that lives in the region, and their language.

The mountains originally received media attention in August, 1979; when evidence emerged that Pakistan may be using them as a potential workspace towards development of nuclear weapons. Again in April, 1981, the United States government raised concerns, this time with Senator Alan Cranston referring specifically to a nuclear test site, built into the side of the mountains, 40 kilometers from Afghanistan. As a result of this, Congress amended existing legislation that would terminate financial assistance to Pakistan in the event of any nuclear test, so that it could not be waived by the President.

In late 2004, John Lehman announced that the United States now had the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden narrowed down to a 16-square kilometer area in the Toba Kakar mountains; though they were hesitant to enter the area , Lehman using the reference that it would be "another Vietnam". Pakistan's Major General Shaukat Sultan commented the claims of bin Laden being in that mountain range were "ridiculous" and without basis.

PAMIR MOUNTAINS
Located in Central Asia, the Pamir Mountains are formed by the junction or "knot" of the Tian Shan, Karakoram, Kunlun, and Hindu Kush ranges. They are among the world’s highest mountains. They are also known by the Chinese name of Congling or 'Onion Mountains.'

The Pamir region is centered in the Tajikistani region of Gorno-Badakhshan. Parts of the Pamir also lie in the countries of Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. South of Gorno-Badakhshan, the Wakhan Corridor runs through the Pamir region, which also includes the northern extremes of the North-West Frontier Province and the northern extremes of the Northern Areas of Pakistan.

Geography
Its three highest mountains are Ismail Samani Peak (known from 19321962 as Stalin Peak, and from 19621998 as Communism Peak), 24,590 ft (7,495 m); Independence Peak, 23,508 ft (7,165 m); and Pik Korzhenevskoi, 23,310 ft (7,105 m).

There are many glaciers in the Pamir Mountains, including the 45-mile-long (72 km) Fedchenko Glacier, the longest in the former USSR and the longest glacier outside the Polar region.

Climate
Covered in snow throughout the year, the Pamirs have long and bitterly cold winters, and short, cool summers. Annual precipitation is about 5 inches (130 mm), which supports grasslands but few trees.

Economy
Coal is mined in the west, though sheep herding in upper meadowlands are the primary source of income for the region.

Discoveries
In the early 1980s, a deposit of gemstone-quality clinohumite was discovered in the Pamir Mountains. It was the only such deposit known until the discovery of gem-quality material in the Taymyr region of Siberia in 2000.

Transportation
At the southeastern edge of the Pamir region, in China, the highest international highway in the world, the Karakoram Highway, connects Pakistan to China. The Pamir Highway, the world’s second highest, runs from Dushanbe in Tajikistan to Osh in Kyrgyzstan through the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region and is the isolated region’s main supply route.
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Default Districts of Pakistan

DISTRICTS OF PUNJAB
  • Attock District
  • Bahawalnagar District
  • Bahawalpur District
  • Bhakkar District
  • Chakwal District
  • Dera Ghazi Khan District
  • Faisalabad District
  • Gujranwala District
  • Gujrat District
  • Hafizabad District
  • Jhang District
  • Jhelum District
  • Kasur District
  • Khanewal District
  • Khushab District
  • Lahore District
  • Layyah District
  • Mandi Bahauddin District
  • Mianwali District
  • Multan District
  • Muzaffargarh District
  • Okara District
  • Pakpattan District
  • Rahim Yar Khan District
  • Rajanpur District
  • Rawalpindi District
  • Sahiwal District
  • Sargodha District
  • Sheikhupura District
  • Sialkot District
  • Toba Tek Singh District
  • Vehari District
SINDH DISTRICTS
  • Badin District
  • Dadu District
  • Ghotki District
  • Hyderabad District
  • Jacobabad District
  • Jamshoro District
  • Karachi District
  • Kashmore District
  • Khairpur District
  • Larkana District
  • Matiari District
  • Mirpurkhas District
  • Naushahro Feroze District
  • Nawabshah District
  • Qambar District
  • Sanghar District
  • Shikarpur District
  • Sukkur District
  • Tando Allahyar District
  • Tando Muhammad Khan District
  • Tharparkar District
  • Thatta District
  • Umerkot Distric
DISTRICTS OF BALOCHISTAN
  • Awaran District
  • Barkhan District
  • Bolan District
  • Chagai District
  • Dera Bugti District
  • Gwadar District
  • Hub District
  • Jafarabad District
  • Jhal Magsi District
  • Kalat District
  • Kech District
  • Kharan District
  • Khuzdar District
  • Kohlu District
  • Lasbela District
  • Loralai District
  • Makran District
  • Mastung District
  • Musakhel District
  • Nasirabad District
  • Panjgur District
  • Pishin District
  • Qilla Abdullah District
  • Qilla Saifullah District
  • Quetta District
  • Sibi District
  • Zhob District
  • Ziarat District
DISTRICTS OF N.W.F.P.
  • Abbottabad District
  • Bannu District
  • Batagram District
  • Buner District
  • Charsadda District
  • Chitral District
  • Dera Ismail Khan District
  • Dir District
  • Hangu District
  • Haripur District
  • Karak District
  • Kohat District
  • Kohistan District
  • Lakki Marwat District
  • Lower Dir District
  • Malakand District
  • Mansehra District
  • Mardan District
  • Nowshera District
  • Peshawar District
  • Shangla District
  • Swabi District
  • Swat District
  • Upper Dir District
DISTRICTS OF NORTHERN AREAS

The Northern Areas comprise six districts in two regions: the two Baltistan districts of Skardu and Gangche, and the four Gilgit districts of Diamer, Ghizer, Gilgit (the union of Dardistan and Hunza states) and Astore (carved out of Diamer in 2004, Gilgit Wazarat - a former tribal territory). The main political centres of Northern Areas are the towns of Gilgit and Skardu.

DISTRICTS OF AZAD KASHMIR
  • Bagh District
  • Bhimber District
  • Ganga Choti
  • Kotli District
  • Mirpur District
  • Neelum District
  • Poonch District
  • Sudhnati
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Default Flora of Pakistan

Amongst the flora of the Park are the 225 species of plants. Prominent are:
  • Acacia
  • Artemista (scoparia and martima)
  • Banyan
  • Barbery
  • Birch
  • Celosia
  • Chestnut
  • Chinar
  • Chir Pine
  • Date palms
  • Deodar
  • Dwarf willow
  • Ephedra intermadia
  • Fir
  • Gerardiana
  • Juniper
  • Hemidesmus indicus
  • Himalayan Mulberry
  • Juniper
  • Kao
  • Makhi
  • Nabro (densis)
  • Neem
  • Oak
  • Phulai
  • Pistachios
  • Sacred fig
  • Spruce
  • Tinda
  • Walnut
  • Wild almond
  • Wild ash
  • Wild cherry
  • Wild olive
  • Yew
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Default Fauna of Pakistan

  • Ablepharus pannonicus
  • Afghan Hedgehog
  • Afghan tortoise
  • Amberjack
  • Anguis fragilis
  • Apollo (butterfly)
  • Argali
  • Ashy-crowned Sparrow-lark
  • Asian Paradise Flycatcher
  • Asian Elephant
  • Asiatic Black Bear
  • Asiatic Lion
  • Atrophaneura latreillei
  • Bactrian Camel
  • Bar-headed Goose
  • Barasingha
  • Barracuda
  • Bay-backed Shrike
  • Bear
  • Bengal Fox
  • Bengal monitor
  • Bharal
  • Bimaculated Lark
  • Black marlin
  • Black-faced Bunting
  • Blackbuck
  • Blanford's Fox
  • Blue Bear
  • Boar
  • Boiga
  • Boiga trigonata
  • Brambling
  • Brown Bear
  • Buffalo
  • Buff-bellied Pipit
  • Bungarus
  • Bungarus sindanus
  • Caracal
  • Chamaeleo zeylanicus
  • Cheer Pheasant
  • Cheetah
  • Chilasa agestor
  • Chinkara
  • Chukar
  • Clouded apollo
  • Cobia
  • Cobra
  • Collared Scops Owl
  • Comb Duck
  • Common Kestrel
  • Common Krait
  • Common Merganser
  • Common Shelduck
  • Common Spoonbill
  • Common Teal
  • Corsac Fox
  • Cyrtopodion baturensis
  • Daboia
  • Dalmatian Pelican
  • Deathstalker
  • Demoiselle Crane
  • Desert Lark
  • Desert Wheatear
  • Dhole
  • Dice snake
  • Discolampa ethion
  • Dromedary
  • Duttaphrynus melanostictus
  • Eastern Imperial Eagle
  • Echis carinatus astolae
  • Echis carinatus multisquamatus
  • Echis carinatus sochureki
  • Egyptian Vulture
  • Elaphe helena
  • Emerald Swallowtail
  • Eristicophis
  • Eryx johnii
  • Euphlyctis cyanophlyctis
  • Eurasian Collared Dove
  • Eurasian Hobby
  • Eurasian Lynx
  • Eurasian Sparrowhawk
  • Eurasian Wolf
  • Eurylepis taeniolatus
  • False Killer Whale
  • Fennec
  • Fejervarya limnocharis
  • Ferruginous Duck
  • Fishing Cat
  • Fox
  • Fraser's Dolphin
  • Fulvous Whistling Duck
  • Gadwall
  • Ganges and Indus River Dolphin
  • Gaur
  • Geckos
  • Gharial
  • Gloydius
  • Gloydius himalayanus
  • Goitered Gazelle
  • Golden Jackal
  • Golden Oriole
  • Goshawk
  • Graphium antiphates
  • Graphium cloanthus
  • Gray Goral
  • Great Gerbil
  • Great Indian Bustard
  • Greater Coucal
  • Greater Flamingo
  • Greater Hoopoe-lark
  • Greater Short-toed Lark
  • Greater Spotted Eagle
  • Green sea turtle
  • Green-winged Teal
  • Hawksbill turtle
  • Hemorrhois ravergieri
  • Hen Harrier
  • Himalayan Brown Bear
  • Hog deer
  • Hooded Wheatear
  • Horned viper
  • Houbara Bustard
  • House Bunting
  • House Crow
  • Humpback dolphin
  • Hydrophis fasciatus
  • Hydrophis ornatus
  • Indian Bushlark
  • Indian Cobra
  • Indian Muntjac
  • Indian Pangolin
  • Indian Porcupine
  • Indian Python
  • Indian Rhinoceros
  • Indian Scops Owl.
  • Indian Wolf
  • Indo-Pacific sailfish
  • Isabelline Shrike
  • Isabelline Wheatear
  • Jackdaw
  • Jungle Cat
  • Jungle Crow
  • Kashmir Flycatcher
  • Kentish Plover
  • Kiang
  • King Cobra
  • King Vulture
  • Koklass
  • Laggar Falcon
  • Lammergeier
  • Large Indian Civet
  • Laudakia badakhshana
  • Laudakia caucasia
  • Laudakia himalayana
  • Laudakia pakistanica
  • Leatherback Sea Turtle
  • Leopard
  • Leopard Cat
  • Leopard gecko
  • Lesser Flamingo
  • Lesser Florican
  • Lesser Grey Shrike
  • Lesser Kestrel
  • Lesser Short-toed Lark
  • Little Bunting
  • Levantine
  • Little Pratincole
  • Little Stint
  • Long-billed Pipit
  • Lycodon mackinnoni
  • Lycodon striatus
  • Macrovipera lebetina cernovi
  • Macrovipera lebetina obtusa
  • Macrovipera lebetina turanica
  • Mallard
  • Marco Polo sheep
  • Markhor
  • Masked Palm Civet
  • Melon-headed Whale
  • Merlin (bird)
  • Microhyla ornata
  • Monitor
  • Mouse-like hamster
  • Mugger Crocodile
  • Musk cat
  • Mute Swan
  • Naja oxiana
  • Nilgai
  • Northern Shoveler
  • Old World Swallowtail
  • Onager
  • Oligodon taeniolatus
  • Ophisops elegans
  • Oriental Scops Owl
  • Oriental Skylark
  • Pachliopta aristolochiae
  • Pale-backed Pigeon
  • Pallas's Cat
  • Pallas's Sea Eagle
  • Pantropical Spotted Dolphin
  • Papilio arcturus
  • Papilio demoleus
  • Papilio elephenor
  • Papilio polyctor
  • Papilio protenor
  • Parnassius acco
  • Parnassius acdestis
  • Parnassius actius
  • Parnassius charltonius
  • Parnassius delphius
  • Parnassius epaphus
  • Parnassius hannyngtoni
  • Parnassius hardwickii
  • Parnassius hunza
  • Parnassius jacquemontii
  • Parnassius maharaja
  • Parnassius simo
  • Parnassius tianschianicus
  • Pazala eurous
  • Peacock
  • Pelamis platura
  • Peregrine Falcon
  • Phrynocephalus reticulatus
  • Pied Avocet
  • Pied Wheatear
  • Pilot whale
  • Pochard
  • Psammophis leithii
  • Psammophis schokari
  • Pseudocerastes
  • Pygmy Killer Whale
  • Python
  • Ratel
  • Red-crested Pochard
  • Red Fox
  • Red Giant Flying Squirrel
  • Red-headed Bunting
  • Red-legged Partridge
  • Reed Bunting
  • Rhesus Macaque
  • Risso's Dolphin
  • River Tern (bird)
  • Rock Bunting
  • Rock Partridge
  • Rough-toothed Dolphin
  • Ruff
  • Rufous-winged Bushlark
  • Russian Tortoise
  • Rusty-spotted Cat
  • Saker Falcon
  • Sand Cat
  • Sand Partridge
  • Scarce Swallowtail
  • See-see Partridge
  • Siberian Crane
  • Siberian ibex
  • Sind Sparrow
  • Singing Bushlark
  • Small-spotted Lizard
  • Snow Leopard
  • Sociable Lapwing
  • Spicebush Swallowtail
  • Spinner Dolphin
  • Spotted Dove
  • Spotted Redshank
  • Steppe Eagle
  • Stoliczka's Bushchat
  • Stone Curlew
  • Striped Dolphin
  • Striped Hyena
  • Swordfish
  • Tawny Eagle
  • Tibetan Partridge
  • Tibetan red deer
  • Tirumala limniace
  • Trapelus agilis
  • Trimeresurus gramineus
  • Uperodon
  • Urial
  • Uromastyx hardwickii
  • User:Calathan/Fishing Cat
  • Varanus griseus
  • Water Rail
  • Western Tragopan
  • Wheatear
  • Whiskered Tern
  • White-crested Kalij Pheasant
  • White-eared Bulbul
  • White-eyed Buzzard
  • Wildcat
  • Wild Goat
  • Wood mouse
  • Yak
  • Yellow Monitor
  • Yellow-breasted Bunting
  • Yellow-vented Bulbul
  • Yellowhammer
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Default Birds in Pakistan

  • Alexandrine Parakeet
  • Asian Brown Flycatcher
  • Asian Pied Starling
  • Barred Buttonquail
  • Bearded vultures
  • Black Bulbul
  • Black Kite
  • Black Stork
  • Black-crowned Night Heron
  • Black-headed Ibis
  • Black-necked Grebe
  • Black-tailed Godwit
  • Blue rock pigeon
  • Brahminy Kite
  • Chestnut-tailed Starling
  • Chinese Pond Heron
  • Common Buzzard
  • Common Crane
  • Common Iora
  • Cotton Pygmy Goose
  • Cattle Egret
  • Great Egret
  • Eurasian Coot
  • Glossy Ibis
  • Golden Eagle
  • Great Cormorant
  • Great Crested Grebe
  • Greater Adjutant
  • Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher
  • Falcons
  • Hawks
  • Himalayan Monal
  • Indian Cormorant
  • Indian Peafowl
  • Indian Pond Heron
  • Indian Silverbill
  • Indian Vulture
  • Indian White-rumped Vulture
  • Intermediate Egret
  • Kalij Pheasant
  • Lesser Whistling Duck
  • Little Cormorant
  • Little Egret
  • Little Grebe
  • Long-tailed Shrike
  • Malayan Night Heron
  • Northern Pintail
  • Oriental Darter
  • Oriental Magpie Robin
  • Partridge
  • Pied Bushchat
  • Purple Heron
  • Red gilled choughs
  • Red Junglefowl
  • Red Munia
  • Rock nuthatch
  • Rook (bird)
  • Ruddy Shelduck
  • Sarus Crane
  • Shikras
  • Small Minivet
  • Sparrow
  • Striated Heron
  • Tufted Duck
  • White Pelican
  • Wild sheep
  • Wolf
  • Yellow-footed Green Pigeon
  • Yellow-rumped Honeyguide
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Default Archaeological site of Pakistan: ( A to G )

AMRI
Amri is the site of a Pre-Harappa fortified town which flourished from 3600 to 3300 BC.

The site is located south of Mohenjo Daro on Hyderabad-Dadu Road about 110 kilometres north of Hyderabad in Sindh. Situated near foothills of Kirthar Range of mountains, this was an important earlier urban center in Lower Sindh. Amri is close to Balochistan where development of earlier farming communities from 6000BC to 4000BC ultimately led to urbanization. On timeline, Amri is dated after Rehman Dheri.

The ancient mounds of 8 hectares on the west bank of Indus River have been extensively excavated. The pottery discovered here had its own characteristics and known as Amri Ware. Like other Pre Harappa towns, no writings were found at this site. There is evidence of widespread fire at the town around 2500BC.

Amri Culture
Amri Culture is attributed to Amri archaeological sites in Sindh and Balochistan provinces of Pakistan.

At least 160 settlements attributed to the Amri Culture, have been discovered, mainly in Balochistan, but also in lower Sindh. They are often distributed along the terraces of old and active river courses and consist of sites of different size and shape, which are sometimes stratified below settlements of later periods. Among these, that of the Tharro Hills, near the town of Gujo, is one of the most famous of lower Sindh.


BARIKOT
Barikot is a city in the North West Frontier province of Pakistan, located in the Swat valley region (ancient Udyana). Barikot is the present day name of the ancient "Bazira", which was besieged by Alexander the Great.

Ancient fortifications by the name of Barikot-Ghwandai, located on the outskirts of the town, are being excavated by an Italian Archaeological mission since 1984.

The oldest layer built of bricks and stone probably corresponds to the fortress besieged by Alexander.However, no traces of the Macedonian occupation have been found yet.

The sequent layers consist of fortifications built by the Indo-Greek kings. A stonewall in Hellenistic style was built around the city, with equidistant quadrangular bastions, all according to Attic measurements. Ruins of palatial quarters as well as areas related to the Buddhist cult have been unearthed. During the Kushan period, Barikot experienced rapid development swith the creation of building dedicated to workmanship.

Barikot has become a very important archaeological site, rivaling Taxila, for the study of history in northern Pakistan. A large quantity of the artifacts are preserved in the National Museum of Oriental Art of Rome, and the City Museum of Ancient Art in Turin's Palazzo Madama.

The nearby sanctuary of Butkara I has been very valuable in the study of the development of Greco-Buddhist art.


BUTKARA STUPA
The Butkara Stupa is an important Buddhist shrine in the area of Swat, Pakistan. It may have been originally built by the Mauryan emperor Ashoka but it is generally dated slightly later to the 2nd century BCE.

The stupa was enlarged on five occasions during the following centuries, every time by building over, and encapsulating, the previous structure.

Excavation
The stupa was excavated by an Italian mission (IsIOAO: Istuto Italiano per l'Africa e l'Oriente), led by archaeologist Pierfrancesco Callieri from 1955, to clarify the various steps of the construction and enlargements. The mission established that the stupa was "monumentalized" by the addition of Hellenistic architectural decorations during the 2nd century BCE, suggesting a direct involvement of the Indo-Greeks , rulers of northwestern India during that period, in the development of Greco-Buddhist architecture.

An Indo-Corinthian capital representing a Buddhist devotee within foliage has been found which had a reliquary and a coin of Azes II buried at its base, securely dating the sculpture to earlier than 20 BCE. The nearby Hellenistic fortifications of Barikot are also thought to be contemporary.

A large quantity of the artifacts is preserved in the National Museum of Oriental Art and the City Museum of Ancient Art in Turin's Turin City Museum of Ancient Art.


CHAKDARA
Chakdara town is located in Malakand, NWFP, Pakistan. Chakdara is an important town of Lower Dir, located on the bank of the Swat River. It is about 130 km from Peshawar and 48 km away from Saidu Sharif. The Mughals built a fort here in 1586, which was later occupied by the British in 1895, who built the present fort in 1896. The University of Malakand is located in Chakdara.

Chakdara, situated in Lower Swat Valley, has been an important center for last 3500 years and littered with remains of Aryan settlements, which represent Gandhara grave culture, Buddhists sites, and Hindu Shahi forts.

Archaeological Sites Around Chakdara
The ancient route from Afghanistan via Nawa Pass and Katgala Pass cross Swat River here at Chakdara. The area around Chakdara has been occupied for thousands of years. Many earlier Aryans settlement are identified in the area. Surrounding area is littered with Buddhist and Hindu Shahi sites. 1st to 7th century Buddhist sculpture from nearby sites and Hindu Shahi artefacts are now displayed at Chakdara Museum.

Damkot Hill
The most important place in Chakdara is Damkot Hill. Top of Damkot Hill has been excavated and houses of earlier Aryans with pottery and jewellery had been discovered. These items are now displayed in the Saidu Sharif Museum.

At the foot of Damkot Hill at Salami an Aryan garveyard is located. Aryans buried partially cremated bodies surrounded by the necessary utensils of daily life. Graves were sealed by large stone slabs.

Buddhist stupa and monastery of first century AD was excavated by Ahmad Hasan Dani in 1962-65. There are some Buddhist carving at the foot of the hill. During Hindu Shahi period a fort was built here which was destroyed in 11th century. In 19th century British occupied this hill. Behind Damkot Hill at Chat Pat is the site of a monastery of late 4th century. The sculpture from this monastery are displayed in Chakdara Museum.

Andan Dheri
Andan Dheri an important Buddhist site is located 7 km north of Chakdara Bridge near village Uchh. According to Buddhist pilgrim Xuan Zang this site was attached to a famous lagend about Buddha. According to this legend, in order to save people from famine Buddha changed himself into a great serpent lying dead in the valley. The starved people cut pieces from the body and fed themselves.

According to another tradition, Gandhāra is also thought to be the location of the mystical Lake Dhanakosha, birthplace of Padmasambhava, founder of Tibetan Buddhism. The bKa' brgyud (Kagyu) sect of Tibetan Buddhism identifies the lake with Andan Dheri stupa. A spring was said to flow from the base of the stupa to form the lake. Archaeologists have found the stupa but no spring or lake can be identified. Andan Dehri Stupa excavated by Dani. Over 500 pieces of Gandhara sculpture were recovered.

Other Sites
Three kilometers from Andan Dheri Stupa a Hindu Shahi fort of Kamal Khan China is located. It is now in ruins. From this fort a track leads to Nimogram Buddhist Monastery and Stupa. It has three main stupas, which identify three principles of Buddhism; Buddha the teacher, Dharma and Sangha (the Buddhist order). Near Chakdara Bridge in Lower Swat Valley, there are ruins of Hindu Shahi Period and stupas at Haibatgram, Top Dara and Landakai.


CHANHUDARO
Chanhudaro is an archaeological site belonging to the Jhukar phase of Indus valley civilization. The site is located 130 kilometers (81 miles) south of Mohenjodaro, in Sindh, Pakistan. The settlement was inhabited between 4000-1700 BC, and is considered to have been a centre for manufacturing carnelianbeads.

Chanhudaro was first excavated in the mid-1930s by the American School of Indic and Iranian Studies and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. After the independence of Pakistan, Mohammed Rafique Mughal also did exploratory work in the area.


CHAUKHANDI TOMBS
The Chaukhandi tombs are a massive complex of graves, both above and below ground, located in the Sindh province, near Karachi.


GADANI
Gaddani is a small coastal city of Lasbela District located in the southern part of Baluchistan along the Arabian Sea. Gaddani is just 1-hour drive away from Karachi. The population of Gaddani is estimated to be over 100,000 in 2005. More than 97% of the population is Muslim with small Hindu minority. The majority of population speaks Balochi and there is a large Sindhi speaking minority. In Gadani majority of the population speaks a language named Lasi, this language is derived from Sindhi or Jadgali.

Many prehistoric shell-midden sites were discovered along the shores of a small bay, near Gaddani. They are characterized of heaps of fragments of marine and mangrove shells among which are flint and jasper tools and stone querns. The first radiocarbon dates obtained from these maddens indicate they result from the activity of people who settled along the coast both during the seventh and the fifth millennia before present.


GANDHARA
Gandhāra literally meaning "perfumed"; also known as Waihind in Persian, is the name of an ancient Indian Kingdom (Mahajanapada), in northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan. Gandhara was located mainly in the vale of Peshawar, the Potohar plateau and on the northern side of the Kabul River. Its main cities were Purushapura (modern Peshawar) and Takshashila (modern Taxila).

The Kingdom of Gandhara lasted from the 6th century BC to the 11th century AD. It attained its height from the 1st century to the 5th century AD under Buddhist Kushan Kings. After it was conquered by Mahmud of Ghazni in 1021 AD, the name Gandhara disappeared. During the Muslim period the area was administered from Lahore or from Kabul. During Mughal time the area was part of Kabul province.

Geography
The Gandharas were settled since the Vedic times on the banks of Kabul River up to its mouth into Indus. The region is known as Peshawar Valley. Later the Gandharas crossed the Indus and included parts of northwest Punjab of Pakistan. Gandhara was located on the grand northern high road (Uttarapatha) and was a centre of international commercial activities. It was an important channel of communication with ancient Iran and Central Asia.

The boundaries of Gandhara varied throughout history. Sometime the Peshawar valley and Taxila collectively referred to as Gandhara. The Swat valley was also sometimes included. However, the heart of Gandhara was always the Peshawar valley. The kingdom was ruled from capitals at Pushkalavati (Charsadda), Taxila, Purushapura (Peshawar) and in its final days from Udabhandapura (Hund) on the Indus.


Ancient Gandhara

Pre Historic Period
Evidence of Stone Age human inhabitants of Gandhara, including stone tools and burnt bones, was discovered at Sanghao near Mardan in area caves. The artifacts are approximately 15,000 years old.

To date no evidence of Harappan Culture of Indus Valley Civilization has been found in Gandhara. The Kushan moved into Gandhara and the rest of North Western Pakistan around 1500BC.

The region shows an influx of southern Central Asian culture in the Bronze Age with the Gandhara grave culture, likely corresponding to immigration of Indo-Kushan speakers and the nucleus of Vedic civilization. This culture survived till 600 BC. Its evidence has been discovered in the Hilly regions of Swat and Dir, and even at Taxila.

The name of the Gandharis is attested from the Rigveda (RV 1.120.1). The Gandharis, along with the Mujavantas, Angas and the Magadhas, are also mentioned in the Atharvaveda (AV 5.22.14), but apparently as a despised people. Gandharas are included in the Uttarapatha division of Puranic and Buddhistic traditions. Aitareya Brahmana refers to king Naganajit of Gandhara who was contemporary of Janaka, king of Videha.

Gandharas and their king figure prominently as strong allies of the Kurus against the Pandavas in Mahabharata war. The Gandharas were a furious people, well trained in the art of war. According to Puranic traditions, this Janapada was founded by Gandhara, son of Aruddha, a descendant of Yayati. The princes of this country are said to have come from the line of Druhyu who was a famous king of Rigvedic period. The river Indus watered the lands of Gandhara.

The Gandhara kingdom sometimes also included Kashmira. Hecataeus of Miletus (549-468) refers to Kaspapyros (Kasyapura i.e. Kashmira) as Gandaric city. According to Gandhara Jataka, at one time, Gandhara formed a part of the kingdom of Kashmir. Jataka also gives another name Chandahara for Gandhara. Buddhist texts like Anguttara Nikaya refer to sixteen great nations (solas Mahajanapadas) which flourished in Indian sub-continent during Buddha's time, only two of which viz. the Gandhara and the Kamboja were located in the Uttarapatha or the north-western division.

Gandhāra is also thought to be the location of the mystical Lake Dhanakosha, birthplace of Padmasambhava, founder of Tibetan Buddhism. The bKa' brgyud (Kagyu) sect of Tibetan Buddhism identifies the lake with Andan Dheri stupa, located near the tiny village of Uchh near Chakdara in the lower Swat Valley. A spring was said to flow from the base of the stupa to form the lake. Archaeologists have found the stupa but no spring or lake can be identified.

The primary cities of Gandhara were Purushpura (now Peshawar), Takshashila (Prakrit Taxila) and Pushkalavati. Last two cities are said to have been named after Taksa and Pushkara, the two sons of Bharata, a prince of Ayodhya.

Pushkalavati & Prayag
Pushkalavati remained the capital of Gandhara from the 6th century BC to the 2nd century AD, when the capital moved to Peshawar. An important Buddhist shrine kept the city as a centre of pilgrimage until 7th century AD. Pushkalavati had some significance for earlier Aryans. This city in Peshawar Valley is situated at the confluence of Swat and Kabul rivers. Three different branches of the River Kabul meet there. That specific place is still called Prang and considered sacred. The local people still bring their dead for burial. Aryans found similar geographical characteristics at the confluence of Ganga and Yamuna and founded a sacred city by the name of Prayag near Benares. This is one of the ancient pilgrim centres of India.

Taxila
The Gandharan city of Taxila was an important Hinduand Buddhist centre of learning from the 5th century BC to the 2nd century AD.

Persian rule
Cyrus the Great (558-530 BCE) built first universal empire of the world stretching from Greece to the Indus River. Both Gandhara and Kamboja soon fell a prey to the Achaemenian Dynasty of Persia during the reign of Cyrus the Great or in the first year of Darius I. The Gandhara and Kamboja had constituted the seventh satrapys (upper Indus) of the Achaemenid Empire.

When Achamenian took control of this kingdom, Pushkra-sakti a contemporary of king Bimbisara of Magadha was the king of Gandhara. He was in power struggle against kingdoms of Avanti and Pandavas.

The inscription on Darius' (521-486 BC) tomb at Naqsh-i-Rustam near Persepolis recorded GADARA (Gandhara) along with HINDUSH (West Punjab) in the list of satrapies. The Greek historian Herodotus (490-420 BC) in his book The Histories gave list of twenty provinces of Persian Empire. He reported Gandhara as Paktuike (3:93) and in another passage identified this territory with Peshawar Valley (4:44). The word Paktuike is interesting since present inhabitants of Gandhara are known as Pakhtun.

Under Persian rule system of centralized administration and bureaucratic system introduced to the region. Influenced by the Persians and access to Western Asians civilization, the great scholars like Panini and Kautilya born in this cosmopolitan environment. Kharosti alphabet derived from Aramaic (official language of Achaemenians) alphabet developed here and remained national script of Gandhara until third century AD.

By about 380 BC Persian hold weakened. Many small kingdoms sprang in Gandhara. Around 327 BC Alexander the Great invaded Gandhara and Indian Satrapies of Persian Empire. His stay in this area was merely less than a year. This did not have any immediate administrative or cultural effect. The expeditions of Alexander were recorded by Arrian (around 175 AD) in Anabasis and other chroniclers many centuries after the event. The names of places and personalities described in these chronicles are difficult to identify.
The companions of Alexander the Great did not record the names of Kamboja and Gandhara and rather located a dozen small political units in their territories. Alexander conquered most of these political units of the former Gandhara and Kamboja Mahajanapadas.

According to Greek chroniclers, at the time of Alexander's invasion, hyparchs Kubhesha, Hastin (Astes) and Ambhi (Omphes) were ruling lower Kabul valley, Puskalavati (modern Charasadda) and Taxila respectively, while Ashvajit (chief of Aspasios or Ashvayanas) and Assakenos (chief of Assakenois or Ashvakayanas) (both being sub-units of the Kambojas) were ruling upper Kabul valley and Mazaga (Mashkavati) respectively.

Gandhara under the Mauryas
Chandragupta, the founder of Mauryan dynasty was living in Taxila when Alexander captured this city. Here he met Kautilya, who remained his chief adviser throughout his career. Gandhara was won back from the Greeks by Chandragupta Maurya. Having defeated Seleucus Nicator (Alexander's successor in Asia) in 305 BC, the Mauryan Emperor extended his domains up to and including Southern Afghanistan. Using this Gandhara as his base Chandragupta led a rebellion against Magadha Empire and ascended to the throne at Pataliputra in 321 BC. He was the first ruler of Mauryan dynasty. With the completion of the Empire's Grand Trunk Road, the region presumably prospered as a center of trade. Gandhara remained a part of the Mauryan Empire for close to a century and a half.

Ashoka, the grandson of Chandragupta was the one of the greatest rulers the world has ever known. Like his grandfather, Ashoka also started his career from Gandhara as a governor. Later he became Buddhist and promoted this religion in his empire. He built many stupas in Gandhara. Mauryan control over northern frontagers including the Yonas, Kambojas and the Gandharas is attested from the Rock Edicts left by Ashoka, who shows special solicitude for these frontier highlanders. His successors, however, failed to cast such imperial shadows throughout the sub-continent.

It is also held by some scholars that the Gandharas and the Kambojas were one people. Based on time and space contiguity, this view does not seem to be wide off the mark.

Gandhara under Graeco-Bactrians, Sakas and Indo-Parthians
The decline of the Empire left the sub-continent open to Greco-Bactrian expansion. Southern Afghanistan was absorbed by Demetrius of Bactria in 180 BCE. Around about 185 BCE, Demetrius, King of Bactria invaded and conquered Gandhara and the Punjab. Later, wars between different groups of Greek settlers of Bactria, resulted in the independence of Gandhara from Bactria and the formation of the Indo-Greek kingdom. Menander was the most famous king. He ruled from Taxila and later from Sagala (Sialkot). He rebuilt Taxila (Sirkap) and Pushkalavati. He became Buddhist and remembered in Buddhists records due to his discussions with a great Buddhist philosopher in the book Milinda Panha.

Around the time of Menander’s death in 140 BCE, Kushans overran Bactria and ended Greek rule there. Around 80 BCE, Sakas, diverted by their Parthian cousins from Iran moved into Gandhara and other parts of Pakistan and Western India. The most famous king of Sakas was Maues who established himself in Gandhara. The Pashtu (or Pakhtu) now spoken in North Western Pakistan and Afghanistan is said to be based on Saka’s language.

By 90 BCE Parthians took control of eastern Iran and around 50 BCE put an end to last remnants of Greek rule in Afghanistan. By around 7 CE an Indo-Parthian dynasty succeeded in taking control of Gandhara. Parthians continued to support Greek artistic traditions in Gandhara. The start of the Gandharan Greco-Buddhist art is dated to the period between 50 BCE and 75 CE. Around 40 CE Thomas the Apostle visited India and encountered the Indo-Parthian king Gondophares.

The Golden Age of Kushans Rule
The Parthian dynasty fell about 75 AD to another horde from Central Asia. Kushans, known as Yueh-Chih in China moved from Central Asia to Bactria, where they stayed for a century. Around 75 AD, one of the tribe Kushan under the leadership of Kujula Kadphises gained control of Gandhara and other part of present Pakistan.

The Kushan period is considered the Golden Period of Gandhara. Peshawar Valley and Taxila are littered with ruins of stupas and monasteries of this period. Gandharan art flourished and produced some of the best pieces of sculpture of all time. Many monuments were created to commemorate the Jataka tales.

Gandhara civilization peaked during the reign of the great Kushan king Kanishka (128-151-AD). This was the golden period of Gandhara. Cities of Taxila at Sirsukh, and Peshawar were built. Peshawar became the capital of a great empire stretching from Bengal to Central Asia. Kanishka was a great patron of the faith and Buddhism spread to Central Asia and the Far East over the Pamir where his empire met the Han Empire of China.

Kanishka Empire was known as the Kingdom of Gandhara and under his leadership it became the center of civilization. The Buddhist art spread outward from Gandhara to other parts of Asia. He greatly encouraged Buddhism. Before Kanishka Buddha was not represented in human form. In Gandhara Mahayana Buddhism flourished and Buddha was represented in human form.

Kanishka created big monuments of Arts. He built a great tower to a height of 400 feet at Peshawar. This tower was reported by Fa-Hsien, Sun-Yun and Hsuan-Tsang. This structure was destroyed and rebuilt many times and remained in semi ruins until it was finally destroyed by Mahmood in 11th century. Under him Gandhara became a holy land of Buddhism and attracted Chinese pilgrimage to visit Gandhara to see monuments associated with many Jataka tales.

After Kanishka, the empire started losing territories in the east. In the west it came under Sassanian (who took power from Parthians in Iran) suzerainty and became their vassal from 241-450AD. Under these Kushan chiefs new Buddhists stupas continued to appear and old ones were enlarged. Huge statues of the Buddha were erected in monasteries and carved into the hillsides.

Gandhara after Huns Invasion
Huns captured Gandhara around 450 AD, and did not adopt Buddhism. During their rule, Hinduism revived and Gandharan Civilization declined. Sassanians aided by Turks destroyed the Huns' power base in Central Asia and Gandhara once again came under Persian suzerainty in 568 AD. When the Sassanians were defeated by Muslim Arabs in 644 AD, Gandhara along with Kabul was ruled by Buddhist Turks.

The travel records of many Chinese Buddhists pilgrims record that Gandhara was going through a transformation during these centuries. Buddhism was declining and Hinduism was rising. Fa-Hsien travelled around 400 AD, when Prakrit was the language of the people and Buddhism was flourishing. 100 years later, when Sung-Yun visited in 520 AD, a different picture is described: the area had been destroyed by Huns and was ruled by Lae-Lih who did not practice law of Buddha. Hiun-Tsang visited around 644 and found Buddhism on the wane and Hinduism in the ascendant. Gandhara was ruled by a king from Kabul, who respected Buddha law, but Taxila was in ruins and Buddhist monasteries were deserted. Instead, Hindu temples were numerous and Hinduism was popular.

Gandhara under Turkshahi & Hindushahi
After the fall of the Sassanian Empire to Arabs in 644 AD Afghanistan and Gandhara came under pressure from Muslims. But they failed to extend their empire to Gandhara. Gandhara was first ruled from Kabul and then from Udabhandapura (Hind).

In 665 AD Kabul was put under siege by Arabs, but they never tried to cross Hindu Kush. Arabs never fully subdued Kabul and Gandhara was ruled from there by Turkshahi for next 200 years. Sometime in 9th century Hindushahi replaced Turkshahi. The date of Hindushahi takeover from Turkshahi (Also recorded as Kabulshahi) is not certain. Based on various Muslim records the estimated date is 870 AD.

According to Al-Biruni (973-1048 AD), Kallar a Brahmin minister of Turkshahi founded Hindushahi dynasty in 843 AD. The dynasty ruled from Kabul, later moved capital to Udabhandapura. They build great temples all over their kingdoms. Some of these buildings are still in good conditions in the Salt Range of the Punjab.

End of Gandhara
Jayapala was the last great king of this dynasty. His empire extended from west of Kabul to the River Sutlej. However, timing of this expansion of Gandhara kingdom coincided with the rising of a powerful Ghaznavid Empire under Sabuktigin. Defeated twice by Sabuktigin and then by Mahmud of Ghazni in Kabul valley. Jayapala committed suicide. Son of Jaypala, Anandpala moved his capital near Nandana in Salt Range. In 1021 AD the last king of this dynasty Trilocanpala assassinated by his own troops. Name of Gandhara was forgotten forever.

Kandhar in Afghanistan was probably named after Gandhara. According to H.W. Bellow, emigrant from Gandhara in fifth century AD brought this name to modern Kandhar. Fa-Hsien reported Buddha’s alms-bowl in Peshawar Valley when he visited around 400 AD. In 1872 Bellow saw huge begging bowl 7 feet in diameter preserved in the shrine of Sultan Wais outside Kandhar, which was probably brought there by refuge Buddhists monks. When Caroe wrote his book in 1958, this relic was reported to be at Kabul Museum Present status of this bowl is not known due to the war in Afghanistan since last couple of decades.

Discovery of Gandhara

By the time Gandhara absorbed in to Mahmood of Ghazni Empire, Buddhist buildings were already in ruins and Gandhara Art had been forgetton. After Al-Biruni, Kashmiri writer Kahana wrote his book Rajatarangini in 1148 AD. He recorded events about Gandhara, its last royal dynasty and capital Udabhandapura. The history and art of the Gandhara remained unknown to the inhabitants of the area and rest of the world until 19th century.

In 19th Century AD, British soldiers and administrators started taking interest in the ancient history of the Indian Subcontinent. In the 1830s coins of the post Ashoka period were discovered and in the same period Chinese travelogues were translated. Charles Masson, James Prinsep and Cunningham deciphered the Kharosthi script in 1838.

Chinese records provided locations and site plans of Buddhists shrines. Along with the discovery of coins, these records provided necessary clues to piece together the history of Gandhara.

In 1848 Cunningham found Gandhara sculptures north of Peshawar. He also identified the site of Taxila in the 1860s. From then on a large number of Buddhist statues were being discovered in the Peshawar valley.

Marshal performed an excavation of Taxila from 1912 to 1934. He discovered Greek, Parthian, and Kushan cities and large number of stupas and monasteries. These discoveries helped to piece together much more of the chronology of the history of Gandhara and its art.

After 1947 Ahmed Hassan Dani and the Archaeology Department at University of Peshawar made a number of discoveries in the Peshawar and Swat Valley. Researchers, from many universities around the world, are doing excavation on many sites of the Gandhara Civilization.

Language
The Gandharan Buddhist texts are both the earliest Buddhist and Indian manuscripts ever discovered. Most are composed on birch bark and were found in labeled clay pots. Panini has mentioned both Vedic form Gandhari as well as the later form Gandhari in his Ashtadhyayi.

Gandhara's language was a collection of related Prakrit or "Middle Indo-Aryan" dialects. They were written right-to-left in the Kharosthī script, which was ultimately adapted from the Aramaic alphabet. At the time of its adoption, Gandhāra was controlled by the Achaemenid dynasty of the Persian empire, which used a similar script to write the related Iranian languages of the Empire. Semitic scripts were not used to write Indian languages again until the arrival of Islam and subsequent adoption of the Persian-style Arabic alphabet for New Indo-Aryan languages like Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi and Kashmiri. Kharosthi script died out about the 4th century, though Hindko and Kohistani, dialects of the ancient Indo-Aryan Prakrit language Siraiki are the dialects which are still spoken today.

Gandhara was an Indo-Aryan country, but Achamenian influence brought about the birth of the Pakhtu language. The Afridi, Dilazak and Khattak tribes were the prominent Pashtun tribes of ancient Gandhara (called by them "Qandahar". This name was later given by refugees from here, who founded the present day Afghan city of the same name). They were Buddhist and pagan rather than Hindu, which is implied in the name of that language.

Gandharan proselytism
Gandharan Buddhist missionaries were active, with other monks from Central Asia, from the 2nd century CE in the Chinese capital of Luoyang, and particularly distinguished themselves by their translation work. They promoted both Theravada and Mahayana scriptures.
  • Lokaksema, a Kushan and the first to translate Mahayana scriptures into Chinese (167-186).
  • Zhi Yao (c. 185), a Kushan monk, second generation of translators after Lokaksema.
  • Zhi Qian (220-252), a Kushan monk whose grandfather had settled in China during 168-190.
  • Zhi Yueh (c.230), a Kushan monk who worked at Nanjing.
  • Dharmaraksa (265-313), a Kushan whose family had lived for generations at Dunhuang.
  • Jnanagupta (561-592), a monk and translator from Gandhara.
  • Shikshananda (652-710), a monk and translator from Udyana, Gandhara.
  • Prajna (c. 810), a monk and translator from Kabul, who educated the Japanese Kūkai in Sanskrit texts.
GANERIWALA Ganeriwala is an Indus Valley civilization site of an urban center in the Punjab, Pakistan. It is located near the border to India and was discovered by Pakistani archaeologist M.R. Mughal in 1975. It is near a dry bed of River Hakra (also known as Ghaggar or Sarasvati River).

The Harappa Culture of Indus Valley grew out of the earlier Mehrgarh Culture in Baluchistan, NWFP, Sind, Punjab and Western India.

By 3000 B.C., hundreds of farming communities sprang up in Indus Valley. Helped by the annual flooding of the Indus and its tributaries, communities grow different crops in the rich soil. The result of this development was the more advanced urban center than the Pre Harappa Towns of Kot Diji or Rehman Dheri. Until now six urban centers of the Harappa Culture have been discovered; Harappa, Mohenjo Daro, Ganweriwala in Pakistan, and Rakhigarhi, Dholavira, Lothal in India.

The site at Ganeriwala, 80 hectares in size, as large as Mohenjo Daro has not been excavated.


GOR KHUTTREE
Gor Khuttree in Peshawar old city, Pakistan was identified by Sir Alexander Cunningham with Kanishka Vihara (the Great Stupa of King Kanishka) while Professor Dr Ahmad Hasan Dani identified it with the place where the famous tower of the Buddha bowl once stood.

S.M. Jaffar identified it with the place of Hindu pilgrimage where they performed the Sardah ritual (shaving off heads).

The celebrated Chinese pilgrim, Hiuen Tsang, who visited Gandhara in the early 7th Century AD, had paid glowing tribute to the city and the Great Stupa of Kanishka in his memoirs.

Mughal Emperor Babar, who recorded its importance in his autobiography, visited the place. Jehan Ara Begum, the daughter of Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan, converted Gor Khuttree into a caravanserai and named it Sarai Jahanabad. She also constructed a Jamea Masjid, a sauna bath and two wells inside Sarai Jahanabad for the convenience of travellers.

The Sikhs converted the site into the residence and official headquarters of their leader who was governor of Peshawar from 1838-1842. They constructed a temple for Shiva there.

Gor Khuttree is a typical Mughal Sarai and is located on one of the highest points of Peshawar City. It is a fortified compound consisting of an area of 160 x 160 sq meters. It has two prominent gateways: one in the east and one in the west. The Gorakhnath Temple is situated in the centre, a network of cells and buildings in the southern and western side of the complex and a fire brigade building, which was built in 1912.

Dr. Farzand Ali Durrani initiated the first vertical excavations at Gor Khuttree in 1992-93 but his excavation work could not be completed due to lack of funds. However, he confirmed the city foundation went back to at least the 3rd Century BC.
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Default Archaeological sites of Pakistan: ( H to L )

HARAPPA
Harappa is a city in Punjab, northeast Pakistan, about 35km (22 miles) southwest of Sahiwal.

The modern town is located near the former course of the Ravi River and also beside the ruins of an ancientfortifed city, which was part of the Cemetery H culture and the Indus Valley Civilization. The ancient city existed from about 3300 BCE until 1600 BCE and is believed to have had as many as 40,000 residents—considered large for its time. Although the Harappa Culture extended well beyond the bounds of present day Pakistan, its centres were in Sindh and the Punjab.

In 2005 a controversial amusement park scheme at the site was abandoned when builders unearthed many archaelogical artifacts during the early stages of construction work. A plea from the prominent Pakistani archaeologist Ahmed Hasan Dani to the Ministry of Culture resulted in a restoration of the site

History
The Indus Valley civilization (also known as Harappan culture) has its earliest roots in approximately 6000 BCE in Mehrgarh. The two greatest cities, Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa, emergered circa 2600 BCE along the Indus River valley in Punjab and Sindh. The civilization, with a writing system, urban centers, and diversified social and economic system, was rediscovered in the 1920s after excavations at Mohenjo-daro (which means "mound of the dead") in Sindh near Sukkur, and Harappa, in Punjab south of Lahore. A number of other sites stretching from the Himalayan foothills in Punjab, India in the north, to Gujarat in the south and east, and to Balochistan in the west have also been discovered and studied. Although the archaelogical site at Harrappa was partially damaged in 1857 when engineers constructing the Lahore-Multan railroad used brick from the Harrappa ruins for track ballast, an abundance of artifacts have nevertheless been found.

Culture and economy
Indus Valley civilization was mainly an urban culture sustained by surplus agricultural production and commerce, the latter including trade with Sumer in southern Mesopotamia. Both Mohenjo-daro and Harappa were built according to totally different plans of well-laid-out streets, "differentiated living quarters, flat-roofed brick houses, and fortified administrative or religious centers" weights and measures were standardized throughout the area and distinctive seals were used for identification of property and shipment of goods. Although Copper and bronze were in use, iron was unknown. "Cotton was woven and dyed for clothing; wheat, rice, and a variety of vegetables and fruits were cultivated; and a number of animals, including the humped bull, were domesticated." Wheel-made pottery—some of it adorned with animal and geometric motifs—has been found in profusion at all the major Indus sites. A centralized administration has been inferred from the revealed cultural uniformity; however, it remains uncertain whether authority lay with a priestly- or a cultural person oligarchy.

Archaeology
By far the most exquisite but most obscure artifacts unearthed to date are the small, square steatite seals engraved with human or animal motifs. Large numbers of the seals have been found at Mohenjo-daro, many bearing pictographic inscriptions generally thought to be a kind of script. Despite the efforts of philologists from all parts of the world, however, and despite the use of computers, the script remains undeciphered, and it is unknown if it is proto-Dravidian or proto-Sanskrit. Nevertheless, extensive research on the Indus Valley sites, which has led to speculations on both the archaeological and the linguistic contributions of the pre--Aryan population to Hinduism's subsequent development, has offered new insights into the cultural heritage of the Dravidian population still dominant in southern India. Artifacts with motifs relating to asceticism and fertility rites suggest that these concepts entered Hinduism from the earlier civilization. Although historians agree that the civilization ceased abruptly, at least in Mohenjo-daro and Harappa there is disagreement on the possible causes for its end. Invaders from central and western Asia are considered by some historians to have been "destroyers" of Indus Valley civilization, but this view is open to reinterpretation. More plausible explanations are recurrent floods caused by tectonic earth movement, soil salinity, and desertification.


HINDU AND BUDHIST ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE OF PAKISTAN
While Pakistan as an Islamic country was created in 1947 it has a rich Hindu and Buddhist past, but the region has a long history of settlement and civilisation including the Indus Valley Civilisation. The Indus Valley civilisation collapsed in the middle of the second millennium BCE and was followed by the Vedic Civilisation, which extended over much of northern India and Pakistan.

Punjab
The Punjabis were predominantly Hindu with large minorities of Buddhists like the rest of South Asia, when Umayyad Muslim Arab army led by Muhammad bin Qasim attacked Sindh and lower Punjab, in 713. This started the process of Islamic conversion among the population of Punjab, as well as India. This process continued for the next 10 centuries but there were significant non-Muslim populations including Hindus and later Sikhs.
  • Pothohar Plateau
  • Sagala
  • Sialkot
  • Ganeriwala
  • Tulamba

The heritage of Seraikistan

Bhutta Wahan
Is situated at a distance of 16 kilometers in the North of Rahim Yar Khan, on the lost river Hakra. The village is said to be named after the name of Raja Bhutta who captured this locality after Raja Dahir. This village is also claimed to be the birth place of Sassi, the renowned heroine of Sassi-Pannun and of Ab-ul-Fazal and Fiazi, sons of Mullah Mubarik.


Islam Garh Fort
Islam Garh, the old Bhinwar Fort, was built by Rawal Bhim Singh in Samabat in 1665, as the following inscription on its gate in Babri character proves "Samabat 1665 Asuj Wadi 2, Maharaj Rawal Siri Bhim Singh ji Maharaj". The Fort is situated in the Cholistan area of Tehsil Khanpur. It is 46 kilometers south east of Baghla Fort. The fort is in a dilapidated state.

Mau Bubarik Fort
According to Tarikh-e-Murad, a fort was built by Raj Hans Karar in Mau Mubarik as a residence for his mother, hence the name Mau refers to mother in local language. The fort was taken by Shah Arghun in 1525 A.D. It was one of the six fortresses of Raj Sahasi 11. It had 20 bastions and Towers. The ramparts were about 549 meters in circumference and the walls very strongly and thickly built. Here the shrine of a saint Sheikh Hakim is of great importance.

Pattan Minara
The ruins of Pattan Minara are located at a distance of about 8 kilometers in east south of Rahim Yar Khan city. It has variously been described as the remains of Asahoka period, who built it in 250 B.C. or a Buddhist monastery. Nearby the minar, remains of a fort, a mosque and some tunnels are also visible. About 110 years ago Colonel Minchin a political agent of Ex-Bahawalpur state started the excavation of these tunnels but discontiued digging for some reasons or other. According to Colonel Toy it was the capital of the Hindu kingdom in 10 A.D. In the mid of the 18th century A.D. Fazal Elahi Khan Halani a Daupauta chief destroyed it and used its materials in the construction of Baghla and Dingar Fort.


KASHMIR SMAST
The Kashmir Smast caves are a series of natural limestone caves, artificially expanded from the Kushan to the Shahi periods, situated in the Babozai mountains in the Mardan Valley in Northern Pakistan. According to recent scholarship based on a rare series of bronze coins and artifacts found in the region, the caves and their adjacent valley probably comprised a sovereign kingdom in Gandhara which maintained at least partial independence for almost 500 years, from c. 4th Century AD to the 9th Century AD. For most of its history, it was ruled by White Hun (or Hephthalite) governors or princes.

Description
A number of the cells have wooden interiors, carved with elaborate Hindu and Buddhist iconography. Remarkably, excavations at the Kashmir Smast site have not only brought forth artifacts of extreme historical importance but have also uncovered one of the most well organized town planning systems in ancient Gandhara. The Gazetteer of the Peshawar district 1897-1898 describes that “the name [Kashmir Smast] may be derived from the fact that the gorge here is fairly and picturesquely wooded, and this may have suggested Kashmir.” “Smast”, or “Smats” as it was referred to by colonial sources, is the Pushtu word for “cave”. Another explanation is that according to legend, the network caves was so vast that it stretched from Gandhara to the kingdom of Kashmir.

General Cunningham in The Ancient Geography of India” and in the “Archaeological Survey Reports” outlines the principal ancient sites in Gandhara, which at that time was part of the Yusufzai subdivision. Among the sites covered is the Kashmir Smast.

The Kashmir Smast sites are described by Cunningham as cave temples situated near the summit of the Sakri ridge of Pajja, and approached from the village in Babozai in the tappah Baezai. Cunningham associated the Kashmir Smast with the cave of Prince Sudana in Mount Dantalok, described by the contemporary Chinese traveler Hsuan-tsang.

A detailed discussion of the site in the Gazeteer of the Peshawar district 1897-1898 states the following:

“This cave has not been thoroughly explored yet… A little way below the level of the cave, and opposite, there are the ruins of a small city, the walls of which still stand and are in good preservation…”

“The cave is situated on a cliff looking towards the south-west below the ridge on which the Kashmir Burj stands. A road from Pirsai crosses the ridge, which is practicable for most of the distance for a good hill pony. Another footpath leads to Babozai direct from the cave…”

It goes on to describe the layout of the caves:

“There are three chambers in the limestone rock, of which the first two open into each other, and the third is reached by a winding flight of steps. The length of the first two chambers from the entrance is 322 feet, and the height of the first about 60, and of the second about 100 feet. The width of the first cave is 81 feet and of the second 90 feet, and fully between them about 40 feet. The third cave is 80 feet high, and above 80 feet in diameter, with an opening in the roof which admits light and air, so that the air throughout is pure…”

“In the third cave there is a square temple built on a dome-shaped rock of stalagmite, which was evidently the holiest shrine. In the first cave there is an octagonal shrine just inside the entrance which contained a large wooden coffin, and in a similar shrine near the right wall some carved wooden plaques with figures of a fakir dancing and a woman giving flowers to the fakir, and portions of a wooden box were found. In the center room there is a large square shrine, and a water tank 13 feet wide, 20 feet long, and 10 feet deep. About 100 feet below the cave towards Babozai on a plateau there are remains of a considerable fort… The Kashmir Burj and another on a western spur of Pajja were also evidently outposts to guard this shrine. The entrance to the cave is difficult as the old masonry steps have fallen down and the cliff is very precipitous…”

“There are well built stone castles dating back to Buddhist times all along the northern hills. One near Saughar in Baezai is specially interesting, as the care taken to bring down in a small stone duct that scanty supply of water from a spring, which still exists in the hill above the castle or monastery, would seem to show that the water supply was not much more plentiful then than it is at present.”

What is being described here is an enclosed and fortified complex comprising a city and temples built into natural caves. The presence of walls and a water system serving the area would indicate a certain level of economic independence exerted in the region.

The Numismatic Discoveries
Given the fact that exact find data is not available for the coins of the Kashmir Smast, and that numerous symbols, legends, and images on the coins have come to light which have never before been encountered in 150 years of Hunnic numismatic study, the attribution and dating of these specimens becomes an arduous task. As we study the varieties of coins found in the Kashmir Smast, it becomes apparent that during the period of the Kidara, the Alxon, the Nazek, the Turk Shahis, and the Hindu Shahis, a minor kingdom based in this region maintained some level of autonomy from the greater Hunnic hordes which ruled Gandhara. This is evidenced by the use of hithertofore unrecorded images, stylistic peculiarities, and tamghas (royal symbols).

The bronze coins found in cave and its adjacent valley can be divided into seven groups:

1) Kushano-Sassanian. The hoard includes numerous Kushano-Sassanian bronzes of the dumpy fabric, including mostly known varieties in addition to unpublished fractionals, and a number of anonymous Hunnic imitations minted in the dumpy Kushano-Sassanian fabric.

2) Kidara. Kidarite coins in the hoard comprise the majority of unpublished specimens. The obverse of some varieties closely resemble, or are crudely rendered versions of, known Kidarite drachms. The busts portrayed on these coins are depicted wearing headdresses associated with particular Kidara princes, often in turn borrowed from contemporary Sassanian / Kushano-Sassanian monarchs. This group also includes thin AE units featuring bearded busts occasionally with Brahmi legends. As they are notably different from other recorded Kushano-Sassanian bronzes, they may be attributed to Kidarite governors or princes under Kushano-Sassanian or Sassanian sovereignty.

3) Alxon (or Alchon) Huns. The hoard includes a number of coins which are stylistically similar to the Alxon Hunnic series. Some feature the royal Hunnic tamgha, or royal symbol, most often associated with the first of the Alxon Hunnic kings in Gandhara, Khingila and his immediate successors.

4) Nezak. Common published Nazek bronzes abound in the hoard. In addition to these, a number of unpublished varieties with stylistic similarities to Nezak bronzes have also been discovered, notably featuring a trident tamgha.

5) Turko-Hephthalite. These include small AE units imitating larger silver Turko-Hephthalite drachms. They are either anepigraphic or feature Bactrian Greek legends.

6) The Shahi Kings of Kabul and Gandhara. This category includes coins stylistically similar to the coins of Samanta Deva and Spalapalati Deva, characterized by linear stylized anthropomorphic or zoomorphic representations.

7) Anonymous coins which can not be stylistically attributed to any particular Hunnic period or clan.

8) Bronze imitations of Bactrian drachms of Menander I and other dynasts.

Political and Monetary Independence
Scholars contend that the bronze currency found in the region were issued by local semi-independent governors, or Tegins, in the Kashmir Smast valley, paying allegiance to the greater Hunnic Tegins of Gandhara and Bactria. The feudal and tribal nature of the ancient Central Asian' states allowed for substantial independence to be exercised by local governors.

It is worth noting that all the new varieties found in this area are small bronze pieces, varying in weight between 0.5 and 1.1 g. (referred to as the Kashmir Smast standard). They are occasionally small versions of more common drachms circulating in the region, or feature entirely new portraits / images with some or no resemblance to commonly circulating coins of the period.

Given the fact that these pieces have not been found elsewhere in Hunnic domains, we can infer that they were not considered acceptable currency outside of the Kashmir Smast region. However, imitating the coins of the contemporary rulers of Gandhara, and employing certain of their dynastic symbols and portraits, along side a totally new set of portraits, names / titles, and symbols, may indicate that while they were issued independently for use in the local kingdom, the local rulers must have paid homage to and acknowledged their Hunnic overlords. The fact that they were allowed to use some of their own tamghas and titles and that the greater chiefs gave them the privilege of minting their own currency strengthens this argument. The minting of coins was a prerogative of the rulers, and carried with it a certain degree of governing authority. Numismatically speaking, this can be likened to the period of Hephthalite and Turk Shahi sovereignty over Sogdiana, during which civic bronze coinage circulated along side of silver drachms referencing a Hunnic or Turkic overlord (the Bukharkhoda). The fact that such independent issues continued throughout five separate dynasties, until the Hindu Shahi period, means that to a degree this principality maintained its status for perhaps as long as three to four hundred years.

KOT BALA
The Indus Civilization site of Kot Bala is located in the interior of the Sonmiani Bay, along the Lasbela coast. It was partly excavated by Professor George F. Dales of the University of California, Berkeley in the 1970s and never published in detail. This site is of great importance for its location close to the Arabian Sea. It is supposed to be one of the main harbours from which the Indus traders sailed their ships to the coasts of the Arabian Peninsula.


KOT DIJI
The ancient site at Kot Diji was the forerunner of the Indus Civilization. The people of this site lived about 3000 BC. The remains consist of two parts; the citadel area on high ground, and outer area.

Located about 22 kilometres south of Khairpur in the province of Sindh, Pakistan. The site is situated at the foot of the hills where a fort was built by Talpur ruler Mir Suhrab (1803-30). This fort built on the ridge of a steep narrow hill is well preserved.


Prelude to Kot Diji


Neolithic Revolution in Balochistan
The so-called ‘Neolithic Revolution’ took place around 8500 – 6000 BC in Fertile Crescent. With the taming of variety of animals and domestication of wheat and barley man life style changed from nomadic to settled life in permanent homes. Being closest to Iran and Afghanistan, Baluchistan was the first region in South Asia influenced by this revolution. The earliest evidence of sedentary lifestyle in South Asia was discovered at Mehrgarh in 1979. This settlement, dated 7000BC located on the west bank of Bolan River, about 30 kilometres from the town of Sibi.

Village Culture (6000-4000BC)
By 4000BC farming communities spread further east in other parts of Baluchistan and Lower Sind. Agricultural communities settled in Brahui Hills, River Zhob Valley and along Makran coasts; respectively represented by Nal Culture, Zhob Culture and Kulli Culture.

These cultures developed in different valleys in isolation to each other with their own characteristics. Nal Culture made red pottery and practiced dead burial, where Kulli Culture burnt their dead and made small boxes of soft stone with delicately engraved linear patterns.

Pre Harappa Towns (4000-3000 BC)
The development of these farming communities in different parts of Baluchistan and Lower Sind, ultimately led to urbanization. The earliest fortified town to date is found at Rehman Dheri, dated 4000BC in NWFP close to River Zhob Valley. Other fortified towns found to date are at Amri (3600-3300BC) and Kot Diji in Sind and at Kalibangan (3000BC), India at the Hakra River. No writing was found at these sites.

Kot Diji Culture. (3000 BC)
The Pre Harappa site at Kot Diji consists of two clearly defined areas. Citadel on high ground for the elites separated by a defensive wall with bastions at regular intervals. This area measures about 500 ft x 350 ft. Outer area, or the city proper consisted of houses of mud bricks on stone foundations. Pottery found from this site have design with horizontal and wavy lines, or loops and simple triangular patterns.

Other stuff found are pots, pans, storage jars, toy carts, balls, bangles, beads, terracotta figurines of mother goddess and animals, bronze arrowheads. Well-fashioned stone implements were also discovered.

The interesting find at Kot Diji is a toy cart, which shows that potter’s wheel lead to wheels for bullock carts.

There is evidence of burning of this fortified town, which were also observed at Amri and Kalibangan. Burning of these cities is still unexplained.


KOTLA MOHSIN KHAN
Kotla Mohsin Khan was constructed in the mid 16th century in the old city of Peshawar, and today consists of two domed tombs and the famous majestic gateway through which, historically, invaders would enter the walled city it was also the residence of Mazullah Khan, seventeenth century Pashtu poet.

The last Mughal governor, Nawab Nasir Khan welcomed the Afghan King Nadir Shah Durrani and gifted him the key to Peshawar in 1741 when he visited the city. This signaled the end of the Mughal Empire in Peshawar.

According to an earlier legend, the foundation of the gate was laid down in the latter half of the 16th century in the presence of renowned personalities of the time, Shiekh Kaka Sahib and Akhund Derwaza Baba.

It is also recorded that Arbab Mustajab Khan, being the representative of the Mughals, settled disputes amongst the Ghori Khel tribes in the balconies of the building. When the Mughals arrested Khushal Khan Khattak, Arbab Mustajab Khan, secured his release from the dungeon, through his personal efforts and kept him as a guest in the castle. On the orders of the ruler of Peshawar, when Khushal Khan Khattak was sent to Delhi, Mustajab Khan also accompanied his friend. This verse by Khushal Khan Khattak says:

I was accompanied on my journey
To Hind by Mustajab,
Being a Khan, a Malik and an Arbab

The original name of this site was Kotla Mustajab Khan. It was renamed as Kotla Mohsin Khan due to the owner's close relationship with Mustajab Khan during the reign of Afghan King Ahmad Shah Durrani.

During the siege of Peshawar in 1830s, the Sikhs also burnt this site and it was later refurbished. The gate and minarets of Kotla Mohsin Khan are historical landmarks of the 16th and 17th century "Roshnai period". Bayazid Ansari alias Pir Rokhan started his religious and political movement against the Mughal emperor Akbar from this site. Allah Dad Doshani alias Rashid Khan constructed minarets at this site to conduct judicial duties.


LAKHUEEN-JO-DARO
The site of Lakhueen-jo-daro, near Sukkur, belongs to the Matura Harappan Civilization as indicated by the characteristics of the structural remains, material culture finds and one radiocarbon date, covers a wide area, from which a few mounds emerge. The site indicates that the origins of Sukkur are to be referred to a much older period than previously suspected.
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LOTHAL
Lothal (Mound of the dead) was one of the most prominent cities of the ancient Indus valley civilization. Located in the modern state of Gujarāt and dating from 2400 BCE, it is one of India's most important archaeological sites that dates from that era. Discovered in 1954, Lothal was excavated from February 13, 1955 to May 19, 1960 by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Lothal's dock—the world's earliest—connected the city to an ancient course of the Sabarmati river on the trade route between Harappan cities in Sindh and the peninsula of Saurashtra when the surrounding Kutch desert of today was a part of the Arabian Sea. It was a vital and thriving trade centre in ancient times, with its trade of beads, gems and valuable ornaments reaching the far corners of West Asia and Africa. Lothal's people were responsible for the earliest-known portrayals of realism in art and sculpture, telling some of the most well-known fables of today. Its scientists used a shell compass and divided the horizon and sky into 8–12 whole parts, possibly pioneering the study of stars and advanced navigation—2000 years before the Greeks. The techniques and tools they pioneered for bead-making and in metallurgy have stood the test of time for over 4000 years.

Lothal is situated near the village of Saragwala in the Dholka taluka of Ahmedabad district. It is at a distance of six kilometres (south-east) from the Lothal-Bhurkhi railway station on the Ahmedabad-Bhavnagar railway line. It is also connected by all-weather roads to the cities of Ahmedabad (85 km/53 mi), Bhavnagar, Rajkot and Dholka. Nearest cities are Dholka and Bagodara. Resuming excavation in 1961, archaeologists unearthed trenches sunk on the northern, eastern and western flanks of the mound, bringing to light the inlet channels and nullah ("ravine", or "gully") connecting the dock with the river. The findings consist of a mound, a township, a marketplace and the dock. Adjacent to the excavated areas stands the Archaeological Museum, where some of the most prominent collections of Indus-era antiquities in modern India are displayed.

Archaeology
The meaning of Lothal (a combination of Loth and (s) thal) in Gujarati to be the "the mound of the dead" is not unusual, as the name of the city of Mohenjodaro in Sindhi means the same. People in villages neighbouring to Lothal had known of the presence of an ancient town and human remains. As recently as 1850, boats sailed up to the mound, and timber was shipped in 1942 from Broach to Saragwala via the mound. A silted creek connecting modern Bholad with Lothal and Saragwala represents the ancient flow channel of a river or creek. When India was partitioned in 1947, most of the sites, including Mohenjodaro and Harappa, came to be located in the state of Pakistan. The Archaeological Survey of India undertook a new program of exploration, and excavated many sites across Gujarat. Between 1954 and 1958, more than 50 sites were excavated in the Kutch, and Saurashtra peninsulas, extending the limits of Harappan civilization by 500 kilometres (310 mi) to the river Kim, where the Bhagatrav site accesses the valley of the rivers Narmada and Tapti. Lothal stands 270 kilometres (170 mi) from Mohenjodaro, which is in Sindh. It has also been speculated that owing to the comparatively small dimensions of the main city, Lothal was not a large settlement at all, and its "dock" was perhaps an irrigation tank. However, the ASI and other contemporary archaeologists assert that the city was a part of a major river system on the trade route of the ancient peoples from Sindh to Saurashtra in Gujarat. Cemeteries have been found which indicate that its people were probably of Dravidian, Proto-Australoid or Mediterranean physiques. Lothal provides with the largest collection of antiquities in the archaeology of modern India. It is essentially a single culture site—the Harappan culture in all its variances is evidenced. An indigenous micaceous Red Ware culture also existed, which is believed to be autochthonous and pre-Harappan. Two sub-periods of Harappan culture are distinguished: the same period (between 2400 and 1900 BCE) is identical to the exuberant culture of Harappa and Mohenjodaro.

After the core of the Indus civilization had decayed in Mohenjodaro and Harappa, Lothal seems not only to have survived but to have thrived for many years. But its constant threats, tropical storms and floods, caused immense destruction, which destabilised the culture and ultimately caused its end. Topographical analysis also shows signs that at about the time of its demise, the region suffered from aridity or weakened monsoon rainfall. Thus the cause for the abandonment of the city may have been changes in the climate as well as natural disasters, as suggested by environmental magnetic records. Lothal is based upon a mound that was a salt marsh inundated by tide. Remote sensing and topographical studies published by Indian scientists in the Journal of the Indian Geophysicists Union in 2004 revealed an ancient, meandering river adjacent to Lothal, 30 kilometres (19 mi) in length according to satellite imagery—an ancient extension of the northern river channel bed of a tributary of the Bhogavo river. Small channel widths (10–300 m/30–1000 ft) when compared to the lower reaches (1.2–1.6 km/0.75–1.0 mi) suggest the presence of a strong tidal influence upon the city—tidal waters ingressed up to and beyond the city. Upstream elements of this river provided a suitable source of freshwater for the inhabitants.

History
Before the arrival of Harappan peoples (c. 2400 BCE), Lothal was a small village next to the river providing access to the mainland from the Gulf of Khambhat. The indigenous peoples maintained a prosperous economy, attested by the discovery of copper objects, beads and semi-precious stones. Ceramic wares were of fine clay and smooth, micaceous red surface. A new technique of firing pottery under partly-oxidising and reducing conditions was improved by them—designated black-and-red ware, to the micaceous Red Ware. Harappans were attracted to Lothal for its sheltered harbour, rich cotton and rice-growing environment and bead-making industry. The beads and gems of Lothal were in great demand in the west. The settlers lived peacefully with the Red Ware people, who adopted their lifestyle—evidenced from the flourishing trade and changing working techniques—Harappans began producing the indigenous ceramic goods, adopting the manner from the natives.

Town planning
A flood destroyed village foundations and settlements (c. 2350 BCE). Harappans based around Lothal and from Sindh took this opportunity to expand their settlement and create a planned township on the lines of greater cities in the Indus valley. Lothal planners engaged themselves to protect the area from consistent floods. The town was divided into blocks of 1–2-metre-high (3–6 ft) platforms of sun-dried bricks, each serving 20–30 houses of thick mud and brick walls. The city was divided into a citadel, or acropolis and a lower town. The rulers of the town lived in the acropolis, which featured paved baths, underground and surface drains (built of kiln-fired bricks) and a potable water well. The lower town was subdivided into two sectors — the north-south arterial street was the main commercial area — flanked by shops of rich and ordinary merchants and craftsmen. The residential area was located to either side of the marketplace. The lower town was also periodically enlarged during Lothal's years of prosperity.

Lothal engineers accorded high priority to the creation of a dockyard and a warehouse to serve the purposes of naval trade. While the consensus view amongst archaeologists identifies this structure as a "dockyard," it has also been suggested that owing to small dimensions, this basin may have been an irrigation tank and canal. The dock was built on the eastern flank of the town, and is regarded by archaeologists as an engineering feat of the highest order. It was located away from the main current of the river to avoid silting, but provided access to ships in high tide as well. The warehouse was built close to the acropolis on a 3.5-metre-high (10.5 ft) podium of mud bricks. The rulers could thus supervise the activity on the dock and warehouse simultaneously. Facilitating the movement of cargo was a mud-brick wharf, 220 metres (720 ft) long, built on the western arm of the dock, with a ramp leading to the warehouse. There was an important public building opposite to the warehouse whose superstructure has completely disappeared. Throughout their time, the city had to brace itself through multiple floods and storms. Dock and city peripheral walls were maintained efficiently. The town's zealous rebuilding ensured the growth and prosperity of the trade. However, with rising prosperity, Lothal's people failed to upkeep their walls and dock facilities, possibly as a result of over-confidence in their systems. A flood of moderate intensity in 2050 BCE exposed some serious weaknesses in the structure, but the problems were not addressed properly.

Economy and urban culture
The uniform organization of the town and its institutions give evidence that the Harappans were a very disciplined people. Commerce and administrative duties were performed according to standards laid out. Municipal administration was strict — the width of most streets remained the same over a long time, and no encroached structures were built. Householders possessed a sump, or collection chamber to deposit solid waste in order to prevent the clogging of city drains. Drains, manholes and cesspools kept the city clean and deposited the waste in the river, which was washed out during high tide. A new provincial style of Harappan art and painting was pioneered — new approaches included realistic portrayals of animals in their natural surroundings, including the portrayal of stories and folklore. Fire-altars were built in public places. Metalware, gold and jewellery and tastefully decorated ornaments attest to the culture and prosperity of the people of Lothal.

Most of their equipment—metal tools, weights, measures, seals, earthenware and ornaments—were of the uniform standard and quality found across the Indus civilization. Lothal was a major trade centre, importing en masse raw materials like copper, chert and semi-precious stones from Mohenjo-daro and Harappa, and mass distributing to inner villages and towns. It also produced large quantities of bronze celts, fish-hooks, chisels, spears and ornaments. Lothal exported its beads, gemstones, ivory and shells. The stone blade industry catered to domestic needs—fine chert was imported from the Sukkur valley or from Bijapur in modern Karnataka. Bhagatrav supplied semi-precious stones while chank shell came from Dholavira and Bet Dwarka. An intensive trade network gave the inhabitants great prosperity—it stretched across the frontiers to Egypt, Bahrain and Sumer.

Declining years
While the wider debate over the end of Indus civilization continues, archaeological evidence gathered by the ASI appears to point to natural catastrophes, specifically floods and storms as the source of Lothal's downfall. A powerful flood submerged the town and destroyed most of the houses, with the walls and platforms heavily damaged. The acropolis and the residence of the ruler were levelled (2000-1900 BCE), and inhabited by common tradesmen and newly built makeshift houses. The worst consequence was the shift in the course of the river, cutting off access to the ships and dock. Despite the ruler leaving the city, the leaderless people built a new but shallow inlet to connect the flow channel to the dock for sluicing small ships into the basin. Large ships were moored away. Houses were rebuilt, yet without removal of flood debris, which made them poor-quality and susceptible to further damage. Public drains were replaced by soakage jars. The citizens did not undertake encroachments, and rebuilt public baths and maintained fire worship. However, with a poorly organised government, and no outside agency or central government, the public works could not be properly repaired or maintained. The heavily damaged warehouse was never repaired properly, and stocks were stored in wooden canopies, exposed to floods and fire. The economy of the city was transformed. Trade volumes reduced greatly, though not catastrophically, and resources were available in lesser quantities. Independent businesses caved, allowing a merchant-centric system of factories to develop where hundreds of craftsmen worked for the same supplier and financier. The bead factory had ten living rooms and a large workplace courtyard. The coppersmith's workshop had five furnaces and paved sinks to enable multiple artisans to work.

The declining prosperity of the town, paucity of resources and poor administration increased the woes of a people pressured by consistent floods and storms. Increased salinity of soil made the land inhospitable to life, including crops. This is evidenced in adjacent cities of Rangpur, Rojdi, Rupar and Harappa in Punjab, Mohenjo-daro and Chanhudaro in Sindh. A massive flood (c. 1900 BCE) completely destroyed the flagging township in a single stroke. Archaeological analysis shows that the basin and dock were sealed with silt and debris, and the buildings razed to the ground. The flood affected the entire region of Saurashtra, Sindh and south Gujarat, and affected the upper reaches of the Indus and Sutlej, where scores of villages and townships were washed away. The population fled to inner regions.

Later Harappan culture
Archaeological evidence shows that the site continued to be inhabited, albeit by a much smaller population devoid of urban influences. The few people who returned to Lothal could not reconstruct and repair their city, but surprisingly continued to stay and preserved religious traditions, living in poorly-built houses and reed huts. That they were the Harappan peoples is evidenced by the analyses of their remains in the cemetery. While the trade and resources of the city were almost entirely gone, the people retained several Harappan ways in writing, pottery and utensils. About this time ASI archaeologists record a mass movement of refugees from Punjab and Sindh into Saurashtra and to the valley of Sarasvati (1900-1700 BCE). Hundreds of ill-equipped settlements have been attributed to this people as Late Harappans—a completely de-urbanised culture characterised by rising illiteracy, undiversified economy, unsophisticated administration and poverty. Though Indus seals went out of use, the system of weights with an 8.573 gram (0.3024 oz) unit was retained. Between 1700 and 1600 BCE, trade would revive again. In Lothal, Harappan ceramic works of bowls, dishes and jars were mass-produced. Merchants used local materials such as chalcedony instead of chert for stone blades. Truncated sandstone weights replaced hexahedron chert weights. The sophisticated writing was simplified by exempting pictorial symbols, and the painting style reduced itself to wavy lines, loops and fronds.

Civilisation
The people of Lothal made significant and often unique contributions to human civilization in the Indus era, in the fields of city planning, art, architecture, science, engineering and religion. Their work in metallurgy, seals, beads and jewellery was the basis of their prosperity.

Science and engineering
A thick ring-like shell object found with four slits each in two margins served as a compass to measure angles on plane surfaces or in the horizon in multiples of 40 degrees, up to 360 degrees. Such shell instruments were probably invented to measure 8–12 whole sections of the horizon and sky, explaining the slits on the lower and upper margins. Archaeologists consider this as evidence that the Lothal experts had achieved something 2,000 years before the Greeks: an 8–12 fold division of horizon and sky, as well as an instrument for measuring angles and perhaps the position of stars, and for navigation. Lothal contributes one of three measurement scales that are integrated and linear (others found in Harappa and Mohenjodaro). An ivory scale from Lothal has the smallest-known decimal divisions in Indus civilization. The scale is 6 millimetres (0.2 inches) thick, 15 mm (0.6 inches) broad and the available length is 128 mm (5.0 inches), but only 27 graduations are visible over 46 mm (1.8 inches), the distance between graduation lines being 1.70 mm (0.067 inches) (the small size indicates use for fine purposes). The sum total of ten graduations from Lothal is approximate to the angula in the Arthashastra. The Lothal craftsmen took care to ensure durability and accuracy of stone weights by blunting edges before polishing.

For their renowned draining system, Lothal engineers provided corbelled roofs, and an apron of kiln-fired bricks over the brick face of the platform where the sewerage entered the cesspool. Wooden screens inserted in grooves in the side drain walls held back solid waste. The well is built of radial bricks, 2.4 metres (7.9 ft) in diameter and 6.7 metres (22 ft) deep. It had an immaculate network of underground drains, silting chambers and cesspools, and inspection chambers for solid waste. The extent of drains provided archaeologists with many clues regarding the layout of streets, organization of housing and baths. On average, the main sewer is 20–46 cm (7.8–18.1 inches) in depth, with outer dimensions of 86 × 68 × 33 cm (34 × 27 × 13 in). Lothal brick-makers used a logical approach in manufacture of bricks, designed with care in regards to thickness of structures. They were used as headers and stretchers in same and alternate layers. Archaeologists estimate that in most cases, the bricks were in ratio 1:5:25 on three sides, in dimensions which were integral multiples of large graduations of Lothal scale of 25 mm (1.0 in).

Religion and disposal of the dead
The people of Lothal worshipped a fire god, speculated to be the horned deity depicted on seals named Atha (Athar) and Arka, which is also evidenced by the presence of private and public fire-altars where sacrifices of animals and cattle were apparently conducted. Archaeologists have discovered gold pendants, charred ashes of terra-cotta cakes and pottery, bovine remains, beads and other signs that may indicate the practice of the Gavamayana sacrifice, associated with the ancient Vedic religion. Animal worship is also evidenced, but not the worship of the Mother Goddess that is evidenced in other Harappan cities—experts consider this a sign of the existence of diversity in religious traditions. However, it is believed that a sea goddess, perhaps cognate with the general Indus-era Mother Goddess, was worshipped. Today, the local villagers likewise worship a sea goddess, Vanuvati Sikotarimata, suggesting a connection with the ancient port's traditions and historical past as an access to the sea.

At least one case of joint burial of a man and a woman has been found in Lothal. Indian archaeologists suggested the possibility of the earliest known practice of sati, or widow immolation. But the archaeologists also discovered that the practice had been given up by 2000 BCE (determined by the difference in burial times of the carbon-dated remains). It is suggested that the practice occurred only on occasion. It is also considered that given the small number of graves discovered—only 17 in an estimated population of 15,000—the citizens of Lothal also practiced cremation of the dead. Post-cremation burials have been noted in other Indus sites like Harappa, Mehi and Damb-Bhuti. The mummified remains of an Assyrian and an Egyptian corpse were also discovered at the mound.

Metallurgy and jewellery
Lothali copper is unusually pure, lacking the arsenic typically used by coppersmiths across the rest of the Indus valley. The city imported ingots from probable sources in the Arabian Peninsula. Workers mixed tin with copper for the manufacture of celts, arrowheads, fishhooks, chisels, bangles, rings, drills and spearheads, although weapon manufacturing was minor. They also employed advanced metallurgy in following the cire perdue technique of casting, and used more than one-piece moulds for casting birds and animals. They also invented new tools such as curved saws and twisted drills unknown to other civilizations at the time.

Lothal was one of the most important centres of production for shell-working, owing to the abundance of chank shell of high quality found in the Gulf of Kutch and near the Kathiawar coastGamesmen, beads, unguent vessels, chank shells, ladles and inlays were made for export and local consumption. Components of stringed musical instruments like the plectrum and the bridge were made of shell. An ivory workshop was operated under strict official supervision, and the domestication of elephants has been suggested. An ivory seal, and sawn pieces for boxes, combs, rods, inlays and ear-studs were found during excavations. Lothal produced a large quantity of gold ornaments—the most attractive item being microbeads of gold in five strands in necklaces, unique for being less than 0.25 millimetres (0.010 inches) in diameter. Cylindrical, globular and jasper beads of gold with edges at right angles resemble modern pendants used by women in Gujarat in plaits of hair. A large disc with holes recovered from a sacrificial altar is compared to the rukma worn by Vedic priests. Studs, cogwheel and heart-shaped ornaments of fainence and steatite were popular in Lothal. A ring of thin copper wire turned into double spirals resembles the gold-wire rings used by modern Hindus for weddings.

Art
The discovery of etched carnelian beads and non-etched barrel beads in Kish and Ur (modern Iraq), Jalalabad (Afghanistan) and Susa (Iran) attest to the popularity of the Lothal-centric bead industry across West Asia. The lapidaries show a refined taste in selecting stones of variegated colours, producing beads of different shapes and sizes. The methods of Lothal bead-makers were so advanced that no improvements have been noted over 4,000 years—modern makers in the Khambhat area follow the same technique. Double-eye beads of agate and collared or gold-capped beads of jasper and carnelian beads are among those attributed as uniquely from Lothal. It was very famous for micro-cylindrical beads of steatite (chlorite).

Lothal has yielded 213 seals, third in importance amongst all Indus sites, considered masterpieces of glyptic art and calligraphy. Seal-cutters preferred short-horned bulls, mountain goats, tigers and composite animals like the elephant-bull for engravings. There is a short inscription of intaglio in almost every seal. Stamp seals with copper rings inserted in a perforated button were used to sealing cargo, with impressions of packing materials like mats, twisted cloth and cords—a fact verified only at Lothal. Quantitative descriptions, seals of rulers and owners were stamped on goods. A unique seal found here is from Bahrain—circular, with motif of a dragon flanked by jumping gazelles.

Lothal offers two new types of potter work—a convex bowl with or without stud handle, and a small jar with flaring rim, both in the micaceous Red Ware period—not found in contemporary Indus cultures. Lothal artists introduced a new form of painting closely linked to modern realism. Paintings depict animals in their natural surroundings. Indeed, upon one large vessel, the artist depicts birds—with fish in their beaks—resting in a tree, while a fox-like animal stands below. This scene bears resemblance to the story of the crow and cunning fox in Panchatantra. Artistic imagination is also suggested via careful portrayals—for example, several birds with legs aloft in the sky suggest flight, while half-opened wings suggest imminent flight. On a miniature jar, the story of the thirsty crow and deer is depicted—of how the deer could not drink from the narrow-mouth of the jar, while the crow succeeded by dropping stones in the jar. The features of the animals are clear and graceful. Movements and emotions are suggested by the positioning of limbs and facial features—in a 15 × 5 cm (6 × 2 in) jar without overcrowding.

A complete set of terra-cotta gamesmen, comparable to modern chessmen, has been found in Lothal—animal figures, pyramids with ivory handles and castle-like objects (similar to the chess set of Queen Hatshepsut in Egypt). The realistic portrayal of human beings and animals suggests a careful study of anatomical and natural features. The bust of a male with slit eyes, sharp nose and square-cut beard is reminiscent of Sumerian figures, especially stone sculptures from Mari. In images of men and women, muscular and physical features are sharp, prominently marked. Terra-cotta models also identify the differences between species of dogs and bulls, including those of horses. Animal figures with wheels and a movable head were used as toys.

Excavated Lothal
On plan, Lothal stands 285 metres (935 ft) north-to-south and 228 metres (748 ft) east-to-west. At the height of its habitation, it covered a wider area since remains have been found 300 metres (1000 ft) south of the mound. Due to the fragile nature of unbaked bricks and frequent floods, the superstructures of all buildings have receded. Dwarfed walls, platforms, wells, drains, baths and paved floors are visible. But thanks to the loam deposited by persistent floods, the dock walls were preserved beyond the great deluge (c. 1900 BCE). The absence of standing high walls is attributed to erosion and brick robbery. The ancient nullah, the inlet channel and riverbed have been similarly covered up. The flood-damaged peripheral wall of mud-bricks is visible near the warehouse area. The remnants of the north-south sewer are burnt bricks in the cesspool. Cubical blocks of the warehouse on a high platform are also visible.

The ASI has covered the peripheral walls, the wharf and many houses of the early phase with earth to protect from natural phenomena, but the entire archaeological site is nevertheless facing grave concerns about necessary preservation. Salinity ingress and prolonged exposure to the rain and sun are gradually eating away the remains of the site. But there are no barricades to prevent the stream of visitors from trudging on the delicate brick and mud work. Stray dogs throng the mound unhindered. Heavy rain in the region has damaged the remains of the sun-dried mud brick constructions. Stagnant rainwater has lathered the brick and mud work with layers of moss. Due to siltation, the dockyard’s draft has been reduced by 3–4 metres (10–13 ft) and saline deposits are decaying the bricks. Officials blame the salinity on capillary action and point out that cracks are emerging and foundations weakening even as restoration work slowly progresses.

Dock and warehouse
The dock was located away from the main current to avoid deposition of silt. Modern oceanographers have observed that the Harappans must have possessed great knowledge relating to tides in order to build such a dock on the ever-shifting course of the Sabarmati, as well as exemplary hydrography and maritime engineering. This was the earliest known dock found in the world, equipped to berth and service ships. It is speculated that Lothal engineers studied tidal movements, and their effects on brick-built structures, since the walls are of kiln-burnt bricks. This knowledge also enabled them to select Lothal's location in the first place, as the Gulf of Khambhat has the highest tidal amplitude and ships can be sluiced through flow tides in the river estuary. The engineers built a trapezoidal structure, with north-south arms of average 21.8 metres (71.5 ft), and east-west arms of 37 metres (121 ft). Another assessment is that the basin could have served as an irrigation tank, for the estimated original dimensions of the "dock" are not large enough, by modern standards, to house ships and conduct much traffic.

The original height of the embankments was 4.26 metres (13.98 ft). (Now it is 3.35 metres (10.99 ft).) The main inlet is 12.8 metres (42.0 ft) wide, and another is provided on the opposite side. To counter the thrust of water, offsets were provided on the outer wall faces. When the river changed its course in 2000 BCE, a smaller inlet, 7 metres (23 ft) wide was made in the longer arm, connected to the river by a 2 kilometre (3.2 mi) channel. At high tide a flow of 2.1–2.4 metres (6.9–7.9 ft) of water would have allowed ships to enter. Provision was made for the escape of excess water through the outlet channel, 96.5 metres (317 ft) wide and 1.7 metres (5.6 ft) high in the southern arm. The dock also possessed a lock-gate system—a wooden door could be lowered at the mouth of the outlet to retain a minimum column of water in the basin so as to ensure floatation at low tides. Central to the city's economy, the warehouse was originally built on sixty-four cubical blocks, 3.6 metres (11.8 ft) square, with 1.2-metre (3.9-ft) passages, and based on a 3.5-metre-high (11.5 ft) mud-brick podium. The pedestal was very high to provide maximum protection from floods. Brick-paved passages between blocks served as vents, and a direct ramp led to the dock to facilitate loading. The warehouse was located close to the acropolis, to allow tight supervision by ruling authorities. Despite elaborate precautions, the major floods that brought the city's decline destroyed all but twelve blocks, which became the make-shift storehouse.

Acropolis and Lower town
Lothal's acropolis was the town centre, its political and commercial heart, measuring 127.4 metres (418 ft) east-to-west by 60.9 metres (200 ft) north-to-south. Apart from the warehouse, it was the residence of the ruling class. There were three streets and two lanes running east-west, and two streets running north-south. The four sides of the rectangular platform on which houses were built are formed by mud-brick structures of 12.2–24.4 metre (40–80 ft) thickness and 2.1–3.6 metres (6.9–11.8 ft) high. The baths were primarily located in the acropolis—mostly two-roomed houses with open courtyards. The bricks used for paving baths were polished to prevent seepage. The pavements were lime-plastered and edges were wainscoted (wooden panels) by thin walls. The ruler's residence is 43.92 square metres (472.8 sq ft) in area with a 1.8-square-meter-bath (19 sq ft) equipped with an outlet and inlet. The remains of this house give evidence to a sophisticated drainage system. The Lower town marketplace was on the main north-south street 6–8 metres (20–26 ft) wide. Built in straight rows on either side of the street are residences and workshops, although brick-built drains and early period housing has disappeared. The street maintained a uniform width and did not undergo encroachment during the reconstructive periods after deluges. There are multiple two-roomed shops and workplaces of coppersmiths and blacksmiths.

The bead factory, which performs a very important economic function, possesses a central courtyard and eleven rooms, a store and a guardhouse. There is a cinder dump, as well as a double-chambered circular kiln, with stokeholes for fuel supply. Four flues are connected with each other, the upper chamber and the stoke hold. The mud plaster of the floors and walls are vitrified owing to intense heat during work. The remnants of raw materials such as reed, cow dung, sawdust and agate are found, giving archaeologists hints of how the kiln was operated. A large mud-brick building faces the factory, and its significance is noted by its plan. Four large rooms and a hall with an overall measurement of 17.1 × 12.8 metres (56 × 42 ft). The hall has a large doorway, and a fire-altar is posed on a raised floor in the southern corner of the building. A square terra-cotta stump in the centre is associated with the place of worship found in the sister site of Kalibangan (in Rajasthan), making this a primary centre of worship for Lothal's people.

LOWER SWAT VALLEY
The Lower Swat Valley has been occupied for the last 3000 years. The area between Chakdara Bridge and Saidu Sharif is littered with the remains of pre historic Aryan's Gandhara grave culture, Buddhist shrines and buildings of the Hindu Shahi Period. These archaeological sites are concentrated around three towns; Birkot, Udegram and Saidu Sharif. Near Chakdara Bridge there are ruins of Hindu Shahi Period and stupas at Haibatgram, Top Dara and Landakai.

About 25 kilometres from Chakdara Bridge (About 20 kilometres before Saidu Sharif ), Birkot is the site of ancient town Bazira sacked by Alexander in 326 BC. This town is situated on ancient route on the River Swat from Nawa Pass. Here ancient route take a turn to south through Karakar Pass into Buner which further lead to Shabaz Garhi in Peshawar Valley.

Gumbat Stupa is situated 9 kilometers south of Birkot (locally known as Barikot) in the Kandag Valley. This is one of the best-preserved stupas of Swat. It consists of a cell of about 12 feet square with windows. It is surrounded on all sides by a narrow passage intended to walk around sacred images while worshiping. Before Gumbat is a large building known as Kanjar Kot, meaning Dancer’s Mansion. The place is beautiful but it is nor advisable to walk there without the help of locals. From the end of the road to the stupa you need to walk about 30 minutes (at least). Besides the remains of the stupa, there are some remains of the monastery. Nothing has been done so far to preserve the site, but the stupa itself is in a rather good condition.

Mount Elam, 2811 meter High Mountain is considered sacred since ancient times. In the valley of Amluk-Dara near the foot of Mount Ilam is the ruin of a stupa.


Three kilometers from Birkot towards Saidu Sharif is Shingerdar Stupa. 1.5 kilometres from Shingerdar is a large Buddha Carving on a cliff facing the road. Further after 6 kilometres is the Gogdara Rock Carvings. These 3000 years old engraving consists of different animals. There are some carvings in which humans were driving two wheeled war chariots. These carvings were probably works of ancient Aryans. On the same rock there are some Buddhist carvings.

Udegram
Udegram is located 8 kilometres before Saidu Sharif. Aurel Stein identified this with Ora, a city where Alexander fought one of his battles. Italians excavated this site in 1950’s. This site was occupied from 1000 BC to 14th century AD.

During Hindu Shahi period from 8th century to 10th century this was the regional capital of Swat. Ruins of Raja Gira’s Fort, the last Hindu ruler were excavated by the Italians in 1950’s. The first mosque built in Swat was excavated in 1985 below the Hindu Shahi Fort in 1985. Barikot is a very nice place, surround by mountains and very friendly people

Butkara Stupa
One of the most important Buddhist shrines of Swat is Butkara Stupa near Saidu Sharif. This was built by Ashoka in 2nd century BC. It was enlarged many times. In 1955 it was excavated by Italians. Most of the stone carvings are now displayed in the museum around the world. Stupa was repaired last time in 8th century than it was abandoned and allowed to crumble.

Sites around Mingora
Mingora is one of the most important town of the Swat Valley. It is situated 2 km from Saidu Sharif. On the other side of River Swat near Mingora Airport a site of Gandhara Grave Culture was discovered by Italians at Aligrama. The site was dated to 1000 BC. Sites are known as "Butkara I" and Butkara II (an excavation lost in the hills and harder to find). Both sites are safe.

Near Mingora in Jambill River Valley a lot of Buddhist remains and carvings are found. At Panr stupa and monastery of 1st AD century had been excavated. At Loebanr and Matalai, Italians archaeologist unearth 475 Aryan graves dated 1700 BC.


MEHRGARH
Mehrgarh, one of the most important Neolithic (7000 BCE to 3200 BCE) sites in archaeology, lies on the Kachi plain of Baluchistan, Pakistan, and is one of the earliest sites with evidence of farming (wheat and barley) and herding (cattle, sheep and goats) in South Asia. Located near the Bolan Pass, to the west of the Indus River valley and between the present-day Pakistani cities of Quetta, Kalat and Sibi, Mehrgarh was discovered in 1974 by an archaeological team directed by French archaeologist Jean-François Jarrige, and was excavated continuously between 1974 and 1986. The earliest settlement at Mehrgarh—in the northeast corner of the 495-acre site—was a small farming village dated between 7000 BCE-5500 BCE. Early Mehrgarh residents lived in mud brick houses, stored their grain in granaries, fashioned tools with local copper ore, and lined their large basket containers with bitumen. They cultivated six-row barley, einkorn and emmer wheat, jujubes and dates, and herded sheep, goats and cattle. Residents of the later period (5500 BCE to 2600 BCE) put much effort into crafts, including flint knapping, tanning, bead production, and metal working. The site was occupied continuously until about 2600 BCE.

In April 2006, it was announced in the scientific journal Nature that the oldest (and first early Neolithic) evidence in human history for the drilling of teeth in vivo (i.e. in a living person) was found in Mehrgarh.

Mehrgarh is now seen as a precursor to the Indus Valley Civilization. "Discoveries at Mehrgarh changed the entire concept of the Indus civilization," according to Ahmad Hasan Dani, professor emeritus of archaeology at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, "There we have the whole sequence, right from the beginning of settled village life". According to Catherine Jarrige of the Centre for Archaeological Research Indus Balochistan, Musée Guimet, Paris

"... the Kachi plain and in the Bolan basin (are) situated at the Bolan peak pass, one of the main routes connecting southern Afghanistan, eastern Iran, the Balochistan hills and the Indus valley. This area of rolling hills is thus located on the western edge of the Indus valley, where, around 2500 BCE, a large urban civilization emerged at the same time as those of Mesopotamia and the ancient Egyptian empire. For the first time in the Indo-Pakistani subcontinent, a continuous sequence of dwelling-sites has been established from 7000 – 500 BCE, (as a result of the) explorations in Pirak from 1968 to 1974; in Mehrgarh from 1975 to 1985; and of Nausharo from 1985 to 1996."

The chalcolithic people of Mehrgarh also had contacts with contemporaneous cultures in northern Afghanistan, northeastern Iran and southern central Asia.

Mehrgarh Period I
Archaeologists divide the occupation at the site into several periods. Mehrgarh Period I 7000 - 5500 BCE, was Neolithic and aceramic (i.e., without the use of pottery). The earliest farming in the area was developed by semi-nomadic people using plants such as wheat and barley and animals such as sheep, goats and cattle. The settlement was established with simple mud buildings with four internal subdivisions. Numerous burials have been found, many with elaborate goods such as baskets, stone and bone tools, beads, bangles, pendants and occasionally animal sacrifices, with more goods left with burials of males. Ornaments of sea shell, limestone, turquoise, lapis lazuli, sandstone and polished copper have been found, along with simple figurines of women and animals. Sea shells from far seashore and lapis lazuli found far in Badakshan,Afghanistan shows good contact with those areas. A single ground stone axe was discovered in a burial, and several more were obtained from the surface. These ground stone axes are the earliest to come from a stratified context in the South Asia.

In 2001, archaeologists studying the remains of two men from Mehrgarh made the discovery that the people of the Indus Valley Civilization, from the early Harappan periods, had knowledge of proto-dentistry. Later, in April 2006, it was announced in the scientific journal Nature that the oldest (and first early Neolithic) evidence for the drilling of human teeth in vivo (i.e. in a living person) was found in Mehrgarh. According to the authors, their discoveries point to a tradition of proto-dentistry in the early farming cultures of that region.

"Here we describe eleven drilled molar crowns from nine adults discovered in a Neolithic graveyard in Pakistan that dates from 7,500-9,000 years ago. These findings provide evidence for a long tradition of a type of proto-dentistry in an early farming culture."


Mehrgarh Period II and Period III
Mehrgarh Period II 5500 - 4800 BC and Merhgarh Period III 4800 - 3500 BC were ceramic Neolithic (i.e., pottery was now in use) and later chalcolithic. Much evidence of manufacturing activity has been found and more advanced techniques were used. Glazed faience beads were produced and terracotta figurines became more detailed. Figurines of females were decorated with paint and had diverse hairstyles and ornaments. Two flexed burials were found in period II with a covering of red ochre on the body. The amount of burial goods decreased over time, becoming limited to ornaments and with more goods left with burials of females. The first button seals were produced from terracotta and bone and had geometric designs. Technologies included stone and copper drills, updraft kilns, large pit kilns and copper melting crucibles. There is further evidence of long-distance trade in period II: important as an indication of this is the discovery of several beads of lapis lazuli - originally from Badakshan.

Mehrgarh Period VII
Somewhere between 2600 and 2000 BC, the city seems to have been largely abandoned, which is when the Indus Valley Civilisation was in its middle stages of development. It has been surmised that the inhabitants of Mehrgarh migrated to the fertile Indus valley as the Balochistan became more arid due to climatic changes.

MELUHHA
Meluhha refers to one of ancient Sumer's prominent trading partners, but precisely which one remains an open question. The word can be found in many Sumerian and Akkadian texts.

Meluhha, Dilmun and Magan
Sumerian texts repeatedly refer to three important centers with which they traded: Magan, Dilmun, and Meluhha. Magan is usually identified with Oman, though some identify it with Egypt. Dilmun was a trade distribution center for goods originating in the region of modern-day Bahrain. The location of Meluhha, however is hotly debated.

A number of scholars suggest that "Meluhha" was the Sumerian name for western India or the Indus valley civilization. Asko and Simo Parpola, both Finnish scholars, derive Meluhha from earlier Sumerian documents with the alternative value "Me-lah-ha", which they identify with the Dravidian Met-akam "high abode/country". They further claim that Meluhha is the origin of the Sanskrit mleccha meaning "barbarian, foreigner".

Sergei V. Rjabchikov, a Russian scholar, reads an archaic form of Meluhha as a Proto-Indo-Aryan word ("solar beam"; "to die"), and he compares it, in particular, with the name of the mountain Meru in the Old Indian mythology.
However, much later texts documenting the exploits of King Assurbanipal of Assyria (668-627 BC), long after the Indus Valley civilization had ceased to exist, seemingly imply that Meluhha is to be found somewhere near Egypt, in Africa.

Indus Valley hypothesis
Earlier texts (c.2200 BC) seem to indicate that Meluhha is to the east, suggesting either the Indus valley or India. Sargon of Akkad was said to have "dismantled the cities, as far as the shore of the sea. At the wharf of Agade, he docked ships from Meluhha, ships from Magan."

There is plenty of archaeological evidence for the trade between Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley. Impressions of clay seals from the Indus Valley city of Harappa were evidently used to seal bundles of merchandise, as clay seal impressions with cord or sack marks on the reverse side testify. A number of these Indus Valley seals have turned up at Ur and other Mesopotamian sites. "Persian Gulf" types of circular stamped rather than rolled seals, also known from Dilmun, that appear at Lothal in Gujarat, India, and Faylahkah, as well as in Mesopotamia, are convincing corroboration of the long-distance sea trade. What the commerce consisted of is less sure: timber and precious woods, ivory, lapis lazuli, gold, and luxury goods such as carnelian and glazed stone beads, pearls from the Gulf, and shell and bone inlays, were among the goods sent to Mesopotamia in exchange for silver, tin, woolen textiles, perhaps oil and grains and other foods. Copper ingots, certainly, bitumen, which occurred naturally in Mesopotamia, may have been exchanged for cotton textiles and chickens, major products of the Indus region that are not native to Mesopotamia — all these have been instanced.

Mesopotamian trade documents, lists of goods, and official inscriptions mentioning Meluhha supplement Harappan seals and archaeological finds. Literary references to Meluhhan trade date from the Akkadian, the Third Dynasty of Ur, and Isin - Larsa Periods (ca 2350 - 1800 BCE), but the trade probably started in the Early Dynastic Period (c. 2600 BC). Some Meluhhan vessels may have sailed directly to Mesopotamian ports, although by the Isin - Larsa Period, Dilmun, which was located "en route" to Meluhha, monopolized the trade. By the subsequent Old Babylonian period, trade between the two cultures had evidently ceased entirely.

African hypothesis
Later texts from the 1st millennium BC suggest that "Meluhha" and "Magan" were kingdoms adjacent to Egypt. Assurbanipal writes about his first march against Egypt:

"In my first campaign I marched against Magan, Meluhha, Tarka, king of Egypt and Ethiopia, whom Esarhaddon, king of Assyria, the father who begot me, had defeated, and whose land he brought under his way...".

Bernard Sergent (in Genèse de l'Inde, Payot, Paris, 1997) claims that Dravidians were a "Melano-African" race from the African Sahel belt, positing that these peoples migrated from there, and suggesting that Meluhha first referred to Ethiopia, and later to the Indus Valley. It is important to note that from the third millennium BC onwards, Ethiopia itself was never referred to as Meluhha, but as Kush. Apart from Ashurbanipal's reference, there is no mention of Meluhha in any Mesopotamian text after about 1700 BC, which corresponds to the time of decline of the Indus Valley.
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Default Archaeological sites of Pakistan: ( M to S )

MOHENJO-DARO
Mohenjo-daro (Mound of the dead) was a city of the Indus Valley Civilization built around 2600 BC and is located in the Sindh Province of Pakistan. This ancient five thousand year old city is the largest of Indus Valley and is widely recognized as one of the most important early cities of South Asia and the Indus Valley Civilization. Mohenjo Daro was one of the world’s first cities and contemporaneous with ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations. It is sometimes referred to as "An Ancient Indus Valley Metropolis".

Mohenjo-daro, Harappa and their civilization, vanished without trace from history until discovered in the 1920s. It was extensively excavated in the 1920s, but no in-depth excavations have been carried out since the 1960s.

Mohenjo-daro is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The most extensive recent work at the site has focused on attempts at conservation of the standing structures, undertaken by UNESCO in collaboration with the Department of Archaeology and Museums, as well as various foreign consultants. In December 1996, preservation work at the 500-acre site suspended after funding from the government and international organisations ran out, according to a resident archaeologist.

However in April 1997, the UN Educational, Scientific and Culture Organisation (UNESCO) funded $10 million to a project to be conducted over two decades in order to protect the Mohenjo-daro ruins from flooding. This project has been a success so far.

UNESCO's efforts to save Mohenjo-daro were one of the key events that led the organization to establish World Heritage Sites.

History

Mohenjo-daro was built around 2600 BC, and was abandoned around 1700 BC. It was rediscovered in the 1920s by Sir John Marshall's archaeologists. His car is still in Mohenjo-daro museum, showing his presence, struggle, and dedication for Mohenjo-daro. Further excavations were carried out in 1945 by Ahmad Hasan Dani and Mortimer Wheeler. Mohenjo-daro in ancient times was most likely the administrative center of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. It was the most developed and advanced city in South Asia during its peak. The planning and engineering showed the importance of the city to the people of Indus valley.

The Indus Valley Civilization (c. 3300–1700 BC, flowered 2600–1900 BCE), abbreviated IVC, was an ancient riverine civilization that flourished in the Indus river valley in Pakistan and northwest India. Another name for this civilization is the "Harappan Civilisation".

The Indus Valley civilization (c. 3300-1700 BCE) was one of the most ancient civilizations, on the banks of Indus River. The Indus culture blossomed over the centuries and gave rise to the Indus Valley Civilization around 3000 BCE. The civilization spanned much of Pakistan, but suddenly went into decline around 1800 BCE. Indus Civilization settlements spread as far south as the Arabian Sea coast of India, as far west as the Iranian border, and as far north as the Himalayas. Among the settlements were the major urban centers of Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, as well as Lothal.

The Mohenjo-daro ruins were once the center of this ancient society. At its peak, some archaeologists opine that the Indus Civilization may have had a population of well over five million.

To date, over a thousand cities and settlements have been found, mainly in the Indus River valley in Pakistan and northwestern India.

The language of the Indus Civilization has yet to be deciphered, and the real name of the city as of other excavated cities in Sindh, Punjab and Gujarat, is unknown.

City Structure
Mohenjo-daro is a remarkable construction, considering its antiquity. It has a planned layout based on a grid of streets, which were laid out in perfect patterns. At its height the city probably had around 35,000 residents. The buildings of the city were particularly advanced, with structures constructed of bricks of baked mud, sun dried bricks and burned wood, also the workers produced bricks of the same size

The public buildings of these cities also suggest a high degree of social organization. The great granary at Mohenjo-daro is designed with bays to receive carts delivering crops from the countryside, and there are ducts for air to circulate beneath the stored grain to dry it.

Close to the granary, there is a building similarly civic in nature - a great public bath house, with steps down to a brick-lined pool in a colonnaded courtyard The elaborate bath area was very well built, with a layer of natural tar to keep it from leaking, and in the center was the swimming pool.

The houses were protected from noise, odours, and thieves. This urban plan included the world's first urban sanitation systems.

Within the city, individual homes or groups of homes obtained water from wells. Some of the houses included rooms that appear to have been set aside for bathing, waste water was directed to covered drains, which lined the major streets. Houses opened only to inner courtyards and smaller lanes. A variety of buildings were up to two stories high.

Being an agricultural city, it also featured a large well, and central marketplace. It also had a building with an underground furnace, possibly for heated bathing.

Defensively Mohenjo-daro was a well-fortified city. Lacking city walls, it did have towers to the west of the main settlement, and defensive fortifications to the south. Considering these fortifications and the structure of other major Indus valley cities like Harappa, lead to the question of whether Mohenjo-daro was an administrative center. Both Harappa and Mohenjo-daro share relatively the same architectural layout, and were generally not heavily fortified like other Indus Valley sites. It is obvious from the identical city layouts of all Indus sites, that there was some kind of political or administrative centrality, however the extent and functioning of an administrative center remains unclear. .

Mohenjo-daro was successively destroyed and rebuilt at least seven times. Each time, the new cities were built directly on top of the old ones. Flooding by the Indus is thought to have been the cause of destruction.

The city was divided into two parts, the Citadel and the Lower City. Most of the Lower City is yet uncovered, but the Citadel is known to have the public bath, a large residential structure designed to house 5,000 citizens and two large assembly halls.

Civilization

Artifacts
The Dancing girl found in Mohenjo Daro is an interesting artifact that is some 4500-year old. The 10.8 cm long bronze statue of the dancing girl was found in 1926 from a house in Mohenjo Daro. She was British archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler's favorite statuette, as you can tell in this quote from a 1973 television program:

"There is her little Baluchi-style face with pouting lips and insolent look in the eye. She's about fifteen years old I should think, not more, but she stands there with bangles all the way up her arm and nothing else on. A girl perfectly, for the moment, perfectly confident of herself and the world. There's nothing like her, I think, in the world."

John Marshall, one of the excavators at Mohenjo-Daro, described her as a vivid impression of the young ... girl, her hand on her hip in a half-impudent posture, and legs slightly forward as she beats time to the music with her legs and feet...

The artistry of this lovely statuette crosses time and space and speaks to us of a seemingly unknowable, but at least fleetingly recognizable past. As author Gregory Possehl says:

"We may not be certain that she was a dancer, but she was good at what she did and she knew it".

The statue could well be of some queen or very if not most important woman of the Indus Valley Civilization as is clear from the authority the figure commands.

Seated male sculpture, or "Priest King" (even though there is no evidence that either priests or kings ruled the city). This 17.5 cm tall statue is another artefact which has become a symbol for the Indus valley civilization. Archaeologists discovered the sculpture in Lower town at Mohenjo-Daro in 1927. It was found in an unusual house with ornamental brickwork and a wall niche and was lying between brick foundation walls which once held up a floor.

This bearded sculpture wears a fillet around the head, an armband, and a cloak decorated with trefoil patterns that were originally filled with red pigment.

The two ends of the fillet fall along the back and though the hair is carefully combed towards the back of the head, no bun is present. The flat back of the head may have held a separately carved bun as is traditional on the other seated figures, or it could have held a more elaborate horn and plumed headdress.

Two holes beneath the highly stylized ears suggest that a necklace or other head ornament was attached to the sculpture. The left shoulder is covered with a cloak decorated with trefoil, double circle and single circle designs that were originally filled with red pigment. Drill holes in the center of each circle indicate they were made with a specialized drill and then touched up with a chisel. Eyes are deeply incised and may have held inlay. The upper lip is shaved and a short-combed beard frames the face. The large crack in the face is the result of weathering or it may be due to original firing of this object.

MULRI HILLS
Mulri Hills are located in Gulshan Town, Karachi. Latitude: 24.9166667 / Longitude: 67.1333333

The late Palaeolithic and Mesolithic sites found by Karachi University archaeological team on the Mulri Hills, in front of Karachi University Campus, constitute one of the most important archaeological discoveries made in Sindh during the last fifty years. The last hunter-gatherers, who left abundant traces of their passage, repeatedly inhabited the Hills. Some twenty different spots of flint tools were discovered during the surface surveys.

NAULAKHA PAVILION
The Naulakha pavilion is a marble building located at the Sheesh Mahal courtyard, which is itself located at the Lahore Fort in Lahore, Pakistan. Its western face provides a panoramic view of the ancient city of Lahore. When it was built in 1631 A.D. by the Mughal emperor Shahjahan, it cost Rs.900,000, an exorbitant amount at the time. It is called Naulakha because in Urdu, that word means 'worth 9 lakhs'.


NAUSHARO
Nausharo is located in Balochistan, Pakistan. It is well known for the Harappan period archeological site. The excavations were carried out between 1985 and 1996 by a french team of archeologists. The other sites belonging to the same cluster are Mehrgarh and Pirak

Nausharo excavation
Excavations at Nausharo, 6 km from Mehrgarh, revealed a dwelling-site contemporaneous and identical to that of the Mehrgarh.


ONGAR
Ongar is located a few kilometers south of Hyderabad on the hills, which lie on the right side of the Indus River. At the present state of the research, Ongar is the most important Paleolithic site discovered in southern Sindh. According to the aspect and surface patina of the tools, the flint assemblages can be attributed to the Early, Middle and Late (Upper) Paleolithic periods.

PANCHKORA VALLEY OF DIL
Panchkora Valley of Dir is a valley situated in the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan.

Overview
The Panchkora Valley of Dir was the home of early Aryans. Remains of their settlements are classified as Gandhara grave culture.

Talash Valley
, 13 KM from Chakdara, is full of Buddhist remains. Buddhist stupas and monasteries, which have not been excavated, are on both sides of the road towards Dir. At the west end of the valley is Kat Kala Pass. Caroe identified this place with Massaga which was captured by Alexander the Great in 327BC. Here there are remains of massive crumbling Hindu Shahi fort of 8-10th century.

Timargarha
, 40 km from Chakdara is the site of excavated graves of Aryans, dating 1500 to 600 BC.

On the west side of Panchkora River is the excavated site of Balambat. Site was in occupation continuously since 1500 BC when Aryans occupied this first time. Houses dated 500 BC have been discovered here. An interesting discovery was fire altars, which shows that people were fire worshippers.

PIR SHAH JURIO
Pir Shah Jurio is a mature Indus Civilization village along the left bank of the Hub River in Sindh. It consists of a small mound, which is nowadays partly covered by a cem etery. From its surface, typical potsherds and other finds were collected. This site is strictly connected with the sea, which is a few kilometers south of it. It was radiocarbon-dated to the third millennium BP, from a sample of Terebralia palustris shells.


PIRAK
Pirak is located in Balochistan, Pakistan. Pirak archaeological site is associated with the Indus Valley Civilisation. It was the first site which was excavated, between 1968 and 1974 before the well known sites of Mehrgarh or Nausharo.

POTOHAR PLATEAU
The Pothohar Plateau is a plateau in Punjab, Pakistan. The area was the home of the Soan Culture, which is evidenced by the discovery of fossils, tools, coins, and remains of ancient archaeological sites. The local people speak a distinctive dialect of Punjabi.

History
Existence of the Soan culture finds its home on the Pothohar plateau. The Indus Valley civilization is known to have flourished in the same region between the 23rd and 18th centuries BC. Some of the earliest Stone Age artifacts in the world have been found on the plateau, dating from 500,000 to 100,000 years. The crude stone recovered from the terraces of the Soan carry the account of human grind and endeavors in this part of the world from the inter-glacial period.

The Stone Age people produced their equipment in a sufficiently homogenous way to justify their grouping. Around 3000 BC, small village communities developed in the Pothohar area, which led to the early roots of civilization.

Geography
Bounded on the east by the Jhelum River, on the west by the Indus, on the north by the Kala Chitta Range and the Margalla Hills, and on the south by the Salt Range, Potohar Plateau is really undulating, multi-colored, picturesque and geographically ill-defined area. The diverse wildlife like urial, chinkara, chukor, hare, porcupine, mongoose, wild boar, and Yellow-throated Martin add color to the beauty of the area. Sadly, due to low rainfall, extensive deforestation, coal mining and oil and gas exploration, the Valley is becoming devoid of vegetation. The under water areas of lakes (Uchali, Khabeki and Jhallar - internationally recognized Ramsar site, and scenic Kallar Kahar) have reduced to much smaller areas than in the past. Experts say that the lake has been here for at least 400 years. Locals tell about a strange phenomenon that was observed over Ucchali Lake in 1982. A very broad and distinct rainbow appeared over the horizon of Ucchali and was seen continuously for 15 days. No scientific explanation of this has been given so far, but the locals think that the rainbow appeared because of a volcano hidden under the lakes. They also tell that because of the hidden volcano the water of the lake keeps changing color.

Pothohar in northern Pakistan is the country of the war-like Gakhar clan, later confirmed by the first Mughal Emperor Babur:

"Sultan Sarang was now of age, and finding that he could not oust his cousin (Hati Khan) by force of arms, he procured his death by poison and assumed the chiefship in 1525. He and his brother made their submission to Babur, and Adam Khan, with a Gakhar force, attended him to Delhi, and for this the Potwar country was confirmed to them by the Emperor."
Rawalpindi Gazetteer 1894.

The Potohar Plateau lies between the Indus River on the west and the Jhelum River on the east. The Margalla Hills and the Kala Chitta Range form its northern boundary. The Kala Chitta Range rises to an average height of 450 - 900 m and extends for about 72 km. The southern boundary is the Salt Ranges. The Swaan River starts from nearby Murree and ends nearby Kalabagh in the Indus iver.

The ruins of the Shahi destroyed by Mahmud of Ghazni in 11th Century and of ancient Gandhara destroyed in the 6th Century by the Hunas (Indo-Hephthalites) litter the countyside.

Taxila is an ancient UNESCO World Heritage Site located on the plateau. Taxila (then called taksh-shila) was Hindu and Buddhist seat of learning, connected across the Khunjerab pass to the Silk Road, attracting students from all over the world. Ancient Takshashila was renowned all over the world as home to a great university. It came under the control of the Persian Achaemenid Empire and then Alexander the Great and the Sassanians. As a city in Gandhara it flourished during the first-fifth centuries AD. It was finally destroyed in c.450-c.565 by the Hunas (Indo-Hephthalites)

The modern day cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi sit on the plateau. The material remains found on the site of the city of Rawalpindi prove the existence of a Gandhara Buddhist establishment contemporary to Taxila but less celebrated than its neighbor. It appears that the ancient city also went into oblivion as a result of the same Hunas (Indo-Hephthalites) devastation. Jhanda Khan, Gakhar Chief, restored it and gave the name of Rawalpindi after the village Rawal in 1493 AD. Today it is the twin city of the capital of Pakistan, Islamabad which was built next to it.

Rohtas Fort located in the Potwar is another UNESCO World Heritage site, built by Sher Shah Suri in 1541 to control the Gakhars who remained loyal to the deposed Mughal Emperor Humayun.

Rawat Fort is located 17 km east of Rawalpindi, on the Grand Trunk (G.T) Road leading to Lahore. The grave of a Gakhar Chief, Sultan Sarang Khan is located inside the fort. He died in 1546 AD fighting against the forces of Sher Shah Suri. If one dares to climb the broken steps inside the tomb, one may get a panoramic view of the plateau and the Mankiala Stupa. The remains of this Buddhist Stupa lie about 32 km south east of Rawalpindi in Mankiala village. Apparently, this Gandhara stupa was built in the reign of Kanishka (128-151 AD). According to legend, Buddha had sacrificed parts of his body here, to feed seven hungry tiger-cubs. In 1930, several gold, silver and copper coins (660 - 730 AD) and a bronze casket having Kharosthi inscriptions, were discovered from this stupa.

Pharwala Fort is about 40 km from Rawalpindi beyond Lehtrar road. The Gakhar ruler, Sultan Kai Gohar built it in 15th century on the ruins of a 10th century Hindu Shahi Fort. Emperor Babur attacked the fort in 1519 AD before Hati Khan had acknowledged him.

The Salt Range is dotted with Hindu temples, of which the most notable is the Katas Raj. Located 25 kilometers from Chakwal, Katas Raj is notable in many ways.

The temple was not abandoned by local Hindus when they migrated to East Punjab in 1947. Many legends sacred to the Hindus are associated with it, some of them involving Shiva himself. It has always been the site of holy pilgrimage. Even nowadays, through an agreement between India and Pakistan, Hindu worshippers perform a pilgrimage to the temple every year and bathe in the sacred pool around which Katas Raj is built.

While Katas Raj has not received much publicity, the two semi-ruined temples of the Hindu shahi period (650-950 AD) have been frequently photographed by newspapers and history journals.

Katas Raj is also held sacred by Hindus for another reason. Legend says that the five Pandava brothers, heroes of the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata, stayed here for four out of the 14 years that they spent in exile.

A joint project with Professors Abdur Rehman, past Chairman of the Department of Archaeology, University of Peshawar, and Farid Khan, founder of the Pakistan Heritage Society, has begun to analyse and document these important monuments in the history of South Asian temple architecture with funding from the University of Pennsylvania. Two seasons of excavation have been carried out at the site of North Kafirkot.


PUSHKALAVATI
Pushkalavati is an ancient site situated in Peshawar valley in Sarhad, Pakistan. It is located on the banks of Swat River, near its junction with Kabul River , now it is known as Charsadda. Puskalavati meaning Lotus City was the capital of ancient kingdom Gandhara from the 6th century BC to 2nd century AD.

The ruins of Pushkalavati consist of many stupas and sites of two old cities.

Bala Hisar
This is the oldest settlement of the Pushkalavati occupied from 6th century BC. Ashoka built a stupa there which was described by Xuan Zang when he visited in 630AD, which is still not found. This site was first time excavated in 1902 by Marshal and than by Mortimer Wheeler in 1958.

Shaikhan Dheri
Bactrain Greek built a new city at this site which lies one kilometre from Bala Hisar on the other side of the branch of River Jinde. This city was occupied by Parthian, Sakas and Kushans. In 2nd AD, river changed its course and city was flooded. Town moved to the site of modern village of Rajar.

The city was partly excavated by Ahmad Hasan Dani in 1960’s. There are still many mounds at Mir Ziarat, at Rajar and Shahr-i-Napursan which are still unexcavated.

Pushkalavati & Prayag
The city of Pushkalavati was situated at the confluence of Swat and Kabul rivers. Three different branches of Kabul river meet there. That specific place is still called Prang and considered sacred. The local people still bring their dead for burial. Aryan found similar geographical characteristics at the confluence of Ganges and Jumna and founded sacred city by the name of Pryayag near Benares, which is one of the ancient pilgrim centers of India.


REHNMAN DHERI
Rehman Dheri is an Pre-Harappan Archaeological Site situated near Dera Ismail Khan in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan.

This is one of the oldest urbanized centers found to date in South Asia. Dated about 4000 BC, the site is situated 22 kilometers (13.7 miles) north of Dera Ismail Khan. Since the earliest occupation, except for the extension outside the city in the south, the entire habitation area was enclosed by a massive wall, built from dressed blocks made from clay slabs. The low mound of this fortified town is visible from Bannu Road. This rectangular mound is covering about 22 hectares and standing 4.5 m above the surrounding field. The fortified town of about ten to fifteen thousand inhabitants shows sign of town planning. Pottery and stone and metal tools were found.

No seals were found and no writing was discovered, though some forms of engraving or scraping on the pottery were observed.


REHRI
Rehri or Rehri Goth is one of the neighborhoods of Bin Qasim Town in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. Rehri is located on the Arabian Sea coast and has large a community of fishermen.

At Rehri, along the coast east of Karachi, Karachi University archaeological team discovered a few Mesolithic and Late Palaeolithic sites. Most of these sites have vanished during the last twenty years. Nevertheless their discovery shed new light on the prehistory of the coastal area of Lower Sindh. Scatters of flint were found in different spots, some of which were associated with Terebralia palustris mangrove shells.

There are several ethnic groups in Bin Qasim Town including Urdu speakers, Punjabis, Sindhis, Kashmiris, Seraikis, Pakhtuns, Balochs, Memons, Bohras, Ismailis. Over 99% of the population is Muslim. The population of Bin Qasim Town is estimated to be nearly one million.


SAGALA
Sagala, believed to be modern Sialkot, was a city of located in northern Punjab, Pakistan. Sagala (alias Sakala) is mentioned as the capital of Madra Kingdom as per the epic Mahabharata.

Destruction by Alexander
The city appears in the accounts of Alexander the Great's conquests of India. After crossing the Hydraotes, Alexander, joined by Porus with elephants and 5,000 Indian troops, laid siege to Sagala, where the Cathaeans had entrenched themselves. The city was razed to the ground, and many of its inhabitants killed:

"The Cathaeans... had a strong city near which they proposed to make their stand, named Sagala. The next day Alexander rested his troops, and on the third advanced on Sangala, where the Cathaeans and their neighbours who had joined them were drawn up in front of the city. At this point too, Porus arrived, bringing with him the rest of the elephants and some five thousand Indians. Alexander returned to Sangala, razed the city to the ground, and annexed its territory".
Arrian, Anabasis of Alexander, V.22-24

Sunga period
Following his overthrowing of the Mauryan Empire, Pusyamitra Sunga is believed in tradition to have expanded northwest as far as Sagala. According to the 2nd century Ashokavadana:

"Then King Pusyamitra equipped a fourfold army, and intending to destroy the Buddhist religion, he went to the Kukkutarama. Pusyamitra therefore destroyed the sangharama, killed the monks there, and departed.

After some time, he arrived in Sakala, and proclaimed that he would give a hundred dinara reward to whomever brought him the head of a Buddhist monk."

Indo-Greek period
The Indo-Greeks apparently repelled the Sungas and Sagala was used as a capital by the Greco-Bactrian (alternatively Indo-Greek or Graeco-Indian) king Menander during his reign between 160 and 135 B.C.

Though many Graeco-Bactrian, and even some Indo-Greek cities were designed along Greek architectural lines, Sagala was clearly an Indian city. In contrast to other imperialist governments elsewhere, literary accounts suggests the Greeks and Indians of cities like Sagala lived in relative harmony, with some Indians adopting the responsibilities of Greek citizenship - and more astonishingly, Greeks converting to Buddhism.

The best descriptions of Sagala however, come from the Milinda Panha, a dialogue between King Menander and the Buddhist monk Nagasena. Historians like Sir Tarn believe this document was written around 100 years after Menander's rule, which is one of the best enduring testimonies of the productiveness and benevolance of his rule, which has made the more modern theory that he was regarded as a Chakravartin - King of the Wheel or literally Wheel-Turner in Sansrkit - generally accepted.

In the Milindapanha, the city is described in the following terms:

"There is in the country of the Yonakas a great centre of trade, a city that is called Sâgala, situate in a delightful country well watered and hilly, abounding in parks and gardens and groves and lakes and tanks, a paradise of rivers and mountains and woods. Wise architects have laid it out, and its people know of no oppression, since all their enemies and adversaries have been put down. Brave is its defence, with many and various strong towers and ramparts, with superb gates and entrance archways; and with the royal citadel in its midst, white walled and deeply moated. Well laid out are its streets, squares, cross roads, and market places. Well displayed are the innumerable sorts of costly merchandise with which its shops are filled. It is richly adorned with hundreds of alms-halls of various kinds; and splendid with hundreds of thousands of magnificent mansions, which rise aloft like the mountain peaks of the Himalayas. Its streets are filled with elephants, horses, carriages, and foot-passengers, frequented by groups of handsome men and beautiful women, and crowded by men of all sorts and conditions, Brahmans, nobles, artificers, and servants. They resound with cries of welcome to the teachers of every creed, and the city is the resort of the leading men of each of the differing sects. Shops are there for the sale of Benares muslin, of Kotumbara stuffs, and of other cloths of various kinds; and sweet odours are exhaled from the bazaars, where all sorts of flowers and perfumes are tastefully set out. Jewels are there in plenty, such as men's hearts desire, and guilds of traders in all sorts of finery display their goods in the bazaars that face all quarters of the sky. So full is the city of money, and of gold and silver ware, of copper and stone ware, that it is a very mine of dazzling treasures. And there is laid up there much store of property and corn and things of value in warehouses-foods and drinks of every sort, syrups and sweetmeats of every kind. In wealth it rivals Uttara-kuru, and in glory it is as Âlakamandâ, the city of the gods".

Incidentally, Sagala was also the capital of the Indo-Hepthalite King Mihirakula.
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