Exploring the Ancient Ruins of Pakistan

The diverse landscape of Pakistan was once home to one of the most ancient civilizations in the world. You can find traces of the Indus Valley civilization dating back to 7000 BC, with advanced signs of towns and roads by 3300 BC. This makes Pakistan a fascinating place to visit for those with an interest in culture and archaeology. The following are a few of the major ruins that can be visited by tourists with an interest in the area’s rich cultural history.

Ancient Ruins of Pakistan

Ancient Ruins of Pakistan


One of Pakistan’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the ruins at Taxila dates back to the Gandhara Period. The ancient city of Taksasila was once an important Buddhist and Hindu centre, and remains a place of religious importance. You can tour the ruins by car, with a large map of the site clearly posted at the entrance to the museum. This will take a good half day, while those who decide to walk around the site will want to give themselves seven or eight hours to explore.


The site at Harappa has been plundered numerous times over the years, but many of its original finds are exhibited at the Harappa Museum. Here you’ll find remnants of past residents’ daily lives, including beads, stone tools, pottery, and decorative objects made from shells. The site also contains its original cemetery, granary, and defensive walls surrounding the central citadel. This gives visitors the impression of what this ancient city must have looked like at one time.


The Chilas site is worth visiting for its well-preserved and unique Petroglyphs, which depict battle scenes, hunting scenes, and Buddhist symbols. These date back to the 1st century AD, showing scenes from the Buddha’s life and tales of ancient battles. Located out in a rather remote area of Pakistan, the region is prone to extremely high temperatures so it’s important to bring plenty of spare water as you explore.

Moenjodaro City

Moenjodaro City is one of the most exciting archaeological finds in Pakistan to date, with the ruins of this large settlement dating back to 3000 BC. At this point, only one-third of the site has been revealed and much of the ruins remain a work in progress for excavators. Visitors can view the most exposed parts of the city, however, which will be of particular interest to archaeology students and professionals.

Pakistan Travel Tips

In addition to cultural sites, you’ll find everything from bustling marketplaces to snow-capped mountains to explore in Pakistan. Visitors from the majority of countries must arrange a visa in advance. This can easily be done if you visit Pakistan via a designated tour company; otherwise it’s best to apply at least 30 days in advance. Mobile phone reception can be spotty and costly in areas, but friends and family can place cheap calls to Pakistan using international calling cards. It may be worth investing in a SIM card with a local number before arriving to benefit from lower rates within the country as well.

Boasting both fully excavated sites and ruins that are still a work in progress, Pakistan’s countryside is filled with buried ancient secrets. With a bit of advance planning, you can take advantage of the awe-inspiring sites and that are still being uncovered in this constantly changing region.

Photo: brittanica

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