Architecture of Pakistan
WARNING: Terrorist threats continue in
Pakistan, please read this travel warning
Despite its long history and the historic people that have lived in the Indus Valley,
Pakistan's architecture is somewhat limited since most
early buildings were constructed of wood or brick, neither of which has lasted to
the present. The earliest buildings in Pakistan are generally from about the 600s
or 700s AD and even these are few and far between.
Of the earliest architecture still present, most of it is either Buddhist or Hindu
in origin and purpose. The Gandhara style from about 100 AD consists of numerous
stupas, which are funerary monuments; the best of these are found in Taxila
in Punjab. Another excellent example of early Buddhist architecture is Takht-i-Bahi.
Islam was introduced to Pakistan in the 700s and this next
wave of architecture was heavily Arab influenced, although again little remains
today. The Mihrablose Mosque in Banbhore (727) is one of the earliest buildings
from this time period. Among the Persian-influenced buildings,
the tomb of Shan Rukn-i-Alam (1320-1324) is among the finest examples.