Pakistan is one of the friendliest countries on earth, with a mountain scenery that is beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. Prepare to be invited into people's homes, take more selfies than you can count, and have every preconception that you ever held about this area of the world changed forever.
The British Backpacker Society
The Ranikot Fort, also known as the Dewar-e-Sindh (The Great Wall of Sindh) is located within the Kirthar National Park in Jamshoro District. It is believed to be one of the largest forts in the world. It is a tentative UNESCO world heritage site since 1993. With its exact origins unknown, historians claim it has been around for a thousand years at least. Its last inhabitants were the Talpur rulers of Sindh.
Built by a Rajput ruler of the Bhatti clan Rai Jajja Bhatti in 9th Century, it was taken over by Sadeq Mohammad Khan I, the Nawab of Bahawalpur in 1733. The Amir of Bahawalpur lost control of the Fort in 1747 but took hold of it again in 1804 after which it remained as their desert abode until the 1970s. The massive structure is made up of clay bricks spread across 1500 meters with the walls as high as 30 meters. There are a total of 40 decorated circular bastions with ten of them on each side, visible for many miles standing up as high as 30 meters. The Abbasi Mosque, a replica of Moti Masjid at the Red Fort in Delhi, and the cemetery of the Nawabs of Bahawalpur are located adjacent to the Fort. The Fort is also added to UNESCO’s tentative list of World Heritage Sites.
News reports taught me that Pakistan is a land of dangerous extremes. Personal experience showed me that the country is a land skewing towards positive extremes, not negative. Extreme hospitality and breathtaking landscapes set Pakistan apart, and earn it its reputation as the ultimate adventure destination.
I could easily fill a book with tales from all the adventures I’ve had and the people I’ve met in Pakistan.
Last May, a Gilgiti boy I met totally by chance took me on a motorbike ride through a green valley ringed by snowcapped Karakoram mountains. That same month, I scrambled over rocky outcrops and admired dusty desert views under a scorching Sindhi sun with two friends I’d made mere days before. Amongst golden leaves of an approaching autumn, strangers in Swat loaded me up with enough walnuts to feed a regiment. Regal grandmothers in Hunza caps stuffed me full of enough apricots, cherries, and freshly baked bread to satisfy me for life as we lounged on a charpoy under rustling fruit trees and soaring mountains.
It is rare to find a country so simultaneously blessed with amazing landscapes, hospitality, and opportunities for adventure. I’ve been stamped into Pakistan three times already, and I’m positive more passport stamps are on their way.
Alex Reynolds, U.S. blogger who blogs at Lost with Purpose
Luckily, someone told me: "When you go to Pakistan you cry two times: when you are sent there and when you have to leave”. Seven months afterwards I indeed have cried two times. The untouched gorgeous beauty of Pakistan is impossible to describe with words. Everything in this country is untouched; the nature, the culture, the cities. Women in their colorfoul dresses and the way they allow their Pashminas to fall loose over their heads, showing their dark hair. Men playing cricket, such a refined English sport to be played in white clothes drinking high tea, is the street sport by far, played in every corner of every street. I have climbed stunning mountains, swam in incredible clear lakes amidst the most beautiful hills, visited majestic mosques and drank uncountable types of chai.
However, it doesn’t matter how beautiful a country is, you will always remember how it made you feel. And this is what makes the difference in Pakistan. I have never seen so much hospitality anywhere in the world. Incredibly warm people, genuinely kind. I have never felt so welcomed. There is this tendency to smile. A society that has been for so many years oppressed and still can be so tolerant.